Tag Archives | decoupage

How to Mod Podge a Travel Shadow Box!

[Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Plaid, the maker of Mod Podge, but all opinions expressed are my own. This website participates in the Amazon affiliate program.]

You take that vacation of a lifetime, take thousands of wonderful pictures, and then come back home to the real world. You dive into the hustle and bustle of real life, and those wonderful memories stay hidden away on your computer hard drive, only to be seen when they pop up randomly on your computer’s screen saver.

It happens to all of us, right?

In January, I got the opportunity to do something that I’ve dreamed of for decades – go to Paris! I’d longed to go back as an adult and truly appreciate it, having been when I was in grade school and lacked appreciation for the city’s art treasures and history. I came home from my two days in the city with several thousand pictures, and a determination that they would not waste away in dusty obscurity in the nether regions of my computer.

Part one of that process is creating a shadow box of my trip, with a few highlight photos from those two days. But for a trip this special, it couldn’t be just any shadow box. So, with some help from Mod Podge, I turned a plain white shadow box into a fabulous custom piece that lives up to my vision of housing memories from my trip.

Paris Shadowbox with Mod Podge

Supplies Needed:

This shadow box started with a simple – and very modern style – white shadow box that I purchased for less than $10 at a craft chain store. It was the perfect size for the project I had in mind with my Paris pictures, but far from the right style. But a little Mod Podge and artisan paper I purchased from etsy fixed that right up!

White Shadowbox

The shadow box has a soft fabric covered back in it that is designed to be used with thumb tacks or pins to attach photos and memorabilia. I opted not to use that and instead I cut a 9×9 piece of my craft paper to use as a background. I did this first thing when I started working on this project, to make sure that I could cut it from exactly the area of pattern of the paper that I wanted.

Before beginning to work on my travel shadow box project, I took apart the shadow box completely, the same as if I was putting new contents into it, and then also removed the glass. This meant that I could work without having to worry about breaking the glass, or smudging or gluing it.

The paper I used for this decoupage project, from etsy artisan artanlei is a very heavy paper, more like a heavy gift wrap than the tissue weight that is typically sold as decoupage paper. This weight to the paper is important to being able to easily fit the fit these relatively complex pieces for the frame – creases hold where you put them and the paper holds up well to being handled and marked with pencil for cut lines. Choose your paper carefully to ensure success (and fewer headaches) on a project like this!

Using a ruler, scissors, a pencil, and other tools, I dry fitted pieces to cover the four sides of the frame.(Notice how the pieces are holding the creases for the frame’s corners? Those nice creases made it super easy to fit the pieces once I starting gluing!) My pieces wrap from the front of the frame, around the side, and onto the back.

Paris Shadowbox Decoupage Paper

To glue down my paper pieces to my shadow box, I reached for most crafters’ go-to for decoupage: Mod Podge Matte. It goes on smooth, and it dries fast – but not so fast that I can’t adjust the placement of pieces as I put them on. And most importantly, it dries clear and matte, meaning that it wouldn’t leave behind tell-tale shiny spots from accidental glue smudges and smears on my paper.

Since there wasn’t enough time for my brushes to dry between cleanings in doing my gluing steps, I chose to use foam brushes for this instead of my much-loved Mod Podge Decoupage Brushes. (Note to self: Get more decoupage brushes!)

Mod Podge Matte

I glued down the pieces for the sides of my box first, by putting Mod Podge on the box surface and the paper surface. I pressed the paper into place, starting by lining up the edge of the paper along the edge on the front by the glass and smoothing it towards the first crease, bending around the corner to the sides of the box and then finally to the back edge.  To make sure that I got nice smooth adhesion, I used a brayer to roll the pieces as I pressed them on each surface.

Tip: Be sure to get your Mod Podge all the way to the edges of the paper so that you won’t have to go back and tack down edges later!

Notice how the corners of these pieces are square, even though the finished front will appear that the paper pieces have angled corners? By leaving the pieces square on the first pieces that I laid down, I didn’t have to worry about cutting two angled pieces for each corner and making them match perfectly. I could just lay the second, angled piece, over the first piece and it would create the illusion of beautifully mitred corners!

