How to Frame Layered SVGs | Shadow Box Framing Tips (2023)

Design Space

How to Frame Layered SVGs | Shadow Box Framing Tips (1)

Do you struggle with how to frame Cricut papercraft projects?

How do you know what size to cut it to fit correctly in your frame? How big should you cut the background papers, and how to do you layer them?

This tutorial will show you how to perfectly size layered SVG files in Cricut Design Space to fit in the frame exactly as you want them to.

Discover my Number One hack for making sure that your design will fit perfectly every time without wasting any of your craft materials!

This is an episode of SVG School: How to customize SVG files in Cricut Design Space to make your own bespoke designs.

How to Frame Layered SVGs | Shadow Box Framing Tips (2)

Please note that some of the links included in this article are affiliate links, which means that if you click through and make a purchase I may receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). You can read my full disclosure at the bottom of the page.

How to frame papercraft projects

Watch the video below to see how to frame layered SVGs in a shadow box or photo frame. Keep scrolling for a written tutorial!

Note: This tutorial was recorded using Design Space v6.11.113. Later versions of Design Space may look different from the video/screenshots shown on this page.

Video Resources

Tips on how to frame craft projects

The first thing to do is to decide on which layered SVG to make for your shadow box. I have over 30 free layered SVGs available, including all of the designs shown below:

Choose your favourite design, download it and then Upload the SVG file into Cricut Design Space, then let’s get started on resizing it to fit our frame!

New to layered SVGs? Click to find out how to load them into Design Space

(Video) How to Frame Layered SVGS | Shadow Box Framing Tips [SVG School Ep 13]

Next, decide how you want to frame your project.

Do you want the background to be one single sheet of cardstock or patterned paper? Or, do you want to add several coordinating pieces to make a more detailed look to your shadow box background?

How to Frame Layered SVGs | Shadow Box Framing Tips (4)

Instructions for both methods are written below.

Method A: Single layer background

Step 1) Measure the shadow box

Get your chosen shadow box frame. Turn it over and peel up all the small tabs in order to remove the back frame. Remove the wooden spacer.

How to Frame Layered SVGs | Shadow Box Framing Tips (5)

Measure the spacer with a ruler from one edge to the other. This will be the size that you cut the background paper. My frame measures 8.5 inches square.

How to Frame Layered SVGs | Shadow Box Framing Tips (6)

Position your ruler across the middle of the spacer to work out what size to make the layered SVG. Remember that some of the space inside the frame will be obscured by the beveled edges of the front of the frame.

I’m going to make my fairy 6.5 inches in width.

How to Frame Layered SVGs | Shadow Box Framing Tips (7)

Step 2) Resize the design in Design Space

To resize the design, click on it to highlight it and then use the width and height boxes at the top of the screen.

How to Frame Layered SVGs | Shadow Box Framing Tips (8)

Now it’s time for my BEST tip for checking you have sized it correctly!!

Before cutting your design for the shadow box, make sure the size is exactly what you need by cutting the bottom layer from scrap material.

(Video) ✂️ Layered Paper Shadow Box Tutorial and Assembly Tips

Do this by hiding the other layers by clicking on the little “eye” icon next to each layer in the layers panel.

How to Frame Layered SVGs | Shadow Box Framing Tips (9)

Step 3) Cut the bottom layer

Once you only have the bottom layer remanining, click ‘Make It’. This is only a test cut, so don’t use your final materials!!

Use scrap card, or even a sheet of copy paper / printer paper to make sure you don’t waste any expensive materials.

How to Frame Layered SVGs | Shadow Box Framing Tips (10)

Cut this layer and see how it sits in the shadow box. If the size is not correct, you can try again without wasting anything.

How to Frame Layered SVGs | Shadow Box Framing Tips (11)

If the size is correct, “Finish” the test cut in Design Space and then then the other layers back on by clicking the “eye” again.

How to Frame Layered SVGs | Shadow Box Framing Tips (12)

When all the layers are showing, click “Make It” and follow the on-screen instructions to cut everything out with your Cricut.

Step 4) Frame the design

Stick your layered design together using the Assembly Guide that was included when you downloaded it.

I like to make up the layered design before choosing the background paper so that you can check all the colours work well together.

Cut a piece of card or patterned paper to the size of your shadow box space frame that we measured in Step 1 (mine was 8.5 inches). Check that it fits inside your shadow box.

When you’re sure of the fit, glue the layered design into the middle. Or, use blu-tack if you want the design to be easily removable in case you want to change the background in the future.

Clean the frame’s glass with an alcohol wipe or glasses cleaner, add the spacer inside the frame, place your background in the frame, add the backing and then close it all up.

(Video) How to create spacers and assemble a light up paper shadow box in a frame

And there you go – a beautiful, perfectly framed layered papercraft project!

How to Frame Layered SVGs | Shadow Box Framing Tips (13)

Method B: Layered background

Want to add a little bit of extra depth and detail to your background? Add some layers!

Step 1) Cut your background layers

Open up the frame and remove the spacer. Measure the spacer with a ruler from one edge to the other. This will be the size that you cut your largest piece of background paper.

How to Frame Layered SVGs | Shadow Box Framing Tips (14)

I like to use a heavily detailed or patterned paper for this layer as it will stand out behind the SVG design without being too distracting.

I happened to have a piece of ballet dancer patterned paper, which was perfect for the layered ballerina design.

Next, cut a smaller square in a bright or dark colour. Remember that some of the edges of the largest square of paper will be hidden by the edges of the front of the frame when it’s all put together, so make sure you make the inner squares small enough that you can still see a good amount of the pattern.

Cut one more piece of card, slightly smaller than the second square. I usually make mine 0.25 inches smaller. Use a white or pale-coloured card so that your layered design will stand out when it’s glued on top.

How to Frame Layered SVGs | Shadow Box Framing Tips (15)

Step 2) Resize the layered SVG design

Place the ruler on the background in order to decide the size of the SVG design layers that will go on top of it.

How to Frame Layered SVGs | Shadow Box Framing Tips (16)

Load the SVG design into Design Space and resize it using the width and height boxes at the top of the screen.

Step 3) Cut out the layered design

Follow all the steps from Method A to test-cut the bottom layer of the design. Again, if you’re not entirely used to sizing layers, use scrap paper or card for this test cut to make sure you are happy with the size before committing to the full cut.

How to Frame Layered SVGs | Shadow Box Framing Tips (17)

(Video) How to make Hexagon Shadow Boxes

Stick the layers of the ballerina together using the Assembly Guide included in your download folder.

Position it on top of the background layers but don’t stick it down yet – we’re just checking we’re happy with how it’s looking before committing to gluing things down.

I’m leaving some space at the bottom to add a child’s name to the personalize the frame.

How to Frame Layered SVGs | Shadow Box Framing Tips (18)

Step 4) Glue the background together

Use glue or double-sided sticky tape to attach the background layers together.

My favourite glue to use on papercraft projects is Collall All Purpose Glue.

It’s SO good because it doesn’t “warp” or bend the card stock as some glues do. You can use as much of it as you want, and the card stays perfect – and it dries perfectly clear too!

To make it even easier to apply glue to layered card projects, I highly recommend getting some of these needle tip applicator bottles to put the glue into.

How to Frame Layered SVGs | Shadow Box Framing Tips (19)

Step 5) Frame your layered design

Glue the layered design in place.

Add any extra embellishments such as name personalizations, toppers, flowers, gemstones, etc.

Let it all dry out for a few minutes and then insert it all in the shadow box.

How to Frame Layered SVGs | Shadow Box Framing Tips (20)

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial on how to perfectly size layered SVG files in Cricut Design Space to ensure they fit in your frame exactly as you want them to.

Want to uplevel your shadow box backgrounds?

For even more detailed backgrounds, check out this tutorial on how to design shadow box backgrounds.

(Video) Make a Personalized Mini Shadow Box of your Dog 🐕 [SVG School Ep 5]

How to Frame Layered SVGs | Shadow Box Framing Tips (21)

This is an episode of SVG School: How to customize SVG files in Cricut Design Space to make your own bespoke designs.

Happy crafting,
Sarah x


What do you put between layers in a shadow box? ›

Step 6: Put spacers between your cut layers.

It's essential that there be a little bit of space between your layers or you won't get the shadow effect. You can put space between layers by using something like 3D Zots, adhesive foam squares, weather stripping, or strips of foam core or sign board.

How many layers should a shadow box have? ›

It depends on the specific file you are cutting but most will have 4 box layers, 1 back ground piece and an optional hanger. Some designs might have accessories that get added as embellishments.

What kind of glue do you use for shadow box? ›

You can use craft glue or superglue. Mark the spot where you want the item to be then place some glue on this spot. Hold the item onto the backing for at least 10 seconds to make sure that it is firmly attached to the backing.

How thick should a shadow box be? ›

Usually, a frame that is 1 to 2" or deep can be used as an effective shadowbox. Just putting glass spacers under the glass to keep the glass off the art is really not a shadowbox. A shadowbox needs to have the box strips on the edge, in most cases, to qualify.

What paper do you use for shadow boxes? ›

It's important that you use 65 lb. cardstock — regular 20 or 24 lb. paper will be too light and see-through, and heavier 80 lb. cardstock won't let enough light in.

