I’ve been getting into shadowboxes more and more lately, so creating a Halloween shadowbox design for Cricut, ScanNCut and Silhouette machines seemed like a great idea. I have to admit that I kinda love this one (if I do say so myself).
Adding lights to the dark images definitely adds to the spooky feel. But, you could easily make it without lights too. It’s really just as fun since I’ve included highlight layers to help separate all of the dark elements from each other, making them easy to see in the black on black design.
The video below shows you how to assemble the already cut shadowbox components but if you are interested in seeing the set up steps for this card in Cricut Design Space, Brother Canvas Workspace or Silhouette Studio, you can find those videos in my Resource Library. CLICK HERE to sign up for the password to access the FREE Resource Library. It’s new but growing all the time with tutorials, free SVG files coming soon and more!
Please check out the video tutorial below or scroll down for instructions with photos:
What Comes in the Witch Cat Shadowbox Design File?
The Witch Cat Shadowbox is a digital download of SVG, PNG, EPS, DXF and Studio3 design files for use with your Cricut, ScanNCut or Silhouette cutting machines. It comes in as an 8″ x 8″ design but could be sized up without any problems. The design comes in one zipped folder. Within that zipped folder you will find teh shadowbox design file in the various file formats.
The design does have some small and intricate elements, so sizing it down may cause some cutting problems. The cat’s pupils, whiskers and some of the fence posts may become too small or thin to cut if you go much smaller (less than 6″ x 6″ is not advised and even that may be too small). You can always draw in the pupils and whiskers and trim off any fence posts that don’t cut well, if you really want to go smaller.
I also encourage everyone to sign up for my FREE Resources Library to access the specific tutorials for Cricut Design Space, Brother Canvas Workspace and Silhouette Studio to get complete instructions on how to easily cut all of the components, including material settings where appropriate.
Tips for Assembling the Halloween Shadowbox
As mentioned above, you will have the choice of SVG, PNG, EPS, DXF or Studio 3 versions to use depending on the type of machine you’ve got.
Cricut and ScanNCut users should use the SVG. Silhouette users who have Designer Edition or higher of Silhouette Studio should also use the SVG. Those who have the basic free version of Silhouette Studio should use the Studio 3 file.
Although available, the DXG file will not have any groups or colors saved in it and that can make sorting the elements in this design time consuming. You may also have to resize the DXF file to fit an 8″ x 8″ size, since Silhouette Studio may resize the spread apart components to fit on the mat.
The design is made up of 5 framed layers, a tree with 2 layers, the cat with many layers, a highlight layer for the fence and a separate stars layer if you want to inlay a different color of card stock into the star openings in the sky layer. There is also a choice of how to construct the cat – a simpler silhouette version or a detailed pieced out version which I’ll get more into below. For this tutorial, I did not cut the solid yellow square for the base with my machine (I cut it out with a paper trimmer) and I didn’t cut the separate stars or cat silhouette layers.
For most if not all of the layers, I highly encourage you to use a lighter weight cardstock (eg a 65 lb. cardstock similar to Michael’s Recollections cardstock) because it is easier to cut these kinds of details out of a lighter cardstock. The more solid elements, basically the purple and black frames and the yellow square can be cut from heavier cardstock if you so desire.
I also suggest using a glue or wet adhesive when adhering the layers of the cat, tree and fence together. It can get tricky to line up the elements on their highlight layers since the highlights are a very skinny outset of the elements, so being able to move it around a bit as you go is important. Some of the cat elements are very small and delicate so being able to move them as you place them down may help also. Wet glue should allow you to do that.
Having a fine tip on your glue bottle will help with keeping the glue dots small.
I am also a big fan of the skinny tweezers as a placement tool for small elements so having one pf those on hand is a good idea.
You will also need some fairy light (if you want to add lights), black foam core strips or foam tape, an 8″ x 8″ shadowbox, and some velcro tabs (optional).
Put the Witch Cat Together
As I mentioned above, you have a choice for how complicated you want to make your with cat. The design file provides a black silhouette for the cat and a much more detailed version of the cat with lots of small elements
If you’re not a fan of paper piecing lots of small details on to an animal or character, I suggest you use the silhouette version. You don’t even have to add any details to it if you don’t want to – maybe just the hat. If the cat is facing the moon so you’re looking at its back, then you don’t need the details. Or, you could just add the eyes and the hat and nothing else for a very mysterious look.
If you want a more detailed version, you can cut all the elements out and layer them together. That’s what I did.
Obviously, it’s entirely up to you how much or how little you want to cut out. Make the cat how you want him/her! It’s easiest to piece the cat together by using the highlight layer as a base and then gluing the body down to it. Then add the legs and feet (if using them), then the head and the details for the face (if using them), finally finishing with the hat.
Add Foam Core Strips to the Halloween Shadowbox Frame Layers
I cut a bunch of 8″ x 1/4″ and 7″ x 1/4″ strips of black foam core to add dimension between the frame layers. You could also use foam tape. Foam core is less expensive, hence why I used it, but it’s also a bit of a pain to cut. Use a utility knife and a straight edge and go slow (not shown in tutorial).
