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Cricut Tutorial: Sliding Shadow Box Card

By Amanda Chittenden on August 22, 2020
A Sliding Shadow Box Card? Today's Cricut tutorial is this sliding shadow box card from Lori Whitlock.  I don't know about you, but I'd never seen anything like it (and I troll A LOT of craft sites!).   I made this card design for a dear friend's birthday and was so impressed with the design and, […]

A Sliding Shadow Box Card?

Today's Cricut tutorial is this sliding shadow box card from Lori Whitlock.  I don't know about you, but I'd never seen anything like it (and I troll A LOT of craft sites!).   I made this card design for a dear friend's birthday and was so impressed with the design and, frankly, the ease at which it came together.

The original card design by Lori Whitlock is an "I love you" card, and I changed it into a custom birthday greeting, so I'll show you how to do that too!  The card is so much fun.  You slide the sides out, and out pops the box card in the back!  

The card design is a 5 by 7 card, but you'll see in the tutorial that I took it down just a notch to make sure it would fit in the envelope since I knew it would be poofy.

Bonus Content...Custom Printed Ribbon!

I also used this card as an opportunity to create a custom ribbon with my PTouch ribbon printer.  It's a tool that is super cool (like a label maker, but instead of printing on label, it prints on ribbon!)  

If you want to see that, it's in action on the YouTube video link at the bottom of this post.  I make the ribbon at the very end.

But isn't it cute?  I just thought this card was so boing-y that it could use a mechanism to keep is collapsed!

Ribbon printed with Brother PTouch ribbon printer
Card closed with custom ribbon

Get the File, and Get it Into Design Space

To avoid sounding like a broken record, I'm going to direct you to a video I have that is dedicated to getting Lori Whitlock's files out of her shop and into Design Space.  The process works for many third party SVG designers, but since this happens to be Lori's design too, it seems fitting...

The video link is here if you need it:

If you don't need that help, skip ahead to the next steps!

Adjust the File, and Make Any Customizations You Might Want

As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, this was an I Love You card and I needed a birthday card.  Quick fix!

Select text to replace

Select the text you want to remove, and then select ungroup in the upper right.  This will allow you to delete the text.

Select the text tool on the left side, type in your new message, and then go to the top filter and filter on "writing". 

This will allow your Cricut to draw your new message for you. šŸ™‚

Scale down your text to the right size, and move it into position on your tab.  Move all of the embellishments out of your way so you can select the text and the tab together.   Once you have them selected, click on attach in the lower right to attach the text there so when it writes, it will write right where you want it.  That's a lot of rights.  Right? 

Change Your Cut Lines to Score Lines

As with most third party SVG files, you need to fix the lines in the file that pull into Cricut Design Space as cut marks instead of score marks.

If you look at the image below, you can see the panels that will need to be folded, but on the right side when you select them you can see that they are listed as "cut".

This is a simple fix, you just need to catch them!

Select each one and go to the upper left to the dropdown menu and select "score" instead.

If this instruction doesn't make much sense to you, skip ahead to the video tutorial link and give it a peek.  I take you step by step through this and you'll get to see each of the things you need to change.

Once you have changed your cut lines to score lines, make sure to select the scores and the paper piece and attach them.  I forget this step ALL THE TIME and don't realize it until I go to cut it out and have score marks floating by themselves on my mat.

There's another spot that needs attention, it's on this page with the leaf and scroll design.  You can see the little score marks on the sides of the frame...those were cuts too, so make sure you change those!

Cut Out Your Pieces and Let's Assemble!

Pick out your papers and cut out the pieces with your Cricut.  I suggest using a thick cardstock for the base of the card (which is everything white in the file).  I think the base needs to be sturdy because there are so many moving pieces and inserts in this card. 

My favorite sturdy white cardstock is from Amazon (and has a pretty metallic sheen to it) and worked really well for this project.

Whimsical garden Cricut paper

I used a Cricut patterned paper called Whimsical Garden

And didn't the text we created turn out nicely?  I used the set of Cricut pens that I got in the Very Berry color.  I think it coordinated well with the accent berry in the Whimsical Garden pattern.

Cricut pen set

Fold The Base Card Pieces

To make the sliding box card you need a few moving pieces, but the number of pieces is actually manageable!  

