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Last week I promised something that was neither beachy nor a vase, so here it is – an easy floral fall shadow box tutorial! This project is a cute, simple way to add a touch of fall to your decor, and the project could easily be modified for other seasons.
Funny story – I had this large sunflower stem sitting in plain view in the living room for about a week and, apparently, my husband didn’t notice! The first time he saw the completed shadow box on our bookshelf he said “O! You got a sunflower!” I laughed and told him I’d had it for a week, it just hadn’t been displayed in a box.
This project is super easy to customize, so go with whatever colors and blooms you like!
Supplies for a floral fall shadow box
- A wood box! A box with a see-through lid, like the one shown, is best for this project, though you can always leave a box’s top off and have an “open face” shadow box, instead. A frame-style shadow box like this one would work, too.
- A large faux flower. Grab a flower that will mostly fill your box, or use several smaller blossoms
- Pliers, heavy duty wire snips, or something else with which to cut the floral stem
- Craft paints in colors to complement your decor/flower. I highly recommend something dark, like brown or black, for the interior, and more colorful choices for the exterior.
- Metallic wax finish, patina waxes, or other distressing supplies (totally optional but fun! I used Metallic Lustre in Copper Kettle)
- Paint brushes
- Scrapbook paper or this free printable (optional)
- Mod Podge or white glue, if you’re using a paper background
- Ruler or tape measure, if you’re using paper
- Scissors or paper cutter
- Hot glue (optional, but helpful. Not sure what kind of hot glue to use? Check out my top 10 hot glue tips and tricks!)
How to make a floral fall shadow box
1. If your box has a removable glass top, go ahead and remove it. On my box, all I needed to do was carefully bend up the metal tabs, like the ones found on picture frames, and remove the glass. Please be careful because the tabs and glass can be sharp! You can always skip this step, but you may need to wipe wet paint off the glass later on. =)
2. If you’re using a paper background, measure the inside dimensions of your box. Your box probably has exterior dimensions listed on the label that annoyingly refuses to come un-stuck from the back, but it’s a good idea to measure the interior dimensions for yourself.
3. Either print the floral page provided here or cut your scrapbook paper to size, then test fit it. If it fits, go ahead and set it aside for later! If not, trim until it does.
4. Now it’s time to paint! Begin by painting the interior sides. If you’re not adding a paper backing, paint the bottom/back, too. I used a dark color for the interior to make the sunflower petals really stand out, but pick your interior color based on your flower.
5. Next, paint the exterior sides. Be careful not to paint the box shut! I like to paint all four sides at once then prop the lid open and rest the unpainted back on my paint bottles until the sides have dried.
6. Paint the back, if it will be visible where you intend to display your shadow box.
7. Now it’s time to paint the front! You may want to do this in a different color from the sides for added contrast. I painted the top black:
8. Then black again. And again. After three solid coats were in place, I used Metallic Luster wax finish in Copper Kettle.
9. I just rubbed it on, against the grain, with my finger (in a protective glove, of course!). You can decorate or distress your lid however you’d like. If you do use a metallic wax finish, make sure to apply several solid layers of paint or it won’t adhere well!
10. Once all paints are dry, go ahead and replace the glass pane. If you’re using a shadow box with a slide-in front and not a hinged box, save this step for last!
11. Now it’s time to grab your white glue or Mod Podge and secure the paper backing in place! I brushed some on with a paint brush then pressed the paper down. Super easy!
12. Now you can cut the flower down to size! The exact length of stem you’ll need to leave depends on your box, but remember you can always trim off a little extra but you can’t really add more back on. =)
13. Test fit your flower in place. Some petals may stick out – that’s fine! If you’re happy with the flower’s height, you can go ahead and hot glue the stem in place, if you’d like. If the flower sticks up too much, just trim it down a little and try again.
14. Tuck any wayward petals under…
15. Then close the box!
And there you have it! An easy fall floral shadow box. =)
As I mentioned above, this project would be super easy to modify for basically any season or holiday, so if you come across this tutorial when it isn’t fall I hope you can still find a way to enjoy it. =)
If you are looking for fall projects, I highly recommend these tutorials and recipes. They’re consistently my most popular posts this time of year!
In just a couple of weeks I’ll be headed to Colorado to experience some fall! I’m super excited about my trip, but also a little worried I’ll freeze. Is the weather cool yet in your area, or still holding on to warmth?
Natasha is a former classroom teacher turned WAHM. She also is a registered yoga teacher & holds a certificate in natural skincare formulation from the School of Natural Skincare. She shares her passion for education, positive parenting, free printables, and recipes for DIY bath & home products. Learn more about Natasha and where she’s been featured.