- Clean out the holiday clutter for an easy all-ages motoring shadowbox idea. All images: Lisa Tate

Upcycled Shadowboxes for Post-Holiday Boredom

Here's a way to clean out those old Christmas catalogs, holiday cards or coloring pages with any easy shadowbox DIY for all ages.

13w ago
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Now that the holidays are over, and everyone is looking around for something to do — especially kids — try upcycling those car catalogs, magazines, coloring pages or box tops from models and toys into shadowbox art.

Coloring page and a vintage motoring ad ready to become shadowboxes (FYI, I made or print of the vintage ad..I would destroy one of those).

Coloring page and a vintage motoring ad ready to become shadowboxes (FYI, I made or print of the vintage ad..I would destroy one of those).

First, find a small, shallow cardboard or wooden gift box like one used for jewelry or hard candy.

Find your design. This will take a little thinking, as you're going to take one flat image and create little three-dimensional picture window three or four levels.

Starting from the back forward, you will need:

• The background

• One or two “set pieces”

• The primary subject (s).

First, give your finished image a good look-over to see what you want to use where.

Next, trace the area you want for the background using the box, and glue on the inside of the box. This might take a little extra trimming, but don’t worry about the sides. It only needs to cover the background.

Last, cut the “set pieces” and primary subjects you want.

Attach the pieces to the box using puffy adhesive tape pieces. These can be stacked on top of each other when putting overlapping pieces in place.

Think about where you want each piece to go and glue them in the box, starting from the back layer and working your way to the front (primary) pieces. If you want, you can place some pieces on the front edge of the box as well.

Shadowbox steps: Cut the pages up into your "layers", background to flat surface of box, then glue on the "layers" using one, two or three stacked piece of puffy mounting tape.

Shadowbox steps: Cut the pages up into your "layers", background to flat surface of box, then glue on the "layers" using one, two or three stacked piece of puffy mounting tape.

Depending on your time, space, and skill level, these can be simple, sparse designs with just a couple of layers and pieces or more elaborate images. Always start simple.

Smaller ones are good for desktop or shelf art, but you can make more elaborate wall art with larger shadowbox frames.

From color page to shadowbox art.

From color page to shadowbox art.

Kids can hang these in their room, or in a garage or game room. They can also make more than one to save for homemade gifts.

It will make someone’s day more colorful, in any case.

It's fun to see what kind of retro, or surreal looking pieces can come out of turning a one-page image into a 3D design.

It's fun to see what kind of retro, or surreal looking pieces can come out of turning a one-page image into a 3D design.

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