What is box framing? ›

box frame construction, also called cellular framing, or cross-wall construction, method of building with concrete in which individual cells, or rooms, are set horizontally and vertically together to create an overall structural frame.

What is a box frame for artwork? ›

A box frame is where a spacer (called a fillett) is placed between the glass and the work keeping the glass away from the surface.

What is the difference between a shadow box and a picture frame? ›

The options for shadowboxes far exceed basic framing because 3-D objects can be mixed with 2-D photographs or papers to create a dramatic visual result. The depth of the shadowbox also allows objects to be layered at different heights to create a dynamic arrangement within the frame.

What is shadow box frame? ›

A Shadow box is an enclosed, glass front picture frame that can hold and display items that have value or particular meaning for an individual.

Can I make my own shadow box frame? ›

To make a shadow box frame, cut out 4 pieces of wood to the dimensions you want your box to be, including the height, width, and depth. Nail the wood together, then use sandpaper to smooth any rough edges. Cut a thin piece of wood, like plywood, for the backing on the shadow box and nail or glue it into place.

What makes a shadow sharper? ›

We get big shadows if the object is much closer to the light source than it is to the wall where the shadow appears. We get sharp shadows if the light source is small compared to the other distances involved.

What is the difference between drop shadow and box shadow? ›

they achieve different things. but as an advantage with filter:drop-shadow you can generate shadow around irregular shapes or images, whereas box-shadows generates a rectangular shadow. as you can see , with drop-shadow the pseudo-element also has a shadow around it, whereas with box-shadow it does not.

How do you shadow a box with 3 sides? ›

The trick is to give the element with box-shadow and its previous sibling positioning, then give the previous sibling a background color and set it to have a higher z-index so that it's stacked on top of the element with box-shadow , in effect covering its top shadow.

How big should the flower be for a shadow box? ›

The inside board that needs to be covered with paper flowers is 8.5 x 8.5 inches. I tried a few different size flowers, but the one that ended up working best was a flower I sized to 6 inches across. The six-inch across image size ended up making a rolled rose about 1.6 to 1.75 inches wide.

How long should you shadow box? ›

How Long Should You Shadow Box For? If you are truly passionate about your fight, you should be shadowboxing for at least half an hour daily. As far as the duration of a general shadow boxing workout is concerned, it would be around 15 minutes. Then, execute it without taking any rest.

What do you use for the back of a shadow box? ›

Wood and woodworking materials: You will need a piece of plywood for the back of your shadowbox, and one 1x4 piece of wood to fashion the sides and shelves for your box.

What glue do picture framers use? ›

Polyvinyl Acetate (PVA)

For joining frame corners, liquid PVA wood glues are the most commonly used, including CornerWeld, Maxim, TiteBond, Elmer's, and other wood glues avail- able from framing distributors.

What glue is best for box? ›

What is the best glue for paper and cardboard? The best glue for adhering paper to cardboard is polyvinyl acetate (PVA) glue, also known as white glue.

Does a shadow box have to have glass? ›

How Shadow Boxes Work. A shadow box can be made of wood and has a glass-front so you can see the items that you'll store inside it. The glass is fixed into place so to store objects inside the box you'll unscrew the back. In the following steps, we'll show you how to cut down an old door and assemble this project.

Do you need a mirror to shadow box? ›

One of the best drills that a boxer can use for training is shadowboxing. You can't learn how to box without shadowboxing–and you can't learn how to shadowbox without a mirror. Using a mirror is the best way to perfect your form and boxing technique. It provides instant visual feedback on what needs to be corrected.

Can I use fairy lights in a shadow box? ›

For an easy installation of the fairy lights in the shadow box, simply wrap it around a frame made with foam board.

Can you put a cardstock in a frame? ›

First off, we'll need sturdy Kraft board for the frame pieces. For your front frame cover you can either use cardstock, kraftboard, or cardstock in different colors or textures like glitter!

How do I build a strong frame? ›

Assertiveness is the key to improving your frame. The more you understand and practice assertiveness, the stronger your frame will be. Assertiveness skills are the foundation of quality responses and drive frame control more than any other factor.

What are the 4 different types of framing? ›

Types of Framing. In general, there are four different types of elements you can use to create a frame within your shot and draw the viewer's attention: architectural, natural, geometric shapes, and light/shadow.

What are the 3 types of framing systems? ›

Modern wood framing essentially includes three types: balloon, platform and semi-balloon framing. With long lumber lengths, vertical load-bearing framing studs run continuously from foundation to roof.

What are the different types of framing? ›

Building framing is divided into two broad categories, heavy-frame construction (heavy framing) if the vertical supports are few and heavy such as in timber framing, pole building framing, or steel framing; or light-frame construction (light-framing) if the supports are more numerous and smaller, such as balloon, ...