Paris Shadowbox in progress

Once the glue was dry on the first pieces that I had glued down, then I repeated the decoupage process with the pieces for the bottom and top of the shadowbox. See my nice “mitred” corner?

Notice the nice placement of that phrase along the top, and how on the sides the text is going the same direction as on the top and bottom? That’s no accident! I carefully chose the areas of the paper that I cut each piece from so that it would create the look that I wanted for my box. The “de la Republique francaise” – which translates to “of the French Republic” – seemed the perfect title for the top of my box! The positioning of the graphic elements in the bottom right corner of the box was also deliberate as well.

Paris Shadowbox in progress

Here’s a close-up look at how my corners look with the overlap that creates the mitred look.

Paris Shadowbox corner close-up

The paper extends onto the back of the shadowbox. I didn’t bother to mitre the corners on the backside. The extension of the paper to the rear of the box is simply to avoid rough or unmatched edges where the box will meet the wall. Instead, there is a nice fold, and the paper stops on the back.

Paris Shadowbox reverse

Once the box itself was done, then I turned to its contents. First I printed some of my photos from my trip as 2″ by 3″ photos, with a small border on them, and then adhered them to the background paper using Mod Podge Paper and the largest of the Mod Podge Decoupage Brushes.

Mod Podge Decoupage Brushes

Next, I wanted to embellish my box. There wasn’t a lot of room left to work with but the box needed a little something more than just my photos. I had a set of Graphic 45 Cityscapes stamps that have some small Paris themed designs in them, but how to make them dimensional? Mod Podge Podgeable Glass Domes to the rescue!

Mod Podge Podgeable Glass Domes

I stamped several of the Cityscapes 2 images on natural colored cardstock with waterproof ink that is almost exactly the same color as part of the design on my decoupage paper that I bought from etsy. Then I used some of the smaller decoupage brushes to paint Mod Podge onto the back of some of the glass domes and pressed them onto place on top of the stamped designs. Once the Mod Podge was dry, I used a craft knife to cut around the edges of the glass domes to remove them from rest of the paper, and glued them in place (with more Mod Podge, of course) on the shadowbox’s photo layout.

Mod Podge Podgeable Glass Dome
Mod Podge Podgeable Glass Domes

I still needed a few more embellishments, though. See that Eiffel Tower in the close-up above? I just knew that I had to include it in this shadow box – and it’s Mod Podge too! It’s made from the Mod Melts system of colored meltable sticks that can be used in a hot glue gun or better yet a Mod Melter to fill silicone molds to create custom embellishments. For my Paris shadowbox project, of course, I just had to use the metallic pack that contained gold Mod Melts! I used several different Mod Melts molds for my shadowbox, including the Travel and Royal Icons pictured below.

When my Mod Melts were done, I adhered them to my shadowbox by using my Mod Melter like a hot glue gun, so the glue matched the objects that I was adhering.

Mod Melts

For the last touch, I wanted to put the title “PARIS” on my box. I used wooden letters and painted them with the new FolkArt Brushed Metal paint in Brushed Gold. The paint’s color and texture almost perfectly matches the Mod Melts that I made, as well as coordinating nicely with some of the highlight tones in the paper that I used. Once they were dry I attached them to the front of the box with Mod Podge Matte.

Paris Shadowbox embellishments
Paris Shadowbox

The last step was to reassemble the box and put the backer in it. I just laid the sheet of paper on top of the fabric back of the shadow box and it held fine when reassembled.

And now, for some exciting news! Tomorrow is Mod Podge’s 50th birthday! And to celebrate, Plaid will be doing an entire day of live streams, projects and giveaways starting at 10am eastern! Don’t miss it!

Oh, and if you love Mod Podge…be sure to stop by Craft Critique tomorrow as well…hint, hint! [Update: It’s a Giveaway!!!]

