I’m a fail at scrapbooking.  My aunt showed me the ropes of the scrapbooking world when I was younger, and I love the final products.  I’ve had some generous scrapbooking gifts from my friend at A Home with Walls and the scrapbooking / card-making queen at Paperie Lane, but I still fail at completing my own projects.  That’s why I fell in love with the idea of the shadow box displays!  It gives me a place to keep the random cards, ticket stubs, and small souvenirs I collect on a trip and puts them to decor use.

I saw some awesome DIY Travel Shadowbox inspirations on pinterest a few years ago.  There are many different looks out there, but I personally love the photo in text look.  Different tutorials recommended purchasing the text pdfs for $35 or having a personalized 12×12 created on Etsy for even more!  Thanks to some photoshop tutorials, I was able to photoshop it myself and print it from Costco.

The 12×12 print from Costco was $3.99  and the Shadow Box from Amazon is only $16.99 making this project a budget-friendly and expensive-looking keepsake.

I selected my favorite 10-15 photos from our vacation travel destinations – as well as the place we lives for 2 years together, Texas – and put them into one easy-access folder.  I had to play around with fitting them into letters and so some inevitably don’t get used.  Instead, I put them a few into the box itself for a nice 3d effect.

I opened up a new photoshop file. psdshadowbox

ams I then followed the directions over at Photoshop Essentials and completed their step-by-step guide: Placing Multiple Images In Text With Photoshop.  Their directions are extra thorough, and you actually don’t need to write each letter individually as it recommends.  You can just use one text and then put multiple layers for the photos.  I chose to do the international airport codes in large font and then the country/state name above.  You can also just do the city of your choice and state or country, but I highly recommend at least a few letters in large font.  You can also add images directly to the photo or small symbols / images if you like.




nica2After I completed it, I saved it as two separate files: a .psd file so I can quickly reedit for future shadowboxes and a .jpg file (after I flattened the layers) so I could print it.

I chose to print it at Costco, but I’m sure there are plenty of other places that print 12×12.  Make sure it is printed on Matte or Lustre paper; a “glossy” print will not look as nice for a shadow box on display.

Throw in some of your favorite souvenirs, money, ticket stubs, clip / glue for stability, and boom — you’re done!




Here are the final products:

Our proposal location definitely had to have a box of its own to display in our house.

Our proposal location definitely had to have a box of its own to display in our house.


I hope you enjoy your travel keepsakes!