Make Your Own Shadow Box

Don't let your children's baby things gather dust in a drawer. Put those memories on display in a shadow box. It couldn't be easier to transform your children's finger paintings, toys and outgrown clothing into meaningful DIY art. Just keep these simple tips in mind.


Above: shadow box, Custom Art Concepts.


  • The only rule? There are no rules. If an object holds sentimental value to you, you can make it work in a shadow box.
  • Toys, clothing, artwork, photos, newspaper clippings etc. are all fair game.
  • Try to gather items of varying texture, pattern, colour, size and/or shape to add visual interest to your shadow box.


  • Foam board is key for creating forms and adding depth to the collage.
  • You don't want your memorabilia slipping and sliding within the shadow box frame. Use a hot-glue gun and/or spray glue to keep everything in its place.
  • For items that you don't want to glue down, use straight pins or decorative clips to hold them in place.


  • Create forms to help fabrics and knits (e.g. baby booties) hold their shape.
  • Mount photos or digital prints for a personal touch.
  • Layer and overlap objects to add dimension.
  • Fill the frame. Use decorative paper or small books to bridge any gaps in the collage.


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