I started with the frame piece (front piece) of the shadow box.  It folds on those fancy new score lines you made earlier, and then the little tabs fold down for you to attach it to the back.  You're making a little frame with open sides...

Shadow Box Card Side Panels

The side pieces line up with the slats forming a triangle...largest in the middle and smallest at the end, like so:

You fold the right size panel into a Z shape.

And the left side panel into what I think looks like a swan... (but it's also a backward Z) šŸ™‚

Attach Side Panels to Center Piece

Finally, I linked the 2 sides together with the base piece that looks like a square.

IT'S NOT A SQUARE.  It's a very slight rectangle, so just be careful when you put it down that it's the right direction.  If it's not, you'll have an overhang like this: 

Obviously, I also attached the blue side panels too.

Once you glue down the center piece, set it aside to dry.  These panels are going to move around a lot, so you want to make sure they're nice and secure.

While you are waiting, go ahead and decorate the inside bits!

Embellish the 3 Insert Pieces and Frame

This is the fun part, get creative!  As you can see, I chose to flip around some of the patterned paper and added some bling to the centers of the flowers.

Decorated insert panels

My favorite stick on embellishments are these little enamel dots from Doodlebug Designs.  They're called Sprinkles.  I use them in almost every card I make, even when I try not to.  When I first fell in love with them, I ordered them in every color I could find...and I've been working my way through that stash for about 3 years! šŸ™‚

Putting together the rest of the frame is a breeze too.  You'll want to make sure you put the border piece on first, and then add the leaf decoration, otherwise you'll cover it up!

Assemble All of the Pieces

This part looks complicated, but I promise it's not.  Start by putting one of the side panels into the side pocket of the frame you made.  

Flip the card over so you can see the back, it's easier.  The front of your frame will be down on your table.  Like this: 

Flip it back over, and slide one end of each of the inserts into their corresponding opening on the side of the shadow box.

I found it easiest to start with the back, the large one.  Then I worked my way to the front, all on the same side of the box card.

Then you match them up on the other side, and secure the other side piece of the card base into the frame pocket, just as you did on the first side. 

Final Touches and Video Tutorial Link

Okay, my friends.  Flip it back over and you'll see that you are 95% of the way finished! 

To open the card, you pull the light blue (in my case) tabs to the sides and the back of the shadow box card pops out like magic!

I kind of think it looks like they are entering a looks like some come in stage left and stage right.  Maybe that's just me.

Put the Back on Your Shadow Box Card!

Full disclosure.  I forgot this step at first.  I got to this point and opened and closed the card about a dozen times and felt like I was finished...and then I looked at my table and realized there were some extra pieces. šŸ™‚

Flip it over and put some glue or double-sided tape down on just the square (not square) part of the back.  You don't want adhesive anywhere else, or else your sliding mechanism won't work.

Finally, line up the back piece with the semi-circle cut outs on both sides, and you're done!

I shrunk the whole file down to about 6.8inches on the long side instead of 7 (you just use the "select all" button and grab a corner arrow to squish it a little).

I think this was the right choice, because even shrunken a bit, it was a tight fit!

Sliding Shadow Box Card Video Tutorial

If any part of this text tutorial was confusing, I encourage you to watch the video tutorial. You can watch me click the buttons and take it step by step if you like.  I won't be offended if you fast forward through the bits where I hem and haw over what colors of enamel dots to use in the centers of my flowers. šŸ˜‰

Materials used for this project are listed below.  Some links are affiliate links, and if you make a purchase through one of these links, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.  If you do, thank you in advance for your support of this blog.

 Lori Whitlock card design: Heavyweight pearl cardstock for card base: use this cardstock a lot, and particularly like it for placecards in addition to card bases.   Cricut Multi-pen pack: Patterned paper in Whimsical Garden: Explore Air: Access: cardstock: Designs Sprinkles: Ribbon Printer:  Links to favorite glue and Cricut supplies are on my blog resources page here:


Article written by Amanda Chittenden

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Iā€™m Amanda, and I put the AMANDA in A MANDAtory Activity (and I like a good bad pun). I run a blog, A Mandatory Activity, focused on baking and crafting for gatherings and gifts.

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