How to Make a Beach-Themed Shadow Box

Use clever scrapbooking techniques to create a beachy, photo-inspired layout for a shadow box.


Materials and tools:

1 sheet of 12" x 12" stripes patterned paper
1 sheet of 12" x 12" polka dots patterned paper
1 sheet of 12" x 12" blue swirl patterned paper
1 sheet of 12" x 12" lime green solid color paper
1 sheet of black cardstock
1 12" x 12" white cardstock
1 12" x 12" white vellum sheet
1 piece of heavy cardboard for shaker box
3 color photos
3 black and white photos (same as color)
small piece of foam board
alphabet rubber stamps
pop up dots
mounting tape
double-sided tape
vellum tape
jewelry glue
miniature seashells
1 large sand dollar
1 mini sand dollar
1 beach rub-on decal
letter beads
small white beads
embroidery floss
2 green eyelets
eyelet setting tools
die cut machine
die cut pattern
paper slicer
metal buckles
label machine
label tape
glue stick


  1. Choose photos and make two copies of each, one black and white and one color.
  2. Choose papers, one patterned (polka dots) and one solid color (green). Distress the solid color paper with sandpaper, then tear the edges and position it on top of the patterned paper.
  3. Paint a design on the white cardstock to make printed vellum.
  4. When the paint is dry, scan and copy the painting onto the vellum paper. Cut out a strip of the vellum and position it over the left side of the distressed paper.
  5. Choose a part of the color picture to accentuate and cut out that square.
  6. Mount the color photo square on black cardstock. Mount the black and white photo on black cardstock. Mount the square color photo onto the black and white photo in the corresponding area using pop up dots. Repeat for remaining two photos.
  7. Print labels using label maker and stick onto photos.
  8. To make the shaker box, cut out two rectangles of heavy cardboard, one of polka dot paper and one of blue swirl paper.
  9. Punch out an opening for the frame in one of the pieces of cardboard and in the polka dot paper. Using a glue stick, glue the polka dot frame to the cardboard frame. Glue the blue swirl rectangle to the cardboard rectangle.
  10. Cut out two frame pieces in the foam board and stick to back of polka dot frame.
  11. Fill the shaker box with sand and shells and apply mounting tape to the back of the foam board frame. Apply cardboard back to the mounting tape.
  12. Stamp title onto large sand dollar using rubber alphabet stamps.
  13. String letters and white beads onto embroidery floss. Position letters and glue in place. Let dry two minutes.
  14. Install eyelets on each side of layout. String embroidery floss with the letters through holes and tape to the back of layout.
  15. Position photos, large sand dollar and shaker box onto your shadowbox's layout. Apply rub-on decal and other details.
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