Everyone has a few scraps of cardboard lying around, right? So, what better way to turn them into some cool, DIY photo gifts than a DIY shadow box frame? I’m thrilled to be partnering with Kodak to showcase how their instant photo printers can help you be prepared with meaningful gifts on short notice. Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links.
When it comes to gift giving, I always feel like you can’t go wrong with a photo. Obviously, I don’t like to just hand over a photo, so turning it into a beautiful DIY shadow box frame with this tutorial is the perfect touch.
The new generation of photo printers are easier to use than ever before. They make printing those single images you need super convenient and allow you to have photos exactly when you need them.
These printers allow you to get the convenience of instant cameras with any photo on your phone!
With these two printers, Kodak has committed themselves to the instant printing tradition – this is just the start!
The Kodak mini portable instant photo printer can be brought on the go, due to its super portable size and it’s rechargeable. Use this one for the mini 2.1 by 3.4 inch prints I used in my DIY shadow box frame.
I created the frame in a way that you can make it even more meaningful – add two photos or throw in a memory from a favorite trip.
It’s easy to connect the Kodak Mini to your Android or iOS phone via Wifi. I was so impressed with how effortless the initial setup was. The free app lets you choose what you want to print from your device or social media. You can literally get prints on the spot.
The Kodak Dock prints full-sized (4×6) photos in minutes. It is super easy to connect and to use, with one-touch printing. The built-in micro USB works with many Android phones, and you get a Lightning adapter for your iPhone.
It can connect via Wifi, or directly if you prefer it that way. It is compatible with most smartphones, iPads, digital cameras, and even USB drives. It’s also very compact and doesn’t take up much space on your desk. It’s easy to disconnect and stow in a drawer until you’re ready to use it again.
One of my favorite features of the Kodak Dock is that it charges your device when you use the dock to connect it! Isn’t that cool?
I used this one to create a full-sized frame. I made this one more of a thick frame, using a simpler technique but much more cardboard.
Your options for photo gifts using these two printers are unlimited!
The Kodak Photo Printer app allows you to add more fun – such as stickers and filters – as you’re about to print. You can even design cards with it, allowing you a last minute holiday card solution!
It’s nice to be able to come up with things on-the-spot and put together something meaningful. Whether it’s kids who want to collaborate on a gift for Grandma, or your tween who wants to give something unique to each of her three dozen friends, making a DIY shadow box frame is a fun, open-ended way to present a favorite memory.
What you need to make a DIY shadow box frame:
- Kodak Mini or Kodak Dock
- Corrugated cardboard boxes
- A pen
- A utility knife and/or scissors
- A ruler
- Hot glue gun and sticks (adults only)
- Glitter glue, paint, or whatever you want to decorate it with!
How to make a DIY shadow box frame:
1. Print the pictures you plan to use for reference.
2. Outline the size you want the inside of your DIY shadow box frame to be. I first traced the size of the photo and then added a centimeter. Cut it out. You’ll use this as the starting point for measuring all the parts of your DIY shadow box frame.
3. Create the parts as follows:
- Front: Measure a centimeter wider than the cutout you made in step 2 (or however thick you want the border of your frame to be.
- Back: measure the outline of the front without the cutout.
- Outer sides: Decide how deep you want your shadow box to be (1 cm works) and use that measurement for all the sides (outer and inner). For the outer sides, create a piece as long as each side of the outer rim of your shadow box back or front panel.
- Inner sides: Do the same using the length of the inner rim of your shadow box front.
4. Use a hot glue gun to assemble your DIY shadow box frame. Lay down your front panel so that the outside is facing down. Glue on one side at a time as pictured.
5. Glue on the back panel and remove all the hot glue strings.
Alternative: if you want something simpler, skip steps 3-5 and instead make the following:
- a back panel the total size of your frame
- A front panel/frame the size you want the front border of your shadow box to be.
- Repeat the front panel 2-3 times for depth
Then, stack them one on top of the other.
6. Decorate your frame however you’d like! This is a great way to get little kids involved – they can paint the DIY shadow box frame to add their personal touch. You can use washi tape, glitter glue, paint, stickers, craft gems, or whatever you’d like! Your foundation for creativity is there.
7. Glue on your instant photos, printed from your Kodak instant printers! Throw in a seashell from that visit to the beach, or your membership pass from that family trip… or just stick to a photo.
This DIY shadow box frame is a cool DIY gift that kids, teens, and grown-ups can all make their own! There’s nothing quite like a personalized DIY photo gift – it has so much meaning!
Create these as souvenirs from your favorite trip, as a holiday gift for a loved one, or even for yourself!
Who will you be making a DIY shadow box frame for? Comment below!