make a nature shadowbox from a pizza box and old map

nature shadowbox from a pizza box and old map

Ever since we participated in our nature exchange, I have wanted to find a way to put the items on display. When Dawn and Annie introduced the exchange, they suggested making a shadowbox out with the objects we received. Today, using a pizza box and an old map, I found the time to put it all together.



Pizza box (ours was a “personal” pizza size—opened flat, it measured roughly 22 ½” x 10 ¼”)

Old map (size should be the dimensions of your box + 9 inches to each measurement; I cut my piece 31” x 18 ½”)


Glue Stick

Hot Glue Gun


Here’s what I did:


IMG_8518Lay the pizza box out flat and stabilize any corners or edges with tape as needed. Put any “walls” back together in a continuous line.

  1. IMG_8522Repair any holes, tears, or weak creases on your map with tape.
  2. IMG_8523
this drawing is not to scale; it's merely my attempt to help you visualize my written directions.
this drawing is not to scale; it’s merely my attempt to help you visualize my written directions.

Measure and mark the dimensions on the map for the size of paper you will need to cover the box.

     *I made a 31” x 18 ½” rectangle. This includes extra paper for covering the inside walls of the box and folding over to the outside walls to cover them as well. My walls were two inches high at their tallest point, so I added 2 inches for inside and 2 inches for outside on each side of the box, plus an extra inch for wiggle room, for a total of 9 inches added to both the width and length of the box. In retrospect, I would increase this to ten, as I forgot to take into account some added thickness on the top of some of the walls, and I did not have quite enough paper to cover all the way to the outside edge.

*If there are any specific parts of the map you want to show on your box, make sure that you measure and position your map accordingly.

*Our nature exchange package came from New Jersey, so I wanted that state to be part of the final result.

*I also marked lines where I would be folding the paper to fit it into the box on the interior creases and over the top of the wall edges (this second part turned out to be unnecessary).

Cut out the resulting squares where your marked foldlines intersect. For me, these were 4.5” squares.

Fold along all four lines that represent the interior crease of the box so that you can place your map, right side up inside the box. Check that the paper fits smoothly; the corners may be a little wonky; you might have to fiddle with them a bit.




When you’re sure everything fits as you would like, glue the map firmly to the bottom of the box.

Continue, gluing the map to the interior walls.

Then, fold up and over the top edge and glue to the outside walls of the box. Secure with tape as needed. A continuous edging of washi tape might be nice here.




Use hot glue to affix nature items and labels to the inside of your shadowbox.

Hang it on the wall for everyone to see!

4 thoughts on “make a nature shadowbox from a pizza box and old map

  1. Yay!!!!!!! Just saw your shadow box in the muds to meteors and I recognized my handwriting! FUnny! You did a great job. We have been wanting to get around to doing one with your treasures. This just really motivated me! We’ll do it this weekend 🙂 Hope all is well. -Leanne

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