Make sure to place the foam core strips as close to the outer edges as possible since you will need a bit of space for the lights.
On the fence layer, you’ll need to the adhere highlight layer to it before gluing on the foam core strips. You do this by lining up the bottom and sides of the white highlight layer with the bottom and sides of the back of the fence layer and gluing in place.
Once the foam core strips are in place, set the layers aside to dry.
Prepare the Tree for the Halloween Shadowbox
Add glue to the back of the tree and adhere to its highlight layer.
Then add some foam strips to the back of it to give it lift and support from behind. You will need to cut some of the foam core strips down so they fit behind the branches without showing.
Once dry, you can check it on top of the stars layer for placement. The tree branches fit in the spaces between the stars on the left side of the sky. You can adhere the tree in place at this point if you like. Just make sure to check that it looks good with the fence layer in place too.
Now, add some foam strips to the back of the fence layer, on the hill below the fence line. Make sure to check where it will overlap the tree and avoid placing foam strips in that area (guess how I figured that out? Lol).
A quick head’s up that I will be presenting a really fun holiday card with removable ornament project during the Holiday Crafts 4 Cricut Makers event that runs October 12 – 15, 2022!
The event is FREE and is being hosted by Bette Daost of Bettes Makes
Over four days, 20 crafty Cricut experts will present fun holiday project tutorials that can be made with a Cricut. The classes are pre-recorded but will feature chats during the class showings as well as live Facebook chats afterwards with the presenters. You’ll see me on October 15!
The classes are available for FREE viewing for 24 hours after they are shown during the event OR you can purchase the All Access Pass that will give you access to all of the classes right away AND some great bonuses from the presenters. 3 Halloween and 3 Christmas Card designs will be the All Access Pass Bonus I am providing. All attendees will be able to download my holiday card with removable ornament presentation design file also.
MORE DETAILS ARE COMING SEPTEMBER 28, 2022
Adhere the Cat and Tree in the Halloween Shadowbox
If you haven’t already, now is the time to adhere the tree to the stars layer. Then place the fence layer on top with its foam strips in place. Next layer the purple windowsill layer and then the top black frame layer.
Now decide where you want to place the cat on the windowsill layer. Once decided, add foam core strip to the back of the cat’s body to provide support. Don’t place them too low or you won’t be able to adhere the cat to the windowsill.
Once the strips are dry, adhere the cat in place on the windowsill.
Add the Lights to the Halloween Shadowbox
I used a 7″ strip of LED fairy lights in my shadowbox. I started by adding them to the back of the star layer with scotch tape. I twisted the wire together whenever I needed to shorten the strand (it doesn’t hurt the lights). If possible, I would recommend using a stronger tape than scotch tape since over time, it will lose its stick.
To connect to the next layer, I ran the lights out the lower left corner of the stars layer (when looking at the back of the layer) in the space between the foam core strips.
On the next layer (the fence layer), I ran the lights from the lower left corner along the bottom of the fence but above the foam strips, Then I ran the lights back to the lower left corner and out to connect to the next layer.
For the windowsill layer (next layer), I ran the lights up and around the inside edge of the frame and then out the lower right corner to complete the lights.
Assemble Your Halloween Shadowbox
Now it’s time to assemble the shadowbox. Grab your shadowbox, remove the back panel and anything else so you have just the box frame with the glass in place on the front.
First, add the black frame layer into the shadowbox followed by the other layers. This can get a bit tricky since the center layers are all connected together by the lights. I suggest making sure any metal strips that may be on the shadowbox to hold the back panel on are bent back out of the way so you can easily add the layers in (guess how I figured that out too – lol).
Finally, finish off the back with the yellow square making sure to run the light out of the right lower corner of the box (when looking at the back).
If necessary for the lights to easily run out of the frame, cut a small triangle off the lower right corner of the shadowbox frame back panel. I did this with a utility knife.
Then add a velcro tab to the back of the light switch and add the opposite tab to the back of the panel so you can place the light switch on the back panel itself.
Now, turn your shadowbox over and check out how cute it is!
Turn off your room lights and turn on the shadowbox lights to enjoy it that way too!
Enjoy and Happy Halloween!
Questions or Comments?
If you have any questions, please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you soon. Want to just tell me how much you loved this tutorial? Please leave me a comment below too – lol!
I would also appreciate any ideas you may have for topics to cover related to the software for Cricut (Design Space), Silhouette (Studio) or Brother ScanNCut machines (Canvas Workspace) and any suggestions you may have on projects to create with the Cricut Maker, Cricut Joy, Silhouette Cameo 4 or the Brother Scan N Cut DX. Please leave any requests you have in the comments. I appreciate you taking the time to visit and read my blog.
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Witch Cat Halloween Shadowbox SVG, PNG, EPS, DXF & Studio3 Files available for purchase here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/BlackSheep303
Use Coupon Code WITCHCAT303 to receive 50% off the design through October 9, 2022