Easy Toy DIY Shadow Box
I love how sweet these colorful DIY shadow boxes are using plastic toy butterflies.
When I was 8 years old, I went to science camp and one of our projects was to catch beetles and moths and butterflies and preserve them in a cardboard pencil box. Ever since then I’ve had a special love for shadow boxes with butterflies on display! These shadow boxes are FAR easier to create than wandering the fields of Virginia with a butterfly net. Trust me.
Step 1. Pick Your Colors
I played around with not only how many butterflies I wanted on display, but also which colors I liked the most. Ultimately I opted for pairs of the brightest four colors.
Step 2. Paint the DIY Shadow Box
Once I’d settled on the layout, I looked for the paints I wanted to use for the inside of the frames. I’m going for a tone on tone look so want the paint to be similar to the butterflies themselves. I gave the boxes a first coat of green, blue, yellow and red/ fuchsia but didn’t love how the four colors worked together. It felt a little… primary school crayon box. So for the second coat of paint, I added a bit of red to the yellow to make it more of a tangerine. And I added a bit of lime to the green to lighten it up just a bit. Two simple changes. MUCH better!
I painted the inside of each frame but left the front and the outside unpainted. I love the contrast of the raw wood against the bright bold color inside.
Step 3. Glue the Butterflies in Place
I’m using my favorite Quick Hold super glue to attach the butterflies to each shadow box, but honestly… I bet craft glue or a hot glue gun would work just as well!
Step 4. Attach Hanging Hardware
I glued my picture hooks to the back of each box, but you could certainly attach these the correct way with a hammer and brad nail. They’re so light weight that a command strip would probably work as well!
I made these on a small scale and tucked them right between the door and the closet in my office, but I’d love to see how this project would look with larger shadow boxes and more butterflies or insects! If you make these shadow boxes, please let me know so I can see!!
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Make sure you check out my video below as well… promise these are as easy to makes as they are to describe!