Let’s Play – Mini Shadow Box Diorama

Well, I finally sat down and created a mini shadow box diorama that I had been planning ever since I found these two little boy and girl figurines at the local flea market early last month. I thought they were so adorable and reminded me of Raggedy Ann and Andy with their mop top hair.

mini shadowbox diorama supplies

The structure for my shadow box was a leftover box from a class I had taken at a local scrapbook store, Scrapbook Territory, in Berkeley. Next to my personal fav, Castle in the Air, Scrapbook has the best crafting classes. Two years ago I had taken a class to make a Christmas configurations box.

Christmas configurations box  Scrapbook Territory

The configurations box was from Tim Holtz and consisted of a large box with smaller boxes inside that created small compartments that we decorated in holiday style. We ended up removing a few of the small boxes to make larger compartments. I turned one of the leftover boxes into a mini shadow box diorama.

mini kitty on sofa shadow box diorama

I call it Simple Pleasures. The carved wooden cat on the sofa was a souvenir my brother had brought home from Thailand. He was so cute that I decided to create a little scene around him in the form of a shadow box. I decorated the box and glued the kitty inside. I decided to add a plant for him to enjoy. The flower is actually from a broken vintage music box I had purchased from SCRAP, a local resource for all kinds of donated scrap supplies and materials. The flower pot is actually a painted toothpaste cap. When I hot glued the flower pot inside the box, I overdid it with the glue, and ended up getting a small puddle of glue underneath. I figured Mr. Kitty accidentally over-watered his plant :0)

hot glue water leak

The picture hanging in the background was cut out from a museum store catalog. I learned this trick many years ago from a guy I used to work with who built dollhouses as a hobby.

Anyway, getting back to my recent project, I couldn’t figure out what to add to my shadow box in addition to the little girl and boy. I rummaged through my pile of scrap supplies, but couldn’t find anything that I thought was suitable. I found some plain polymer clay that a friend had given me and decided to make some balloons for my project. I stuck some fine gauge wire into the balloons for strings before baking. After they were baked, I painted them different colors.

painted polymer clay balloons

I was planning on using them for my diorama, but never got to them before I went shopping for a bunch of inventory for my eBay business. I purchased a bunch of box lots, and in one of them, there were these mini Christmas ornaments.

mini Christmas ornaments

I looked through them and found a couple of items that I thought would work for my shadow box. I settled on this rocking horse.

mini hobby horse ornament

So I had all my supplies for my diorama and set to work creating it. The hardest part was measuring and cutting the scrapbook paper to line the inside and outside of the box. I made a few cutting and gluing errors, but I was able to fix it. Not perfect, but I was happy enough.

One thing I learned from having done the first diorama with the kitty cat, was to cut the sheet of scrapbook paper that lines the outside a bit larger than the sides of the box, so that I could fold in the excess paper to finish off the edges. (I was unable to cover the corners, so I colored them in with a red Sharpie. The corners aren’t perfect, but I can live with it). If you look at my first kitty shadow box, I covered up the exposed edges with ribbon.

When I was done gluing everything in, I thought I was finished, but I felt somehow something was missing. After mulling it over, I decided to add two of the clay balloons I had made earlier. It was tricky trying to glue the balloons all the way in the back, especially since all the other elements were already glued down, but a pair of tweezers really helped.

mini shadow box Ode to Childhood

But darn it! If you look closely, you can see I misapplied the hot glue when I was gluing on the little boy. Now he looks like he peed in his pants or is sitting in a puddle or something :0( Oh well, he’s a boy; what do you expect. Despite that I’m pretty happy with the final result, which I’m calling Let’s Play.

You create and learn as you go. Nothing’s going to be 100% perfect. You have to know when to let go.

What craft projects have you been working on lately? Please share in the comments.

(Please note: I have not been paid or given anything by the businesses or companies mentioned in this post in exchange for mentioning them).

About Serena Y Lee

Serena worked in the biotech industry for 18 years before leaving to pursue her life purpose – to live in freedom with creativity and simplicity. Her love for baking, creativity, and story-telling compelled her to start blogging to share her ideas with a wider audience.

, , , , ,


  1. Waterless Snow Globe tutorial | Crafty Creative Gal - December 14, 2013

    […] I had already used one of the ornaments in a mini shadow box diorama I blogged about here. […]

  2. Christmas angels shadow box | Crafty Creative Gal - January 2, 2014

    […] inside of a box with a single cut of paper before when I made my “Let’s Play” shadow box here, and it was not an easy task, so for this project, I decided to cut out five separate pieces of […]

  3. My Green Crafting Tendencies | Crafty Creative Gal - March 29, 2014

    […] Let’s Play mini shadow box diorama […]

Leave a Reply

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers