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How to Assemble a 3D Layered Paper Shadow Box


Learn how to assemble a 3D layered paper shadow box with this easy, step-by-step tutorial!



You can find the 3D mountains svg design in the Multilayer SVG Design & Font Bundle:



Some 3D layered design files give suggested cardstock colors. You can experiment in your design software to view different color combinations.



Use at least 65 lb. weight cardstock to cut out your layers. You need to use a mid to heavyweight cardstock that is sturdy enough to support the design you'll be cutting. I used this 12x12 cardstock



Staying organized is the most challenging part of 3D layered shadow boxes because one project can have several layers. This 3D mountain svg design has 13 layers in all!



The 3D Mountain Layered File that we are using comes with each layer numbered.

If yours does not, consider marking the number of each layer as you cut them, so you'll remember where and what direction it goes.



Next, it's time for assembly. You'll want to use foam dimensional adhesive because it creates space between the layers and added dimension to the shadow box.  



Start by applying the foam adhesive to the back of the first layer.



After sticking down the foam dimensional, remove its paper backing to expose the other side of the adhesive. Then, align one edge of the next layer.



Gently lay each layer straight down onto the layer underneath it. Try not to pull or distort the cardstock as you lay it down.

This is why it's important that you use mid to heavyweight cardstock, which holds its shape nicely as you lay it down.



Make sure to apply foam adhesive around the edges of each layer. We used rolls of foam dimensional adhesive - just stick down the amount you need and trim it directly off the roll.



Continue this process until you have joined all the layers together. It should look like a thick stack.



Place the paper layers into a shadow box frame. Place the layered cardstock stack inside and replace the back of the frame. We removed the glass for our project.



And then it's all done!



You can find this 3d layered mountains paper cut file in the Multilayer SVG and Font Bundle.


Multilayer SVG Design & Font Bundle from So Fontsy



Watch the project timelapse video below:


PIN it for later:

how to assemble a 3d layered shadow box


Jo Ann bauer

- March 07, 2023

this was very helpful. I think I’ll try making one.

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