Cardmaking, Die Cutting, EBE by Brandi Kincaid, EBE by Julie Ebersole, Essentials By Ellen, Stamping

How to Make a Spring-Inspired Shadow Box Card

Would you like your card recipient to be just as eager to display the inside as the front? Read on to see how Angela created a 3D shadow box card, perfect for any springtime occasion.


Hi friends! It’s Angela here on the blog, and today I’ve got a fun spring-inspired project to share. When it comes to cards, I love sending them to friends and family, and any that I receive are displayed proudly on my desk for months to follow. Normally I focus my efforts on the front of the cards I create since that’s what’s on display, but today’s project has just as much going on inside as it does outside. Let’s get into it, shall we?

The structure of this card is made with the Essentials by Ellen Shadow Box die, which is sized perfectly to create a shadow box that collapses within the dimensions of an A2 card base. This makes it easy to mail in a standard A2 envelope, while also giving the finished project a 3D frame when it’s standing up. The die set also comes with some additional elements for adding details to a shadow box, including a die that can be hot foiled to create the look of pages. However, for this project I decide to just use the piece that makes the shadowbox frame, then incorporate a few other Essentials by Ellen items along the way. This was the process:

First, I used the largest die in the Shadow Box set, die cutting it twice to make the front and back of the box.

Next, I scored along the lines created by the die with a bone folder and folded to create the side flaps. (The top and bottom do not have flaps so that you can flatten the card and fit it into an envelope.)

To create a window in the front of the box, I used a large Essentials by Ellen Essential Oval, placing it right in the middle of the white panel. Then, I used a slightly smaller oval to do the same on a piece of Sea Glass cardstock, trimmed to 4″ wide x 5.25″ tall. The plan was to layer the white piece over the teal piece as you can see in the photos.

I wanted to keep the sentiment simple and needed it to work with my intro words on the front of the card, which we’ll talk about in a second. I picked “you are my happy place” from the It’s All Good stamp set, and using my MISTI and the two window pieces that I had just made, aligned the stamp on the back portion of the shadowbox. This way, the words would also be centered once the top of the shadow box was in place.

With my sentiment stamped on the back portion, it was time to decorate around the window opening. To do this, I batch-created a whole bunch of flowers from the Essentials by Ellen Painted Florals stamp set using this method.

In case you’re wondering why I didn’t assemble the shadow box completely first, trust me, I very nearly did! But upon thinking the project through, I realized I’d be making it more challenging than it needed to be. It was much easier to stamp the sentiment and arrange the flowers on flat cardstock, rather than a 3-D box. I also wanted to ensure none of my flower arrangements obscured the sentiment, so that stamping really needed to be done first. Once I had the flowers the way I wanted, I used small pieces of Glad Press ‘n Seal to temporarily hold them in place while I applied liquid adhesive to the back, then placed them around the oval window.

At this point, I was ready to assemble the shadow box. To do so, I simply applied double sided tape along the flaps and tucked them inside of each other. That box needed something to sit inside, which brings us to the base of the card and the design on the front!

I had lots of floral die cuts leftover, so I created another cluster in the bottom left corner. To encourage the recipient to open the card, I embossed “just in case no one has told you today” from the Casual Taglines stamp set on cardstock that coordinated with my ink selections, and arranged the words in a zig zag pattern down the card front. For extra spring vibes and cuteness, I thought it would be fun to borrow the bee stamp and die from the Strawberry Fields set, then hand-draw a little flight path through the sentiment strips. Hot tip: Do this with pencil first, and once the lines are as smooth as you want them, go over in pen. Erase the pencil, then adhere the sentiments with foam tape to make them stand out.

Once I’d mounted the shadowbox inside the base, the final result was the card you see here – one that you could send for any spring occasion, and one that goes beyond the standard A2 format with a 3D component.

I hope this project has inspired you to try adding a little interactivity in your upcoming creations. If you share one on Instagram, be sure to tag me, @mycraftyperspective, as well as @ellenhutsonllc. We’d love to see!

Until next time, happy crafting!

– Angela

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2 Comments

  • Reply Laura Norris April 1, 2022 at 8:30 am

    Beautiful!!

  • Reply tsurutadesigns1 April 3, 2022 at 10:16 am

    So pretty!

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