National Mod Podge Day

Glitter And Shimmer Mod Podge

Reported by Erin Payne

Disclosure: This site is a participant in the affiliate program.

Since I was about eight, I have known about Mod Podge. My first introduction with it was using it to put tissue paper onto balloons, and then turning them into Jack-o-Lanterns. Since then, a lot has happened to Mod Podge. It comes in a whole bunch of different finishes…I had no idea! When I had the opportunity to review Shimmer Mod Podge and Glitter Mod Podge, I jumped at the chance.

Mod Podge is well known in the crafting world. It is an all-in-one glue, sealer, and finisher, and now it has an extra bonus of having shimmer and glitter in it!? Hello! Sign me up! You can use Mod Podge on so many surfaces, and it works well, and dries fast and evenly clear. It is non-toxic, and also comes off really easily with soap and water. Nice!

I started out my project with these basics. A large piece of wood; Folk Art Acrylic paint in Wicker White and metallic Inca Gold; a brayer and squeegee kit; and of course the Shimmer Mod Podge and Glitter Mod Podge in both silver and gold. You can buy any of these products easily on line, or at a local craft store. The shimmer and glitter Mod Podge are sold for $7.49 for a big 8 oz. bottle.

I decided to make a little sign to hang on my front stoop, so I needed something that would match my door. I went to may favorite line of scrapbook papers and found just the thing. A line from My Little Shoebox called “Lil’ Critter.”

The first thing I did was take my paper, and then push along the edge of the wood to make an impression on the paper. I had to do this before I could paint the sides of my wood.

I had picked out the Inca Gold paint, since it matched my papers perfectly. I put some on, but to my surprise it was so sheer, almost see through. Isn’t that a corker? No problem, I had a bottle of white, so I just went ahead and put a coat of that all around the edge of the wood first.

The wicker white acrylic paint went on perfectly. Very good consistency, easy to smoosh around and get into the little ridges in the wood. I decided to put on another coat, so I had to let it dry for one hour. I also got it on my fingers, but it is water-based, so it came off easily with soap and water.

The paint went on nice and smooth, and then dries with a nice little shine to it as well.

After the Wicker White was done drying, I then painted another coat of the Inca Gold paint over the white. It really looked good, and matched with my papers, so I wanted to use it. It went on great, with a little shimmer to it. Think putting shimmery sparkle over your nail polish base color to add a little flash. Yes! Looks perfect!

Now comes the hard part. Listen up, I admit it. I am kind of nervous to use the Mod Podge.

I read the directions over again, and I did exactly what it said.

Okay, so I have one bad thing to say right here. Don’t hate me.

This Mod Podge was sealed up tighter than Alcatraz. It was incredibly hard to rip off the little silver lining. First, I busted one of my nails…gosh dang it! Then, I thought about ripping it off with the edge of my teeth, but I am much too lady like for such behavior, so I took my best pair of Fiskar scissor’s and popped a hole in the darn thing! Such a shame, since I shoved my blade way down in there, and got Mod Podge on the shiny blades! Oh dear, had to run and wash those quick like a bunny.

Once I busted through the child and adult proof lid, I was on my way! I stirred it up with a straw, really well. The smell immediatly brought me back to Mrs. Harrie’s grade three class, were we made those Halloweenie pumpkin heads. Isn’t that funny how a smell can do that to ya? It smelled fine, nothing strong, or yucky. Just a nice crafty smell.

I dipped in my brush, and started coating the backside of my paper, which I had already cut. It went on nice and smooth, but it did make my paper start to curl a bit. This made me rush, for some reason, so I quickly painted the entire thing, and then flipped it over, and popped it onto the wood.

As I quickly was painting, I was noticing all the pretty flecks of gold in the Mod Podge. It was indeed shimmer Mod Podge.

In my haste, I neglected the edges of the paper. Then I just peeled up the sides a wee, tiny bit, and poked the tip of my brush under, and next thing, I was good to go again! Once I had the sides of the paper down on the wood, I started smoothing it out. I could tell right away, that fingers weren’t a good idea. I am sure that is why Plaid included the brayer, and the squeegee.

