3D Layered Paper Shadow Box Crafting Project With Cricut

WCA 21 | Paper Shadow Box


In this weekend crafting adventure, I am making two 3D layered cardstock paper projects. In this Cricut crafting project, I am not only exploring a few new adhesive options for paper crafts but also finding a way to bring some nature scapes into my workspace in my classroom. I thought this was going to be a fun project, but I was actually surprised at how much fun I had layering the designs and at how beautiful they turned out, especially with the addition of the battery-operated fairy lights. I learned some great Cricut crafting tips doing this project that I am looking forward to sharing with you. So join me in this episode!

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3D Layered Paper Shadow Box Crafting Project With Cricut


WCA 21 | Paper Shadow Box


Welcome to the show. This crafting project was super fun to do. It is a 3D layer paper shadow box project. The inspiration behind this project is the first episode I did, making a basic card. I struggled with finding the right kind of adhesive. As I’ve been doing different projects, I’m continually trying to figure out and ask people and crafters, “What adhesive are you using for your paper crafts, cards, and things like that?” I wanted to get back into a craft that allowed me to experiment and try some different kinds of adhesives besides glue. This project is that.

The other inspiration behind this project is finding a way to bring the outdoors a little bit into my workspace in my classroom. My classroom does not have any windows in it. There’s no outside light and no nature that is brought into my classroom. I thought maybe I could find some of these layer paper projects that were around nature. I love the mountains and that kind of thing. I want to bring that into my classroom to bring a little bit more of nature into my classroom workspace. Those are the inspirations behind trying this project.


WCA 21 | Paper Shadow Box


I do want to talk about a couple of important resources and materials that I used for this crafting project. I want to start with the resources. As I’ve always said, when I’m going to do a project, the first thing I do is jump in, research, and try and find somebody that has some great information about the project that I’m looking to do. I stumbled across this amazing article or blog post with so much amazing information and tips for these layered paper Cricut projects. That is from HelloCreativeFamily.com. This is an awesome article or blog. It’s got links if you want to purchase things that the person used in your project. I had to shout out the Hello Creative family because this helped me with a jumping-off point for this layer paper project.

A couple of the important materials that I want to highlight that I used in this project were some Cricut Kraft Board. I used that to create the shadow box where I am putting my layered paper project in. I did buy some fairy lights. One thing that I felt would enhance this project and bring it to the next level was to add some little fairy lights inside of the shadow box.


WCA 21 | Paper Shadow Box


I did purchase a set of those Recollections Cardstock. I got a 200-pack of the cardstock because, at the time that I bought the cardstock, I wasn’t sure exactly what design I was going to be putting together with the layered paper. I wanted to have a wide variety of colors to choose from. Crystal Allen from Hello Creative Family recommended that kind of cardstock, so I thought I’d go for it. I’m happy with it.

I did use a scoring wheel back when I did my first card project. I did not have a scoring wheel, and I have one now so I did use that when I was making the card kraft board shadow box. That was pretty important, and then, of course, the adhesive. I bought some of these little foam double-sided adhesives. Little cubes and they came in strips, rectangles, and squares. I was going to use those to put in between the layers to create that 3D effect with the card stock and some glue dots. These are double-sided little sticky clear pieces of glue, and those were flat.

I was hoping based on the recommendations that I read in the article and doing some research that would be primarily what I needed to put together the paper in a 3D way and layer it the way that the designs show. For this project, I did use all of the designs from Etsy. A lot of times, I’m able to find the designs that I want in Cricut Design Space. For this project, I wasn’t able to find exactly what I wanted for layered paper 3D projects in the Cricut Design Space, so I went to Etsy.

I do want to highlight the three things that I bought on Etsy. The first one is the shadow box design. The shadow box SVG, I bought was from ChipolaStudio. That was recommended in the article I read from Hello Creative Family. I am so glad that I found that resource. The shadow box is awesome. There are great instructions that come with that purchase. It was $4.90 for the shadow box SVG to make your own shadow box out of kraft board. I chose to do that. You don’t have to do that. You can buy shadow boxes anywhere, but I decided I wanted to go ahead and make my own. Her instructions and tips are amazing.

