How to Make a DIY Rose Shadow Box

Pink, blush and yellow colored roses

Sirithep Udesanandana / EyeEm / Getty Images

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 1 hr
  • Total Time: 1 hr
  • Yield: 1 shadow box
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $25 to $50

A shadow box is a great way to display memories, collections, flowers, or sentimental treasures in a beautiful and meaningful way. Its depth means that unlike a regular picture frame, a shadow box can hold three-dimensional objects, which also makes it a great vessel for handmade crafts, such as this one.

What Is a Shadow Box?

A shadow box is a display case with a glass front used to hold sentimental objects, themed collections, and other personal items. Unlike a picture frame, a shadow box has enough depth to display three-dimensional objects and not just photographs. Historically, the origins of this display case are rooted in naval tradition, where a retiring sailor would be given what we now refer to as a shadow box, which contained keepsakes representing his greatest military accomplishments.

Our DIY rose shadow box is a fun craft project that would make for a thoughtful gift for someone or a lovely decorative accent for your wall or bookshelf. Roses are the star of the show here, and whether you use paper, dried, or silk ones, our easy-to-follow tutorial will teach you how to create this elegant flower art keepsake.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Double sided tape

Materials

  • Shadow box
  • Roses (paper, dried or silk)
  • Cardstock, scrapbook paper or fabric

Instructions

  1. Gather Roses

    First, gather the roses that you are going to use for your shadow box. You can use paper, dried, or silk roses and stick with a single color, create an ombre effect, or go with multi-colored flowers—the choice is yours! If you are going to use paper flowers, you can either create your own by using a template (there are many free templates online) or a Cricut cutter if you own one, or you can simply purchase ready-made paper flowers at a craft store.

  2. Create a Backdrop

    Next, grab your shadow box and take out the back panel. You can use the existing back panel as your shadow box backdrop, or you can get creative and make your own custom back panel. Depending on the color scheme you've chosen for your roses, you can use solid-colored cardstock, patterned scrapbook or wrapping paper, or fabric such as linen or burlap. Measure out your backdrop so that it's the same size as the back panel of the shadow box, then cut it out and attach it to the back panel using double sided tape.

  3. Come up With a Layout

    Now that you have the backdrop ready, it's time to come up with a layout. This is completely up to you! For a geometric look, create a grid pattern with the roses, leaving an inch wide border around the edges; for a more themed shadow box, use the flowers to form a shape such as a heart; or for a fuller, more freeform design, fill the entire shadow box with roses, leaving no border or gaps (in which case you can skip Step 2, as none of the backdrop will be visible).

  4. Attach the Flowers

    Once you have designed your layout, mark the spots where the roses will go using a pencil. Plug in the hot glue gun and carefully attach each rose onto one of the marked spots by placing a small amount of hot glue on the back of the flower and gently pressing it down onto the backdrop until it is securely attached.

    Warning

    Be careful when using a hot glue gun, as burns and damage can occur if it is not used safely. If needed, use protective gloves or finger protectors to prevent burns, and never leave a plugged-in hot glue gun unattended. While it is plugged in, use a heat-resistant stand or surface to rest the glue gun when you are not using it, so as not to damage an unprotected surface. Once unplugged, leave the glue gun out to cool completely before storing it away.

  5. Finish It Off

    Finally, take the rose-covered backdrop, carefully place it inside the shadow box, and secure the back of the frame. Your beautiful creation is now ready to be hung on the wall, displayed on a bookshelf, or given to someone as a very special gift!