3-D Tree Branch • Silhouette Tutorial

Project Description: 

This shadow box is a simply the notch of some tree branches It is design to have a birds nest, either real or paper, added to the notch to make a pretty spring wall art. Silhouette doesn't allow me to show it with the bird's nest in the online store but I can share the entire project with you here.

Tutorial assembled using Silhouette Software Release 2.7.18.


I am a new Silhouette Contributing Artist. Both my Silhouette files and this website are just the beginning. Template links will be updated once the file is live on Silhouette. Send along any suggestions, problems, ideas or photos as we learn to create together. I'd love to hear from you!  Marji Roy
eMail: ashbeedesignemail@gmail.com

Supplies Needed:

  • Template from Silhouette On-Line Store (Click here.)
  • Glue dots 3/16"
  • Silhouette Cameo
  • 3 sheets of 12" x 12" Card Stock 
  • Blue Tack Wall Adhesive (optional)
  • Birds Nest - use crumpled paper or a real one
  • Tiny eggs - Cadbury mini eggs work well!

Steps for completing the 3-D Tree Branch Shadow Box project:

1. Download the cutting file for your Silhouette Cutting machine from the Silhouette Online Store here. All 3 of the patterns for this project are in Silhouette download. They need to be separated and expanded.  Below are some detailed instructions with photographs.

2. Prepare the files:
The downloaded Silhouette file looks like this. Each of the 3 parts has to be copied, pasted into a new Silhouette file and enlarged.

  • Right click on the Front Top and COPY it ( or EDIT MENU to COPY).
  • Open a new Silhouette File by going to the FILE MENU and selecting NEW.
  • Go up to the EDIT MENU and select PASTE.
  • These patterns were designed to fit on a 12 x 12" sheet of card stock
  • Click and drag from the lower corner to expand the design. Hold the shift key down as you do this to keep the pattern square.
  • Repeat this step with all three layers in the original download.
  • Sizing note: You can make the shadow box smaller. Just make sure each level is slightly smaller than the level in front of it.
3. Cut all 3 files.
  • These are the cut settings I used with the 65 lb card stock used on this project.

4. Fold boxes.
  • Note each cut file has dotted lines. These are fold lines. 
  • Fold the back layer UP and the Front Layer BACK creasing the seams.

5. Glue Corners
  • I like to use Glue Dots on the corners although other glue types are appropriate. 
  • It is important to make square corners. 

6. Assemble all three frames.
  • The back layer slides into the front layer
  • The frame layer slides over both others from the front.

  • Place glue dots between the layer frames to hold them all together.
  • Here is the tree branch assembly with all three layers together:

7. Add embellishment.
  • Here I have placed a small found bird's nest into the main tree crotch. 
  • I added a few salt dough eggs. Directions here.

  • Or use crumpled paper basket filer.
  • I used hot glue and shaped the nest around a glob of hot glue.

Place the "nest" in the tree notch.
Add a few found robin egg shells.

7. Place on the wall.
  • I use Blu Tak or a similar product to attach to the walls with a material that doesn't damage the wall and is easy to re-position.

© 2013 Marji Roy, Ashbee Design

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