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Shadow Box | Virtual Open Studio

Create a mixed media collage within a box to share your favorite memories of family and friends.


Shoebox with Lid 


Adhesive (e.g., white glue, masking tape, or hot glue)

Paper (blank and wrapping or decorative paper)

Paper Ephemera (e.g., photographs, ticket stubs, or newspaper clippings)  

3-D Objects (e.g., dried flowers,feathers, or toys smaller than box) 


Drawing Utensils 

Decorative Items (e.g., stickers or bling)



What memories would you like your family and friends to remember? Do you have objects or photographs that could remind you of those memories? Gather your supplies and find a comfortable and safe place to create your shadow box. 


You will create a frame for your shadow box using the lid of your shoebox. Inside the shoebox lid, draw a rectangle by creating a thick border around the edge of the lid. Cut out the inside of this rectangle. 


Next, glue paper to all surfaces of the shadow box. Cover the outer surface of the shoebox using decorative paper as if wrapping a present. Use white paper to cover the interior of the shoe box. Draw and add decorative items like text, stickers, and bling to the outside of the frame. Is there important text you would like to include to guide your friends’ and family’s memories?


Pick one to three pieces of ephemera or 3-D objects to be focal points in your shadow box. Arrange your items inside while the shoebox lays flat on your work surface. Rearrange items to tell a story about your memory. What kind of support will each item need to secure the box? 3-D objects can sit on the bottom of the box. If a 3-D object needs a base, create one from cardboard and wrap it in paper used for the interior of the box. Secure ephemera and 3-D objects to the interior of the box. Place the frame of the box back onto the shoebox.


Share your shadow box of memories with your family and friends. Be sure to also share your creation with CAMH using the hashtags #ConnectWithCAMH or #MuseumFromHome.

About Virtual Open Studios

CAMH’s Virtual Open Studios feature instructions for pop-up activities that draw inspiration from the exhibitions on view. Using readily available materials you can find at home, explore imaginative concepts inspired by world-renowned artists who show at the Museum by making your own artworks in response to theirs. Virtual Open Studios are released on our website at 2PM, the first Saturday of every month. All ages, always free.