Learn how to make a beautiful light up paper craft light box with a Cricut, cardstock and led lights. DIY decor for Christmas or anytime!
I thought I was done making new DIY Christmas decorations until I saw these beautiful light boxes pop up in some Facebook groups.
And I have to say, I’m in love! I’m a huge fan of anything that lights up and this wonderful home decor project didn’t disappoint!
These paper craft light boxes would make a truly unique birthday gift, wedding gift, or Christmas gift. You could definitely make your own unique design by adding a name in the design space software!
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Where to Find Light Box SVG Files
The first thing you’ll want to do is find a design You can find different cut files all over the internet, but one of my favorite places to find beautiful designs is on Creative Fabrica.
They have some great deals including:
These are the two designs I used for this post:
Find whichever scene you want for your light box, download the digital files to your computer and then upload them into Cricut Design Space.
Best Materials to Use for Paper Cut Light Box
These light boxes contain very detailed cuts that need to stand on their own. I recommend using a good white card stock that is 80 lbs.
I purchased a pack off Amazon that was nice and smooth. I’m sure you can also find some in local craft stores as well.
To give the desired effect of depth, you’ll need to add foam spacers in between each layer. The thickness of the foam and the number of layers of paper will affect how thick your end project is.
Creative Fabrica suggests using 5mm foam pieces. It’s hard to find double-sided foam tape that is thicker than 2mm, so I used a large foam board (22in x 28inch) and cut it into pieces.
It’s definitely a lot cheaper to use a foam core board too! I had left over pieces from when I made the larger than mat Disney characters.
Cut out a square of 7.5 inch by 7.5 inch for a 8×8 inch shadow box, then use an x-acto knife, utility knife, or true control knife to cut thin strips of the right length. (I go through this in the step by step directions below and the YouTube video!).
The beautiful layer glow is achieved by adding lights to the back piece of the paper cut outs. You can use different light sources depending on what you have on hand such as fairy lights or LED strip lights of white lights or different colors.
I prefer lights with a battery pack instead of a power cord so I can place the light box anywhere!
- Download the shadow box template from CreativeFabrica.
- Upload all of the artboards into Cricut Design Space. You will need to upload each layer separately. Click on Upload and then Browse and then find the file folder and upload one at a time.
- On a new canvas, add all of the layers by clicking on each one and then on Add to Canvas. The 8 layers of the light box will come in sized to fit a 8x8 inch shadow box. Do not change the size! Click Make It and then set the material setting to Medium Cardstock.
- Place a piece of white cardstock on a clean green Cricut cutting mat. I always use a brayer to make sure it's nice and stuck to the mat. When cutting intricate designs you want to make sure your fine point blade is new or sharp and you are using a clean sticky mat (this helps to get the most accurate cut). Load mat, when prompted and follow all on screen design space prompts to load and cut all 8 mats.
- When removing the piece of card stock from the mat, flip the Cricut mat over and peel the mat from the cardstock. This helps prevent the paper from rolling.
- Once all your mats are cut, arrange the layers in the order they were numbered in the file folder.
- I am using a foam board to raise my layers to give the appearance of depth. I used my TrueControl knife and cut small strips of 7.5x7.5 inch foam strips on a cutting mat.
- I started from the bottom of the layers. I added some double sided adhesive to a strip of foam and added it the backside of the 2nd to last layer. Repeat for the three other sides. You'll need to cut the foam strips a few cm shorter on two of the sides to fit.You don't want the foam strip to show through on any parts of the cut image.
- Add adhesive to the top of the four foam strips, flip the design over and line it up with the edges of the first layer. Place down and press around all four edges so it's adhered well.
- Repeat for each layer until you have all layers on top of each other. Turn the paper cut light box over and glue on a piece of regular copy paper that is 7.5 x 7.5 big. Insert into shadow box leaving the glass panel (this helps to prevent dust from getting in between the layers).
- Tape fairy lights to the copy paper on the backside.
- Since my shadow box wasn't deep enough for all the layers (oops!), I pushed the black tabs into the edge of the light box to hold it in place. Pretty in the light and the dark!
You could also make a shadow box holder out of heavy cardstock to hold all of the layers. You can purchase and download the cut file here.
If you are going to give the light-up shadow boxes as gifts, I would definitely find or build a box frame that fits all of the layers (2 inches deep or more) and then drill a small hole out of the bottom for the battery pack to stick out.
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I hope you have fun making these beautiful glowing light boxes with your Cricut machine. The festive Cricut light box definitely makes me smile this holiday season!
Thanks for stopping by and have a creative day!