3-D Orchid Shadow Box

Project Description: 

This shadow box is composed of 6 cutting files with added flower petals assembled to create a double shadow box depicting an exotic orchid plant. It is designed to use 8.5 x 11" card stock but by combining two shadow boxes together, a large wall piece is created. Each of the two shadow boxes is made of three layers. All cutting files are included in the download.

I have completed this file in two sytles, one all in white because I just love the elegance of the plain white shadow box, but also once with the flower centers colored. Both are stunning and you get to decide which you like best.

I am a new Silhouette Contributing Artist. Both my Silhouette files and this website are the beginning. 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

Tutorial assembled using Silhouette Software Release 2.7.18. This tutorial assumes you already know how to use the Silhouette and Silhouette software.

Supplies Needed:

  • Template from Silhouette On-Line Store here.
  • Glue dots 3/16" 
  • Silhouette Cameo
  • 6 sheets of 8.5" x 11" Card Stock - White
  • 1 sheet of 8.5" x 11" Card Stock - Orchid center color (optional)
  • Blue Tack Wall Adhesive (optional)

Steps for completing the 3-D Orchid Shadow Box project:

1. Download the cutting file for your Silhouette Cutting machine from the Silhouette Online Store here. All 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 5 parts has to be copied, pasted into a new Silhouette file and enlarged. Continue for more hints on doing this.

3. Enlarge and cut the files. Sizing is important.
  • The following technique will assist you in getting the inside frames sized correctly.
  • Copy the front frame (layer 1) from the original download and paste it into a new file. Enlarge to the size you want your final project to be. I found it worked well at about 8 inches. Notice the dotted line indicated by the black arrow below. This dotted line is key in correctly sizing layers 2 and 3.

  • Cut 2 frames of layer 1 in card stock. Cut settings will depend on your card stock thickness.
  • Select everything (EDIT MENU to SELECT ALL) for the layer 1 and change the ink color to blue. This step is optional but it helped me from getting confused. Below are the settings in Silhouette for changing color. Select the line tool and then choose a color.

  • Return to the original file download and copy layer 2.
  • Paste this copy ON TOP of the first file you just turned blue and resize it so the dotted square is slightly smaller. (This dotted square is the fold line when assembling the box.)

  • Notice how the large dotted fold square of the 2nd layer (red) is slightly smaller than the dotted square of the 1st layer (blue). You want to do the same. If you are using thicker card stock you will want more space here.
  • Note: I increased the thickness of the lines so this image would show well on your screen. You do NOT increase the line thickness. 
  • Once the size is appropriate, click on the back frame (blue in my sample) and delete it. You are left with the correctly sized middle layer (layer 2). 
  • Cut it out on your Silhouette.
  • Turn layer 2 blue.
  • Now copy and bring in layer 4 (note NOT 3). This is the middle layer for the bottom. 
  • It is exactly the same size as layer 2 - so adjust it to the correct size, delete the blue layer 2, and cut layer 4.
  • Turn layer 4 blue and bringing in layer 3.
  • Reduce it to be slightly smaller than layer 4. Use the dotted lines as your guide.
  • Delete layer 4 and cut layer 3.
  • Turn layer 3 blue.
  • Copy and bring in layer 5. Make it the same size as layer 3.
  • Cut layer 5.
  • If you want to have the orchid centers be a different color, copy and paste the petals out of layers 2 and 3 and paste them into a new layer, adjust their size and cut those from a fuchsia, magenta or purple color. Or even consider a little water color treatment.

4. Fold boxes.
  • Note each cut file has dotted lines. These are fold lines. 
  • Fold layers 1 and 2 BACK and fold layer 3 UP for upper top group (petals).
  • Fold layers 1 and 4 BACK and fold layer 5 UP for the lower group (stems).
  • Note: The shadow box is stronger if some of the inserts are reversed. If you fold according to the above plans, this will happen.
  • Note: The top right corner of each file is cut off to help you in orienting the cuttings.

5. Score large leaves in layer 4.

  • I used a folding tool to put a score line into the middle of the leaf to add definition. This step is optional.

6. Glue Corners of all 6 boxes.
  • I like to use Glue Dots on the corners although other glue types are appropriate. 
  • It is important to make square corners.
7. Shape and add the additional petals to Layers 2 and 3.

  • Each flower is made up of 3 levels. Level one is a trilogy of petals already cut in the box files. Level two is the double winged piece which get added. The center is the third layer, the oddly shaped piece in the flower cutting.

Here are the petal parts from the cutting:

  • Take the double winded shape and curl it back. I curled it over a Sharpie Marker.

  • Glue the largest of these onto the center of the largest petal trilogy. 
  • Do the same for each additional flower.

  • Now shape and add the centers. These can be white or colored.
  • I am using a face analogy as I describe how to curl the center.
  • The long "nose" pointed up gets curled down.
  • The two "ears" get curled up and in to nestle around the "nose".
  • The "chin" gets curled up with its "Whiskers" getting curled back.

  • The center is glued into the center of the flower on top of the double petal glued there in the previous step.
  • Notice above that I had to clip the petal of one flower so it would fit inside the frame. 

6. Assemble all three frames.
  • They will nest together.
  • The back layer (5) slides into the middle layer (4) forming the box. Secure with glue dots.

  • Slide the frame (layer 1) over the box made by 4 and 5 and secure with glue dots. Layers 5 should rest back against the wall. There should be a space between layer 4 and the front frame.

  • Repeat with layers 1,2 and 3.

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.
  • Line the two frames up, one above the other, so the stems visually flow from one frame into the next.

© 2013 Marji Roy, Ashbee Design


  1. Lovely! I cant wait to make it. Thanks for the great instructions Marji

    1. Thanks! Enjoy making it and send photos when you are done!

  2. I purchased this to make for my daughter. I think now that this would make a wonderful gift for anyone. What a lovely wedding gift! Thank you for sharing the tutorial.

    1. You can make it as many times as you want! So, give it to all the brides you know. It is easy so enjoy!

  3. Wow. I love your work. Thanks so much for all you do. I just wanted to mention that you don't have to work as hard as you did in resizing all your objects. Once you get the right size, the dimensions are specified for you if you choose the ruler setting (maybe you need the designer edition for this on the Silhouette software?). At any rate, once you know what the "right" size is, for your resized object, when you are ready to resize the next layer so it matches the previoius layer, you just have to click on the layer and use your arrow to resize it to the known dimension. Another option is you can click on the layer and go to the "scale" window in the upper right hand corner and enter the dimensions you want to make that layer mannually. I know this is wordy, hope it isn't confusing and hope it helps. Thanks again.

  4. Thank you for this file, here is my creation according to my idea of moment, visible on www.legeckobleu.eu