Why do you need a box frame? ›

Boxsprings serve two basic, but important functions. Foundation – They provide a strong and stable foundation for your mattress. This helps increase the longevity of your mattress by reducing shock, wear, and tear. Increased Height – They elevate the mattress off the floor.

Do you need a box frame? ›

For many mattresses today, it's not necessary to use a box spring for support. Some mattresses, like memory foam and latex, could be best suited to a platform bed that uses wood slats to create a stable, flat surface.

What is the cardboard in photo frames called? ›

A matboard, also known as a mat, mount board or passe-partout, is designed to sit in between your image and picture frame. They are generally made of a cardboard-like material and can provide an aesthetic boost to your images through a range of colours.

Is a white or black picture frame better? ›

Black frames offer an elegant, formal look, while white frames tend to be more casual and eclectic in nature. Both black and white frames carry a modern feel and streamlined appearance. A black frame will highlight the darker features in your photo and act as a contrast to lighter ones.

What is a floating frame? ›

What is a float frame? A float frame, as the name implies, is designed in such a way that the artwork appears to float within the frame; it is not pressed behind a piece of glass. Because of this illusion, viewers of your artwork gain a sense of three-dimensional depth when viewing the piece.

Why is it good to shadow box? ›

Why should you Shadowbox? Shadowboxing helps you perfect your boxing form, increasing accuracy on the bag and in real-life fight scenarios. This is an extremely effective method for beginners when they are first entering boxing.

What is a Nix frame? ›

NIX Digital Photo Frames are crafted with premium high-resolution displays that can show your favorite photos and videos in vivid color. NIX frames are not Wi-Fi compatible, but they support plug-and-play from a USB device or an SD/SDHC memory card.

How much does it cost to build a shadow box? ›

Shadowbox Fencing Installation Cost

The average cost to have wooden shadowbox fence installed in your yard is around $33 per foot.

What material is used for shadow boxes? ›

How Shadow Boxes Work. A shadow box can be made of wood and has a glass-front so you can see the items that you'll store inside it. The glass is fixed into place so to store objects inside the box you'll unscrew the back.

What is the difference between shadow and box frame? ›

Box frames typically exist within particular frame dimensions and have an expected depth. Shadow box frames, as mentioned above, are a type of box frame, but with deeper dimensions so the shadow cast on the piece is increased.

What is the layering technique in art? ›

What Do You Mean by Layering? Layering in art means letting one application of paint dry before adding another. In some painting the layers are translucent, typically with watercolours but oils and acrylics can both be translucent, and so the layers beneath affect the colour of the outcome.

What is layered paper art called? ›

Three dimensional decoupage (sometimes also referred to simply as decoupage) is the art of creating a three-dimensional (3D) image by cutting out elements of varying sizes from a series of identical images and layering them on top of each other, usually with adhesive foam spacers between each layer to give the image ...

Where should a shadow box be placed? ›

Shadow boxes don't necessarily have to be mounted on the wall, although that's usually the case. You can also choose to display them on a shelf, on the fireplace mantel or on your desk.

How do you get sand to stick to a shadow box? ›

Take your hot glue gun and apply a thin line of glue along the bottom of the shadow box frame. This will help to keep the sand from escaping. Allow the glue to dry and add in the shells and the sand. Add in enough sand and shells to cover up the bottom of the picture to create the illusion of an ocean landscape.


1. Cotton Botanical & Float Framing Step by Step in Watercolor
(The Mind of Watercolor)
2. Assembling a cricut shadow box and talking about materials used ( lights, paper and foam spacers)
(دروبيز بالعربي)
3. Framing Needlepoint in a shadow box
(Jenya Rose)
4. How to Build a Shadowbox Frame
(Michael Alm)
5. Shadow box framing art with depth
(Frame It / Waban Gallery & Waban Photo)
6. Miniature Shadow Box | Cricut Mini Tutorial | Tiny Picture Frame | 1:12 & 1:6 Scale
(Itsy Bitsy Build)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Dr. Pierre Goyette

Last Updated: 03/09/2023

Views: 6422

Rating: 5 / 5 (50 voted)

Reviews: 89% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Dr. Pierre Goyette

Birthday: 1998-01-29

Address: Apt. 611 3357 Yong Plain, West Audra, IL 70053

Phone: +5819954278378

Job: Construction Director

Hobby: Embroidery, Creative writing, Shopping, Driving, Stand-up comedy, Coffee roasting, Scrapbooking

Introduction: My name is Dr. Pierre Goyette, I am a enchanting, powerful, jolly, rich, graceful, colorful, zany person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.