Crafts DIY

Easy DIY Souvenir Shadow Box

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For anyone who visits my blog primarily for the motherhood or food posts, and thinks they have no place in DIY-land, this one is for you!

This project is extremely easy – anyone can do it! All you need is a picture, a shadow box, and something meaningful you’ve kept from your travels or staycations.

In fact, I’m not sure this even warrants a blog post, because the picture is fairly self-explanatory. But, for the craft-challenged among us, I am here to help guide you and supply some ideas! The full list of shadow box ideas can be found at the bottom of the post.

This shadow box can be a sweet memory of a family vacation, a first date, first trip together, honeymoon, babymoon, or pretty much any special time you’ve celebrated with loved ones.

Our Honeymoon Shadowbox

Personally, I made this shadow box as a way to remember our honeymoon. We didn’t go on a typical one-week honeymoon; I was on summer break from school, and my husband was waiting to start his job in the fall, so we ended up living at the beach for two whole months!

Our honeymoon consisted of lots of bike rides, walmart trips, and reading on the beach. The beach right by our condo had tons of tiny conch shells. I began to collect them every time we went for a walk on the beach.

My husband actually started to make fun of me because I did so much shell-searching. But, all that searching paid off, because I ended up with a pile of pretty shells to remember our trip by.

I didn’t want to throw the shells in a plastic baggie and call it a day. So, I ended up putting them all in a shadow box with a special picture.

On the last week of our honeymoon, we had a family friend take some ‘trash the dress’ pictures of us.

No, this is not the type of photoshoot where someone destroys their wedding dress because they are getting a divorce!

A ‘trash the dress’ shoot is when you walk into the ocean in your wedding dress! Don’t worry, my dress was thrifted, and I wasn’t planning on saving it for anyone.

The shoot was so fun, and we ended up with some great memories.

The Tutorial

Anyways, onto the tutorial!

To make your souvenir, you will need:

  • A shadow box frame. I’d recommend one like this, or shop the 50% off picture frames sale that happens at Hobby Lobby once every month.
  • A special photo printed to size
  • Your meaningful items

Start off by laying your shadow box glass-side down on the table. Then, arrange the items inside the glass, or pin them to the backing for items like tickets or cards.

If you don’t want your things to move around at all once in the box, you can glue them together. In the case of my shells, I decided to let them move around – it mixes up the appearance, and I didn’t want to ruin some of the shells with glue.

Next, pin or glue the picture onto the backing of the shadow box so that it shines through the glass. All you have to do is hang it on the wall or find somewhere special to display it.

You can put so many different things in a shadow box as a sweet way to remember a special trip or event:

  • Shells
  • Movie or concert tickets
  • Baby hospital hat and bracelet
  • Broadway playbills
  • Receipts from a first date
  • Flowers
  • Sheet music
  • An ancestor’s jewelry or pocket watch
  • Keys from your first apartment or new house
  • Family recipes
  • Wedding items like the program, boutonniere, etc
  • Scraps of artwork from your child
  • Love notes from your significant other

I’d love to see what other ideas you all come up with! Please let me know in the comments below if you end up making a shadow box of your own.


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  1. Great idea! We collect one rock from each family hike we take. I wasn’t sure how to display them, but this is an elegant and easy solution.

    1. That’s such a cool tradition! I think a shadow box is definitely a great option for displaying the rocks, maybe with a picture of a scene from the hike as the background?

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