How-To Tuesdays: Wedding Keepsake Shadowbox

Paper Crafts

Once the powers that be at Craft told me that June was DIY Weddings month, I started thinking about ways I might want to commemorate my own wedding in a personal, handmade way. I immediately thought of the old porcelain cake topper my mother-in-law gave me the day I got hitched. She sneakily plunked the topper (which used to be hers) onto the tres leches cake that was served at our dinner that night and I’ve kept it ever since. I decided to take the cake topper and a few other elements from that day and preserve them in a shadowbox my husband and I can display year-round. Here’s how I did it.



Small wooden shadowbox I found mine at Michael’s.
Mod Podge both matte and glossy
Acrylic craft paint
Craft punch
Double-stick foam tape
Decorative paper

Paper wedding keepsakes old invitations, greeting cards, etc.
Poster Putty
Date stamp


Step 1: Remove the back of the shadowbox and cut a piece of decorative paper to the same size. I used vintage wallpaper; you could also use wrapping paper from one of your wedding presents, or a piece of scrapbook paper in your wedding colors, etc. Adhere the paper to the back of the shadowbox using matte-finish Mod Podge, and allow to dry.
Step 2: Using the craft punch of your choice, punch out a few shapes from a different piece of paper (such as an old greeting card from your wedding). I found some test silkscreen prints from our wedding invitations and used a butterfly-shaped craft punch from Martha Stewart.
Step 3: Cut a few small pieces of double-stick foam tape and use them to adhere the shapes you cut out in Step 2 to the back of the shadowbox.
Step 4: I like the look of raw wood, so instead of painting the shadowbox frame, I just gave it a quick coat of glossy finish Mod Podge. You could paint the frame any color you like, though, using acrylic craft paint.
Note: At this point I also repainted the bride’s hair on the cake topper, since I’m a redhead and I wanted it to be clear who the couple was supposed to be, but this step is obviously optional!
Step 5: Paint the inside of the shadowbox frame with a contrasting shade of acrylic craft paint and allow to dry.
Step 6: Use a ball of poster putty to affix the cake topper (or other keepsake) to the inside frame of the shadowbox. Using a product like poster putty instead of glue means you can remove the keepsake in the future if you need to.
Step 7: Use a rubber stamp or date punch to stamp the date of your wedding onto the back of the shadowbox. Be sure to stamp it in an area that won’t be blocked by the keepsake you inserted in Step 6.
Step 8: Reattach the back of the shadowbox and enjoy!

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Jenny Ryan

Jenny Ryan is an artist, crafter, and maker of things. She lives in Los Angeles with a pack of various animals (including her husband) and writes about her adventures in creating at Exit Through the Thrift Shop.

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