DIY Shadow Box Frames: Drawing a Day Gallery

make your own gallery frames

A friend of mine recently created a summer drawing group on Facebook, with the idea that adults forget to make time to be creative and that we don’t draw like we did when we were kids. I loved the idea and immediately joined. Then I realized I had to draw. I can’t tell you how humbling this was. My head and hand struggled struggle to work together. My oldest; Riley who is 12;  saw me scribbling away on some computer paper and asked what I was doing. I told him about the group and he said “I don’t draw anymore. I stopped when I was like 10. That’s when you lose it.” Ah, so that’s when you lose it. Age 10.

We talked about drawing and being creative at the advanced ages of almost 13 and, ahem, 39. The 6 year old (who hasn’t lost it yet) joined the conversation. Long story short, we all agreed to draw something, anything, every day for the rest of the summer. I’m loving this time with them. They are both so excited to share their work and take turns picking the suggested topic for the next day.

To keep the excitement and creativity going, I decided to create a gallery for our drawings. I thought about buying those really cool shadow box frames, but then I remembered these boxes that my mom gave me awhile back. She works in a lab and always brings me the coolest boxes and gadgets intended for the trash. I hang onto them with great intentions. And I finally put a few of the boxes to good use.

flipping through drawings

Here’s how to make your own shadow box frames from cardboard boxes:


  • If your mom doesn’t bring you cool boxes, you can use a shoe box or any smallish-sized rectangular cardboard box.
  • Fabric for inserts. I used a few pieces of the Briar Rose by Heather Ross layer cake.
  • Cereal box from the recycling
  • Glue or tape for attaching the fabric
  • Tacks or pushpins for your art
  • Sticky notes or scrap paper
  • Cup hooks – optional hook below frame
  • Soda tab – optional for hanging box on the wall

I cut the top lid off my box and gave it to Lola to use — she made a ring holder, jewelry box out of one. Then, I used a black sharpie to color my cut line. My box was already black so I went with that. I left the egg carton foam inside my box, but it doesn’t really serve a huge purpose, so don’t worry if your cool box doesn’t have it.

diy gallery frame

make your own shadow box frame

Next I cut a piece of the cereal box cardboard to be slightly larger than the width of my box. I wanted it to curve out a bit to give some dimension to the drawings.

scrap cardboard from cereal box

I covered the cereal box rectangle in fabric. I wrapped the cardboard like a present and used some clear Tacky Glue to secure it in place. then I popped it into the box. Easy, huh?

diy fabric lining for box
diy gallery box

Then I grabbed one of the push pins and poked it into the fabric wrapped cardboard. And I screwed a cup hook into the bottom for hanging drawings — you never know.

make your own gallery box

I also used a soda tab hot glued to the back for a hook. They are pretty light weight (provided the hanging drawings aren’t too heavy), so it should work fine.

soda top to hang boxes

I hung them in a row below our dinner conversation painting. I picked this one up for $4 because I love it and it sort of creeps me out. We entertain ourselves by creating stories and dialogue about it. Feel free to create your own!

weird painting

Then we grabbed some markers, yellow sticky notes and got to drawing!

family gallery wall

kids drawing gallery

diy kids drawing frames


The kids are so proud and can’t wait to present their drawings at dinner each night. I think it’s a hit.  We highly suggest making some!

xo, The artists known as Jennifer, Riley, and Lola

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Budget Friendly Craft Rooms

Creating a space to be creative doesn’t have to be costly. And it doesn’t even have to be a dedicated space! Check out these creative, low-budget craft “rooms”. 


Vanessa at Tried & True carved out a little craft space in her kitchen pantry! Genius. Complete genius. (Now if I only had a pantry!) She shares a tour of her “teeny-tiny” craft room.

vintage suitcase
train case
Have crafts will travel. Love the use of these old train and suit cases for craft & sewing supplies. Would be great to take sewing or embroidery supplies out to the patio or to craft night, too.

Craft Storage 1
With a little creativity and clever use of mason jars, and items she had around the house, Life as a Thrifter created a pretty and functional craft storage wall.

tool pegboard
This portable tool caddy could be used for craft supplies too. Maybe for the garage/studio/craft room multi-purpose room.

craft storage closet
I love this use of an armoire turned craft and sewing station. I have on that isn’t exactly practical for clothing storage. I think it has a new future!

Sometimes all you need is a little shoe storage to stash away your craft supplies.

Here’s another bookcase/armoire craft room that is just too beautiful! No original source, but too pretty not to share.

It just goes to show that don’t need a huge, dedicated craft or sewing room to make beautiful things. But that doesn’t stop us from wanting one, though, does it? 🙂

Ready for some real life? Here’s my multi-purpose, hugely messy craft/sewing/ladies lounge dressing room annex off my bedroom. This hasn’t been “bloggified” or, ummm, cleaned in a bit. Just my real life, million U.F.O’s/stuff everywhere craft room. That I love.
jmh's craft room
jmh craft room
jmh craft room 3

I should probably wrap this up and go clean up those spilled buttons and tend to my dying plants, huh? But before I do, just for fun, here is the teeny-tiniest EVER craft room! Check out Evangelione’s Handmade Atelier miniature. I’m completely in love with all the detail. It’s amazing and so small!


And for even more inspiration, be sure to check out our Craft Room Organization board on Pinterest!