I quickly busted open this package of handiness to help flatten out my paper before it dried all wonky, and bumpy.

I used the black squeegee tool and smoothed out all the paper. It worked like a charm! Who knew decopaging was so fun and easy? I have to say I am a beginner for sure, and this was pretty simple, considering the hardest part was opening up the bottle.

After I had my first layer of paper smooth, I had to let it dry, so I set it aside for 15-20 minutes. I then cut out some large images from my scrapbooking paper. Really cute little hedgehogs, and some fruit trees.

After my main piece had dried, I painted the shimmer Mod Podge onto my hand cut pieces, and then placed them where I wanted them. I then re-painted the entire surface, giving the whole thing a second coat. Wow! It was really shimmery!

Again I had to let it all dry for another 15-20 minutes. This time I turned on the ceiling fan, to help it dry, and then I grabbed a nice, tall glass of lemonade. I put in 3 ice cubes. This was not included on the instructions, but I had been crafting pretty hard, so I think I deserved it.

Now I was ready to get into the Glitter Mod Podge. I had some really cute dark brown chipboard letters, so I thought they would be perfect. I noticed on the Hologram Gold Glitter Mod Podge, it said to use dark colors. I knew it was because it would help the glitter show up.

I went ahead and started painting each one of them. Yes indeed, glitter is in this stuff too! More chunky, bigger pieces than the shimmer. By now you know me though, the more glitter, the better. So I went ahead, and added a second coat, and really got it all over the letters!

See that? You can hardly see the glitter. I need more than that! There we go, the second coat, made the letters look just right. I just put them to the side to dry, I didn’t have to use the brayer or anything at all.

Then I went ahead and painted the little die-cut photo corners as well. I wanted to turn them into a little banner. I put on two coats of the glitter Mod Podge, and then set them aside.

Once the letters, and the corners were dry, I went ahead and adhered the corners with the shimmer Mod Podge. I loved how they turned out! The banner looks darling!

Now I am almost done. I had to go into my husbands tool box, and pull out the big guns. Cross your fingers, and say your prayers, lets hope I don’t staple my fingers to the wood! Eeek!

Phew! I made it! One staple on each side on the back of the wood, and I was super excited to see my creation!

Are you ready!? Check out this Mod Podge happiness!

Is that cute or what? I love how it looks! Super darling, ready to greet friends at the stoop, when they come knocking for a glass of tall, cool, ice-y lemonade!

Just a close up picture here, for you to see some of the small details.

Look at all the glittery goodness! I have loved working on this project, and think that it was really easy for a beginner like me.


  • Both the shimmer, and glitter Mod Podge are really affordable, and a little goes a heck of a long way. I have enough left to Mod Podge my way to Canada and back.
  • They are very easy to use, and have super simple instructions on the side of the bottle.
  • You can use them on all kinds of projects, and surfaces too. I was thinking they would both be super fun to use for Christmas, projects, or even some wedding projects.
  • They come in gold and silver.
  • Very kid friendly. I would let my kiddos use this- nothing harsh or dangerous about it, and the clean up was a breeze.


  • It is really hard to open the silver lining on the top of the bottle.

That is the only negative thing I have to tell you about. I love this stuff. If you need something crafty to do, run to the store and buy something wood and grab a bottle of this stuff. It is great!

Thank you so much for reading my review. I would love to hear what you think of Glitter Mod Podge and Shimmer Mod Podge!

Vendor Spotlight & GIVEAWAY: Plaid Mod Podge Professional Decoupage Tool Sets

Reported by Jen Geigley

Disclosure: This site is a participant in the affiliate program.

Everyone has heard of (and most likely used) Mod Podge by Plaid. But have you ever tried their decoupage tools? I chose four different projects to test out a Mod Podge brush set (which included a #8 flat brush, textile brush, glue brush and foam spouncer) and a professional decoupage tool set (which included a rubber brayer and squeegee).

Along with these tool sets, I used two kinds of Mod Podge: Gloss and Matte.

For my first project, I decided to cover a small ceramic pot with fabric using the brush tool set (using Matte Mod Podge).

I cut my fabric to fit the small pot I wanted to cover.

Then I applied a generous amount of Mod Podge onto my pot using the large brush from the tool set.

The fabric adhered very smoothly and nicely on my first try, and the air bubbles and creases were easily smoothed out with the rubber brayer.

Next I cut notches in the fabric overlapping the top of my pot.

I used more Mod Podge to adhere the fabric over the top edge.

I folded the fabric on the bottom until it was as flat and smooth as possible and then sealed it using the brush.

And finally, painted a coat of Matte Mod Podge over the entire fabric-covered pot to give it a stronger finish.

In no time, my project was dry and ready to go! And it turned out super cute!

Next up was a fabric covered Moleskine notebook!

I cut a piece of fabric to the size of my small notebook (so that the edges overlapped by about 1/4″).

I used the flat brush to apply a solid coat of Matte Mod Podge to the notebook cover.

Then I put my fabric on top and smoothed it with the brayer. (The brayer works like a charm on fabric! But the roller itself did get a little bit sticky, and stayed sticky, even after washing).

I let everything dry for about 15 minutes, and then trimmed off the excess fabric around the edges of the cover.

I could have left it as-is after the last step, but I chose to give my new fabric cover another coat of Matte for extra durability.

Another fast, successful project was complete!

My next project was re-finishing this wooden tray. I had saved a sheet of this Sassafras scrapbooking paper, thinking it might make a cool kids’ party or Halloween tray.

I painted the inner and outer edges using Plaid’s FolkArt acrylic paint and the #8 flat brush from the tool set.

This paint goes on super smooth and dries fast!

Next, I used a brush to apply a thin layer of the Gloss Mod Podge to the bottom of the tray.

And then I placed my trimmed piece of paper directly on top.

The brayer worked great to smooth out the air bubbles and provided smooth, even adhesion.

Next, I used the Mod Podge squeegee to clean up and smooth the corners, ensuring that my paper was stuck down to the surface right up to the very edge.

After letting everything dry for about a half an hour, I applied a coat of Gloss to the top of the paper. And then I applied two more coats to the entire tray.

My tray project is all done!

Last, but not least, I wanted to use some fabric, paint and trim to cover a boring cork board.

I started by painting the frame with two coats of Plaid’s FolkArt acrylic paint. After the paint dried, I sealed it with two coats of Gloss Mod Podge.

I chose fabric to cover the cork and ironed it before adhering.

Then I used Gloss Mod Podge and a brush to cover the entire cork surface.

Starting with one edge, I smoothed the fabric across the cork board, using the brayer as I went to get even coverage.

Again, the squeegee came in handy to press the fabric into the corners and edges.

Using the squeegee, I got the fabric stretched and stuck down to the whole board.

Then I went over the entire surface again with the brayer.

After the fabric had dried, I used a hot glue gun to apply some twill tape to hide the fabric edges along the frame.

And my fabric-covered cork board is complete!

One more look at these Mod Podge projects proves the versatility of this product and the variety of things that the tools help you accomplish with fantastic, professional results.


  • The variety of shapes/sizes of brushes included in the tool set was great for both painting and applying Mod Podge
  • Brushes washed clean
  • The brayer and squeegee are the perfect tools to use in any Mod Podge project and I can see myself using them on lots of projects in the future


  • The roller on the rubber brayer did get sticky after a couple of uses (even after washing) and I couldn’t quite get all of the Mod Podge off of it
  • Not sure I’d buy a whole set of brushes solely for Mod Podge purposes (since regular sponge brush applicators are so cheap) but the brushes worked great for painting as well as Mod Podging

Both Mod Podge tool sets are available for purchase at Wal-Mart, Michaels, Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts, Hobby Lobby and most other craft stores.


What do you love about Mod Podge? Do you think your Mod Podge projects would be easier and turn out better using these tool sets? We’d love to hear what you think!

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