52 Creative Weeks #9: Owl Shadowbox

For this 52 Creative Weeks project, I'm including a short tutorial along with a download of the owl and tree leaves I illustrated so you can make your own owl shadowbox.  

This is a simple project, so it's perfect for kids--as long as they are old enough to handle scissors and x-acto knives :D  

The supply list for this project is fairly simple.


You'll need:

-a shadowbox style frame, mine is 5x7 inches and cost less than $5

-this free printable of an owl on a tree branch with some leaf clusters

-one sheet of patterned paper of your choice


-x-acto knife

-E6000 or another sturdy glue

-a light craft glue, I like Martha Stewart's roll-on craft glue



1.  First remove the back from your shadowbox frame, lay it down on your sheet of patterned paper and use your x-acto knife to cut around the edges.  Side note:  my shadowbox frame came with a velcro backing, which I pulled off so my patterned paper could lay flat.  

2.  Add a light layer of craft glue to the back of your paper, this is where I love using roll-on glue, it's pretty mess free.  Then gently press the glue covered side of your paper onto the back of your shadowbox frame.  This patterened paper will serve as a pretty background to our owl and leaves.  


3. While you're waiting on frame backing to dry, you can start cutting out your owl and leaf clusters.  I recommend printing these with a thick, sturdy cardstock that can easily stand up on its own.  For my shadowbox, I left a large white border around the edges of the leaves and the owl because I wanted to make sure they stood out against the orange background on my patterned paper. 

4.  Be sure to leave about a quarter inch tab on the sides of each piece.  Use your x-acto knife to crease a line down the edges of all three pieces you've cut out and bend the resulting tab backwards.  You'll be using these tabs to adhere the pieces to the inside of your shadowbox. 


5.  Now, before you begin gluing your pieces in your shadowbox, you'll want to make sure they fit correctly.  You may need to do a bit of trimming and then redo your tabs.  You'll also want to figure out how you want to arrange the pieces before gluing them down.  

6.  Once you've decided where to position them, add a small dab of E6000 to the tabs on each piece.  Stick the piece in the place of your choice and then press the tabs against the sides of the shadowbox.  Remember, the tabs are folded back so when viewing your shadowbox from the front, they won't be visible at all.  Continue to press lightly on the tabs of your first piece for a minute or so until the glue begins to harden, then move onto your other pieces.  


7.  Once your glue has dried on your owl and leaf clusters, you can flip your shadowbox over and attach the backing with patterned paper adhered to it.  And voila! you're done.  


See, I told you it was easy!  These are a fun, simple craft project for your kids and also make cute, keepsake gifts.  

PS--excuse the horrible photos, someone used the sunny day on Friday to play outside and then ended up taking photos today when it was overcast, rainy and cold :D

This tutorial and the supplied free printable are intended for personal use only.  You may not sell products that you've made with this printable or redistribute it in anyway.  If you've got questions, please ask, don't assume.