Spread Holiday Cheer with a DIY Frosted Christmas Shadow Box

I’m so bummed! It’s December, and there is no snow here in Minnesota. I know! It’s quite a shock to us as well. Although it is nice that the roads have been lovely, and I haven’t had to shovel. But it does not feel like Christmas without snow covered landscapes and frosted window panes. With the possibility of not getting a white Christmas, it’s even more important to make the inside my home festive and bright. I filled my faux tree with ornaments, but the rest of my home needs a bit more Christmas cheer. Inspired by the frost that should be on my windows, I created a frosted Christmas shadow box.

It reminds me of making “baby feet” with my hands on the car window. Glitter and glue makes the frosted effect: so melting isn’t a problem. Adding a string of lights inside the shadow box, gives off a warm holiday glow. You can make it completely your own with any word or simple clip art. The background can be whatever you want too.

All you need to make your own Christmas shadow box is:


  • Shadow box
  • Printout of a word or clip art
  • Scissors
  • Utility knife
  • Tracing paper
  • Contact paper
  • Glue
  • Fine glitter
  • White acrylic paint
  • Paint sponges and brushes
  • Light clips
  • String of Christmas lights

I used a small 10″ x 10″ shadow box. My walls are a little full with pictures right now. If you want to be really ambitious with multiple words then buy a big shadow box go for it! 😀

There are tons of great free fonts and clip art online for your downloading pleasure. I recommend not using a font or picture that is too intricate. You will be cutting it out of contact paper after all.

Speaking of which, start out by layering your print out, tracing paper, and contact paper. (Pictured below) You want the contact paper to be backing side up. Otherwise your design will be backwards.


Remember to press down hard as you tracing your design with a pen, pencil, or stylus. If you don’t, it will be difficult to see and cut out. (Like mine was 😛 ) Once you’ve successfully transferred your design, you can use either a scissors or utility knife to cut the design out of the contact paper.

Next open up your shadow box and clean the glass thoroughly. For this Christmas shadow box, the frosted effect is on the inside. If you do it on the outside, the glue may get scratched. Not to mention that glitter will shed everywhere.

To get the design right where you want it, flip your print out over, right side down, and place it beneath the shadow box. It’s difficult to see in the picture above, but it really helps keeps things where they are supposed to be.

Peel the backing and carefully place your design on the glass. Make sure to press down all the edges. It’s important for nice clean edges when you peel off the design at the end.

Now it’s time to glitter the glass.

Start at one corner and apply a layer of glue with a painting sponge. Then sprinkle on a generous amount of glitter. If you don’t get it completely covered that’s ok. As you work your way around the glass, the glue will dry. If you need to you can apply another coat of glitter and glue once it’s dry. You want the glass and design to be thoroughly covered in glue and glitter.

Let that dry for an hour or so before you add paint over it. While you are waiting, apply the clips for the string of lights all around the edge of the frame.


With a paint sponge or brush, dab white paint around the outside edges. Adding paint not only adds another layer of “frost” but also helps hide the cords of the Christmas lights. It looks like the design has been snowed in. 😀

Let the shadow box dry a little bit before you take off the design. Carefully lift one of the sides of the design with an utility knife and carefully peel off the contact paper. This is where a bulky design is really nice. If your design is too intricate, it made be difficult to peel off the paper without scratching the glitter around it.

Set the shadow box aside to dry overnight. If it’s not completely dry, the lights could scratch off the glitter and paint when you are putting them inside the shadow box. This advice comes from frustrating experience. 😛

While the rest of the shadow box is drying, you can get the back ready.


To get the back of the frame ready, you will need to make a hole for the cord to go through. In one of the bottom corners, cut a small 1/2″ square out of the backing and foam core. Now you won’t have a problem closing the back of the frame while it’s plugged in.

Then it’s time to dress up the back of the shadow box.


Many DIY shadow boxes have a foam core board with the wood backing. You can use fabric, pictures, or even wrapping paper like I used. You can simply glue the wrapping paper to the foam core.

Or you can apply a trick I learned when I worked in custom framing. Cut the wrapping paper larger than the foam core. Line up the bottom edge of the paper with the foam core. Then pin one of the sides with straight pins. Pull the paper taut over the board and pin down on the other side. This technique also works fantastic with fabric (which is what it is usually used for).

Once your glue and painted shadow box is completely dry, string your lights around the edge of the box. The clips will keep the cords right where you want them and out of sight.

Although I did use regular Christmas lights, I recommend using a string of LED lights. They are brighter, last longer, and don’t heat up.

Close up the back, plug it in, and enjoy: night or day. 😀


Isn’t it so pretty?! The frosted look carries the ambiance of the beautiful lights on my Christmas tree to other rooms of the home. The glitter sparkles even when it isn’t lit. A little bit of bling is never a bad thing.

This DIY is so versatile! Using a Christmas tree as your design, a family photo can be brilliantly featured in the background. You could even pin an ugly sweater to the foam core for the background. If you prefer the frosted effect without the lights, you could also use this technique on a normal picture frame. Just be sure that the glitter and glue is completely dry before you put the frame back together. There are so many possibilities. It just depends on the size of your imagination…and the size of your frame. 😀


Winter will probably be here before any of us realizes it. One place I do not like frosted windows is on my car. It’s such a pain to scrape off my windshield in the morning as I’m dashing off to work. That’s why the Frost Stop windshield cover is an essential for every car.

Frost Stop Windshield Cover at Heartland America

This windshield cover fits most cars, trucks, and SUVs. The elastic straps on either side hook over your mirrors to keep it in place and prevent it from blowing away. These make awesome stocking stuffers for all the drivers in your family. But supplies are limited so head over to Heartland America to get your today.

I hope you are staying warm and cozy as you decorate your home for the holidays. Whether you love winter wonderlands or just like the cozy indoors, we will be back next week for more Christmas fun. Until then remember you are always welcome at Home with Heartland.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge