DIY Animal Shadow Box

There’s nothing like a good DIY that adds the perfect finishing touch to the nursery, and we love coming up with projects that can grow with the child into the big kid room. We recently worked with a client who had fallen in love with the yellow and blue zebra crib sheet from Serena & Lily and wanted to use it as the inspiration for her nursery design. And with that, we decided to create a safari animal shadow box that we could hang over the crib with some other prints. It turned out to be so adorable, and you can make one too!

Zebra Crib Sheet from Serena & Lily

Materials: miniature safari toy animals, gold spray paint (or silver), 12″ x 12″ shadow box frame, hot glue gun, bright white mat board

DIY Safari Animal Shadow Box Supplies

The first thing we did was to stop at our local craft store to purchase one large sheet of bright white mat board to create a frame around the animals. We had the mat board cut into two pieces: one 12″ x 12″ piece to fit our shadow box and another 12″ x 12″ piece with an 11″ x 11″ window cut out of the middle of it.

We opened our package of animals and picked out our nine favorites. It’s important to make sure that the animals will lay flat on the board so that they’ll fit inside the shadow box. The elephant in our set had an ear that made it stick out a little too far, so we snipped it off—ouch! We then took the animals to a well-ventilated area and spray painted them gold in a couple of phases. First we sprayed the tops, and when they dried, we sprayed the undersides.

Once all of the animals were dry, we arranged them on our 12″ x 12″ mat board, staying inside the 11″ x 11″ frame. We made sure they all faced the same way with equal spacing around the edges, and once we liked the way they looked, we applied hot glue to the backs of the animals and attached them to the board.

DIY Safari Animal Shadow Box

We then reassembled the frame, and voilà! Adorable animal art!

DIY Safari Animal Shadow Box

We hung this safari animal shadow box as part of the gallery wall in a little boy’s room, but for a fun twist you could spray the animals in glitter gold for a little girl’s room. Have fun creating your own animal kingdom, and if you have extra animals and baked goodies that need a sweet finishing touch, check out Petite Party Studio’s DIY animal cupcake toppers!


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