The next SVG that I purchased from Etsy was from CutLeafSvg. It was a 3D mountain scene. I did go with pretty simple layered projects because I’ve never done it before. I just wanted to get a feel for that kind of project, so CutLeafSvg for a 3D mountain scene.


WCA 21 | Paper Shadow Box


The next one was from MagicVectorLaser. That was the other design that was a nature design I chose because I wanted to have two different layered paper projects to try.



They both had different aspects of nature that I thought would be fun to not only light up with the fairy lights, but I thought they would be a nice complement to each other and then also for my desk workspace in my classroom. I was excited about the idea of putting fairy lights in them. It’d be fun to have that little light going on at my desk while I’m working. I did get battery-operated fairy lights. I did look for SVG designs that I thought I would be able to add those fairy lights in pretty easily, and it not be too much of a difficult process.

The most challenging parts of this project, there were two. The first one was picking the designs I wanted. I spent a lot of time trying to find the right design. I went back and forth between doing one nature scene and then one of these cute fun animal-layered paper projects. I will be doing one of those in the future. I ended up going with the two simple nature designs. The experience of this project was fun. I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I was going to.

The process of cutting the cardstock paper on my Cricut went well. It went well because I followed a couple of tips from Crystal Allen at Hello Creative Family. The first tip that I took away from her that I love is that you need to think about your cutting blade when you’re using your Cricut machine. The tip that she had was to put in a new blade for this project.



You need to think about your cutting blade before using your Cricut Machine. Share on X

I’m a sewer. I have fabric scissors, and then I have scissors that I cut paper and all my other stuff with. I would not use my fabric scissors on paper and I wouldn’t use my paper scissors on fabric. When I thought about it that way, I was like, “What a great tip.” I did change out my fine-point blade into a brand new blade that is now going to be my cardstock fine-point blade. I will have a separate one for my vinyl and the other things that I cut. I did take that tip and put it into action. It made the cutting process of the cardstock go well.

The other thing I did is I made sure that I used a clean light-grip cutting mat for the project. The third thing that made the process go smoothly was a tip from ChipolaStudio. What she suggested was to mirror the design on Cricut Design Space before cutting out the cardstock. The reason she suggested this was that a lot of times, the side of the cardstock that’s facing the cutting mat tends to get a smoother cut.

When you peel your mat away from your cardstock design, the side that was facing the sticky part of the mat is what is going to be facing out in your layered paper project. That cut would look smooth. I love this tip. I used it and I am completely on board with mirroring my cardstock designs. I had never done that before. The only thing that I’ve been mirroring is the heat transfer vinyl. This was something new that I learned, and I love that. That experience went well.

One of my designs, the 3D mountain design, had ten layers. The colors were all blue grade, except for the moon and the background color. I did get out my sticky notes and made sure that I separated the layers in Cricut Design Space to see exactly what number they were. I then matched my colored cardstock with what I wanted that to cut out for that color.



Once I did that, I labeled my cardstock with a tiny little sticky note numbered 1 through 10 so that as I was getting ready to load that color onto the mat, I knew that the color I wanted would be cut with the design matched in Cricut Design Space. That helped me to keep those little sticky notes on the cardstock not only before I cut it but after for the layering process.

Once I got both designs cut out and I had my shadow box cut out, I put that together. That went smoothly because of the directions that were provided by ChipolaStudio. Not only are there written directions but there are tips and tricks like I mentioned before. She actually puts pictures, so it’s a visual of what you should do for each step of putting together the shadow box. I am a visual learner, so that helped me out and that went well.



