DIY Snowman Shadow Box

It won’t be long before the snow starts falling! Burrrr….But, we might as well embrace it and enjoy all of the positive points that come from the winter season.  One of the things that I absolutely love is the way the trees look when they are covered in ice and the sun is just glistening down on them. It makes them sparkle like diamonds! The other thing I love is snowmen. They just make me smile. That is why I made this snowman shadow box.

snowman shadow box

So, when I was trying to think of a winter craft idea, it seemed like a good idea to make a shadow box. This snowy little shadow box display, featuring a winter woods scene, would be fun to hang or set on a shelf all winter long. I love it because it has trees made from birch branches that are covered with a sparkly varnish to signify those ice covered trees. And, of course there is a cute bundled up snowman perched among the trees. The craft is fun to put together too because you get to be creative with the size and shape of your trees and snowman.

How To Make A Snowman Shadow Box

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Materials Needed

  • square shadow box
  • birch branches
  • two round potpourri pieces
  • snow-tex
  • paint brush or putty knife
  • glossy varnish
  • glamour dust
  • burlap
  • decoupage – Mod Podge matte finish
  • paint brush for decoupage application
  • X-acto knife
  • game piece tiles
  • E6000 craft glue
  • hot glue
  • pruning shears
  • yarn
  • tacky glue


1. Take Out The Shadow Box Insert

Open up your shadow box and take out the square insert. This is what you will be working on for your display. Set the backing aside for later use and remove the glass. I didn’t reuse the glass for my project since I had a little extra depth going on. It’s up to you whether you want glass covering your project or not. Just keep all of your pieces within the depth of your insert piece if the glass is important to you.

shadow box insert

2. Cut And Glue Birch Branches In Place

Pick out the branches that you want to use. Use some that are thinner than others and find some with offshoots to add an interesting set of “trees” to your display. Cut the bottoms nice and flat with a pruning shears. Glue them in place with E6000 craft glue. I used a combination of the E6000 glue and hot glue for immediate setting. If you don’t have birch branches you can use another type.

cut branches

3. Apply Snow Tex To Bottom

Once you have all of your branches in place, apply snow-tex to the bottom of the shadow box insert, with a paint brush or putty knife, and also up into the tree branches. Pick spots that snow would naturally gather. It takes a couple of hours for the snow-tex to dry.

apply snow tex

4. Paint Branches With Varnish And Glamour Dust

While you are waiting for the snow-tex to dry, mix your varnish and glamour dust together. Paint this onto the branches to give them that icy sparkle.

varnish and glamour dust

5. Cover Shadow Box Back With Burlap

Grab the shadow box back that you had previously set aside. Cut out a piece of burlap to fit over the inside of this back. Apply a layer of Mod Podge decoupage to the inside of the back cover. Lay your burlap on top of the decoupage and apply another coat of the Mod Podge over the burlap. Now set this aside to dry.

6. Decorate With Game Tiles

You can now decorate the front of your shadow box with game tiles. I used game tile letters from a vintage board game but you can also use scrabble letters or you can even buy letter tiles from a craft store. If you don’t want to use tiles, you could also stencil with paint. To adhere game tiles, just use a good tacky glue.

7. Make The Snowman

Now that your snow-tex is dry, you can start working on your snowman. I love to keep a bag of potpourri in my craft room just for using the pieces in different craft projects. In my stash, I found two somewhat round pieces that would be perfect to use for a snowman. I didn’t want to use perfectly round objects because real snowmen are never perfectly round. You could also use small styrofoam balls. Just press them between your fingers to give them a less uniform shape.

potpurri pieces for snowman

I glued these together and then to my shadow box insert with E6000 craft glue.  Once they were dry, they were ready to be coated with the snow-tex.  Again, I used a paint brush to apply the snow-tex to my snowman.  When the snow-tex was dry, I added a yarn scarf and some tiny branch eyes, mouth and buttons.  I used an X-acto knife to slice a small branch to get tiny pieces.  I also found another piece of potpourri that looked like a fallen, half rotted log.  This made a perfect addition to the floor of my display.  I of course added a little snow to the top of that too!

8. Reassemble Shadow Box

Finally, I put my insert back into the shadow box and closed it up by attaching the back. It is now ready for hanging or setting on a table.

snowman shadow box

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Creating rustic styling on a budget by giving new life to old things and using the beauty that is already found in nature. Read more about me.
  1. were do you get the letter with out the numbers on them. Other than the craft store.

    1. Laura,
      The letter tiles came from an antique board game called “Keyword Crossword Game”.

  2. Very cute!!
    Thanks for sharing at Show & Share!

  3. What a fun little shadow box. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I love how cute this is! Would you share it over at my Created for Christmas link party?

    Great work!

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