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Beautiful Paper Cut Light Box DIY with a Cricut!

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!

cricut paper cut light box d

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links from Shareasale, Cricut, Awin, and Amazon.com. I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my links (purple text). As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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.

I have even teamed up with them to give you a 1 month trial of a premium subscription for only $1!! Then after that, you can keep the subscription active by paying $19/month (35% discount) or pay for a yearly subscription for $79.

During my month trial, I download a ton of light box cut files for all different holidays since I knew I would want to make more than one paper-cut light box.

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.

If you are going to make the shadow box surround out of cardstock as well, you might want to use 100lb cardstock for extra sturdiness!

paper cut light box tutorial

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!

Yield: 1 light box

Paper Cut Light Box DIY with a Cricut!

paper cut light box cricut nativity

Making a gorgeous intricate papercut lightbox is easier than you think! With a few craft supplies you can have a light up shadow box in no time.

Active Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Difficulty Easy
Estimated Cost $5

Tools

Instructions

  1. Download the shadow box template from CreativeFabrica.light box svg file
  2. 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.how to make cricut d light box
  3. 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.christmas papercraft lightbox
  4. 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 spacecricut papercut lightboxes prompts to load and cut all 8 mats.
  5. 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.cricut cardstock light box
  6. Once all your mats are cut, arrange the layers in the order they were numbered in the file folder.christmas cricut light box
  7. 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.cutting foam pieces for papercut lightbox
  8. 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.light boxYou don't want the foam strip to show through on any parts of the cut image.
  9. 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.diy d paper cut light boxlayered light box cricut
  10. 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.how to make paper cut light box Insert into shadow box leaving the glass panel (this helps to prevent dust from getting in between the layers).
  11. Tape fairy lights to the copy paper on the backside.light box paper cut
  12. 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.d paper shadow box Pretty in the light and the dark! d cricut light box paper cut

Notes

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.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Did you make this project?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

I hope you have fun making these beautiful glowing light boxes with your Cricut machine. They definitely make me smile this holiday season!

For more shadow box ideas, make sure to check out how to make a paper flower filled shadow box and partners in wine gift!

papercutlightbox pin

Thanks for stopping by and have a creative day!

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