Putting the layers together for my designs and using the adhesive glue dots and double-sided foam adhesive was awesome. I love it. I am so excited to find an alternative to glue for cards and paper projects that I’m doing with my Cricut machine. It went smoothly. It was pretty fast. Putting the designs together and layering them was not as challenging as I thought. The outcome is beautiful. I’m so excited to put them on my desk.


WCA 21 | Paper Shadow Box


One thing that I did that I would do differently next time. I put together all of my layers of the two different designs with the adhesive glue dots and the foam double-sided adhesive. I used a 1/8 inch foam so that there was a little separation between my designs because I wanted that 3D effect. I knew I wanted to put fairy lights in, so I wanted to have a little space in between the layers to do that. I put on my layers together, and then I went back and tried to add the fairy lights. This was the only other challenging part of this project.



What I’ll do next time I’m making a layered paper project is as I am putting the layers together, I will be adding the fairy lights with the glue dots as I go. By trying to put them in at the end, I had to then take apart some of my layers, and then put them back together. I had a little bit of cardstock paper that got pulled from some of the adhesives. That was not ideal, but I still got it to work.



I love how the fairy lights look in the 3D mountain shadow box.


WCA 21 | Paper Shadow Box


I’m so excited to bring it to work, but it was challenging because I waited until the end to put those fairy lights in. Next time, I’m going to put the fairy lights in as I go layering them with the adhesive glue dots. Those are the thin, double-sided, clear glue dots that I could just bend and twist the wires of the fairy lights. I put the lights where I want to be, emphasize the different areas of the layered cardstock project, stick them there, and have them stay. That is something I learned in this project that I’ll be taking with me the next time I am creating these layered paper projects.


My crafting keepers for this episode, I have three. I tried to narrow it down to two, but I learned some great new tips from doing this project. I’ve got to highlight all three of them. The first one is going to be changing out that fine-point blade. Making sure that I have one blade for my vinyl and one blade for my cardstock, and not changing them up just to make sure I have the crisp clean cuts that I want for both of those different types of materials. I’m going to shout out the Hello Creative Family for giving me that tip that now will be in my crafting corner.

Change out that fine point blade, and make sure that you have one blade for the vinyl and one for the card stock. Do not change them up to ensure you have crisp, clean cuts for both types of materials. Share on X

The second crafting keeper is going to be my newfound adhesive, which are the glue dots and the double-sided foam. These are going to be game-changers for my paper crafting projects. I’m super excited about them. That is the second crafting keeper. The third one which is from ChipolaStudio is going to be mirroring the cardstock image in Cricut Design Space before my Cricut cuts out the paper, just to make sure that the smoothest cut is what is showing on the outside of the design for the completed project. Those are the three crafting keepers from this layered paper project.

That brings me to my satisCRAFTion rating, which is a five. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this project. I knew it was going to be fun. I was excited to try it. The experience of layering the papers, watching the project come together, and then adding the fairy lights, even though it was a little challenging, the way it looks at the end is beautiful. I am super excited about this project. I will be making some of those fun animal-layered cardstock projects. I also was thinking there would be some fun ones to do for Valentine’s Day coming up in February. That is it for this crafting adventure. Until next time, take care.



  • Cricut Maker Machine 
  • Fine Point Blade
  • Sticky Notes
  • Weeding Tools
  • Scoring Wheel (shadow box frame only)
  • Cricut Kraftboard (shadow box frame only)
  • Light Grip Cutting Mat 
  • Recollections Essentials Cardstock Paper 8.5 X 11 inches (200 sheets)
  • Brightown Fairy String Lights
  • Glue Dots Adhesives
  • Bearly Art CUBIES Starter Pack Craft Adhesive Foam Tape


Crafting Keepers

1.) Different cutting blades for cutting different materials (think of fabric scissors and paper scissors)

2.) Adhesive in the form of glue dots and double sided foam tape

3.) Using the “mirror” function for the cardstock paper before Cricut cuts it 


SatisCRAFTion Rating: 5


Important links


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