3-D Shadow Box Birch Tree Tutorial

2015 Note: This project is available in svg, pdf and dxf formats through my sister site at 3dcuts. com. here.

Project Description: 

This a wall art project made from 8 Silhouette files. The final assembled design is 4 separate shadow boxes mounted together to create the illusion of a pair of contemporary birch trees outside the window.

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 here.or from 3dcuts here.
  • Glue dots 3/16"
  • Silhouette Cameo
  • 8 sheets of 8.5" x 11" Card Stock 
  • Blue Tack Wall Adhesive (optional)

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

1. Download the cutting file for your Silhouette Cutting machine from the Silhouette Online Store here. All 8 of the patterns for this project are in one Silhouette download. They need to be separated and expanded. You will find some basic instructions included in the file. Below are some more detailed instructions with photographs.

2. Prepare the files:
The downloaded Silhouette file looks like this. Each of the 8 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 8.5 x 11" 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.
3. Cut all 4 back files.
  • Repeat the above step with all 4 back layers in the original download.
HINT: I pasted each box pattern over the previous one and expanded it to have the box frames match.  That is the easiest method of getting same sized boxes. Once they match, I deleted the previous frame and cut the new one. Everything comes out the same size!

  • Sizing note: You can make the shadow box smaller. Just make sure the top level is slightly larger than the back level.
3. Cut all 4 back files.
  • These are the cut settings I used with the card stock used on this project.

4. Re-size the front layer and cut.
The front layers need to be slightly bigger than the back layer so they will slide over them. 

Hint: Cut one front and back file in the two different sizes first to determine proper sizing before cutting all your files. The difference in size between the front and back layers will depend on the paper you choose. You want the front layer to slide over the back layer. 

Hint: Copy the first front layer and paste it over the last back layer that you cut. Expand it so the inner frames match. The outer frame will be much larger. In the sample below I have adjusted the original back layer to blue ink so you can better see it. The red is the front layer I just paste on top. I resized the front layer so the inside frames match. You can see that the outside red frame is much larger.
  • Once you have established a proper sizing for your paper choice, cut all four front files.

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 four frames.
  • The back layer slides into the front layer. 

  • The back layer is less deep than the front layer so when you slide it all they way in there will be a shadow space between the back layer and the wall.

  • Place glue dots between the layer frames to hold them all together.

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


  1. I know what I'm doing this week, I LOVE THIS (and your other files too). I hope you continue to offer these amazing sort of designs through Silhouette!

    1. Thanks Candi! That is my plan so stop by and check again. Hopefully my Fern shadow box will go live on Silhouette today! I appreciate the encouragement.

  2. just purchase 4 design:
    3-D Shadow Box Birch Tree

    3-D Apple Blossom Triptych

    3-D Five Fern Shadow Box

    3-D Bamboo Shadow Box
    love them so much love to get more ( hopefully the poppy, i love poppy)

    1. Haven't done a poppy yet but am working on an orchid. Thanks for taking the time to visit and comment. Send photos of your finished projects.

  3. Love this style. I would LOVE to see something like this with an ocean or sea shell theme. I've been looking for some kind of art for my bathroom that has sea shells in it. I think the birch might look good in my bedroom. Thanks again for sharing your talent.

    1. Ocean theme, hmmmm. I'll think on that. Right now I am working on an orchid.

  4. I just sent you an email raving on your designs! love Love Love!!!