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Alphabet Shadow Box

I can’t be the only mom who feels like her little ones are always collecting miniature odds and ends. My son loves to collect mini animal figurines, game pieces, “special” rocks from outside and the occasional scrap of string and tape. These tiny treasures are far too valuable to toss away or throw in the toy bin. But how do you keep track of all those pieces without your kids’ rooms filling up with clutter? Here’s my idea — an alphabet shadow box. This clever craft is so super easy and affordable, and it keeps your kiddos happy with all their treasures within arm’s reach.

Alphabet Shadow Box

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • a cardboard 3-D letter (any size will work)
  • a utility knife
  • craft paint and foam paintbrush (optional)
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks
Alphabet Shadow Box

Step One

Alphabet Shadow Box

Step One

Step 1: To begin, you will want to transform the 3-D letter into more of a letter box. To do this, use the utility knife to cut around the edge of the letter. It doesn’t need to be a perfect cut, but the cleaner the cut lines the cleaner your shadow box will look. Once you have cut along one side of the letter, remove the cut-out section and set it aside for step two.

Alphabet Shadow Box

Step Two

Alphabet Shadow Box

Step Two

Step 2: Using a pencil, hold the cut-out letter face up to your hollowed-out “box” letter and measure the opening where you will want to add a shelf. Once measured, use scissors to cut your shelves from the letter face scrap that you put aside in step one. Make sure that the shelves fit into your hollow letter. You don’t need to secure the shelves yet, just make sure that they fit.

Alphabet Shadow Box

Step Three

Step 3 (optional): I chose to paint the inside of my letter white so that the tiny items stored inside my shadow box would really stand out. If you decide to paint, I recommend painting the shelves separate and using several coats on all painted surfaces. Let dry.

Alphabet Shadow Box

Step Four

Step 4: Apply hot glue to the two ends of the shelf that will be touching the inside sides of the letter. Then insert your shelf and wipe off any excess glue. Once the hot glue dries your alphabet shadow box is ready to go.

Alphabet Shadow Box

I am such a fan of how fun this mini alphabet shadow box looks on my son’s dresser. It’s a great place to store all those knickknacks too special for him to part with. I plan to make even more to hold our growing collection of special treasures.


DIY, Handmade

10 Responses

  1. rss says:

    I love this craft. Great idea.

  2. ashlee says:

    I'm on it, making one this week for sure!!! Tooo presh

  3. […] the simple pom-pom. We took these inexpensive puff balls and made a festive party banner and decorative letters just begging to decorate a bookshelf. Watch the video to learn […]

  4. James Schiller says:

    Cool! This is a pretty nifty decorative idea. The plus side of it is that it will fit any design of a house. You can also use it to decorate any room, whether your kid's room or the den, it will definitely add some charm.

    Being a realtor of homes for sale isle of palms sc for a while now. I have seen plenty of decorative ideas going around. Different people not only have different taste, but different take on how pieces will be displayed or where they will look good. I'd have to say, this DIY piece is very versatile as it doubles up as a storage space. And, it will effortlessly blend anywhere in your house, as well as a project you can share with your kid with to make it a fun activity together.

    • Alix Adams says:

      Thanks James! I love making crafts that can transform into something that fits everyone's style!

  5. Scarlett says:

    Where do you get the cardboard 3-D letter?

  6. […] CARDBOARD LETTER –> ALPHABET SHADOWBOX This adorable idea comes from our own guest blogger, Alix Adams. Remove the face of the letter and […]

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Alix AdamsAlix is a guest blogger for Design Happens. She is also a mom and a maker of important things like floral crowns. Her proclivity for glitter borders on the side...


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