This post is in partnership with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2018.All opinions and ideas on how to make a shadow box are my own. 

I am excited to show you how easy it is to turn your vacation souvenirs into a work of art.  A shadow box is a great way to display photographs and mementos to remember all those special memories, and Adobe Photoshop Elements makes it so easy!

shadow box with German memorabilia

ideas for shadow box


Travel Shadow Box Supplies

  • Photo – My photo was 8 1/2″ X 11″ in size
  • Computer
  • Photoshop Elements 2018 (download your free trial here)
  • Printer
  • Heavyweight copy paper
  • Souvenirs (photos, postcards, trinkets etc.)
  • 8 X 10 shadow box frame
  • Foam mounting circles, archival taper runner and or straight pins for attaching the items into the shadow box

shadow box supplies

How to Make a  Shadow Box

Use Adobe Photoshop Elements 2018, to create a keepsake memory box. In this quick video, I will show you how easy it is to transform a photograph into text.  Adobe Photoshop Elements 2018 offers many Guided Edits that provide step-by-step instructions to make it easy to give your photos amazing effects. It is easy to use the photo text guided edit to turn a photo into cool visual text. 

How to use the Photo Text Guided Edit in Adobe Photoshop Elements 2018

Choose the Guided mode at the top, then Fun Edits. Next, select Photo Text. The guided Photo Text edit allows you use a photo to fill a block of text.

Fun Edits Photoshop Text Edit

Open up a photo and select type tool in the right column. Type a word. Highlight the word to change the font size. I chose 200 pt. Click the green checkmark to confirm. In the right menu will see other edits that can be helpful in creating your photo text. You can choose if you want the font to fit or fill on the photo, choose a background, crop and also adjust the intensity of the bevel, drop shadow and stroke for the text.

adobe photoshop photo text

Position the word over the photo. This word can be moved anywhere on the page to display a desired area of the photograph.

photo text guided edit photoshop elements

Select file, then print in the menu across the top. On the right side of the screen elect 8 X 10 for the paper size. Drag the word to the top of the page.  This will allow plenty of room to display the memorabilia. adobe photoshop elements guided edits printing

Grab your photos, postcards and or small items to be displayed.  We lived overseas for five years. We knew that every place we visited our kids would want a souvenir. We decided to pick one item for each. For our son Bradley, we chose postcards. However, we did more than just buy a postcard.  We would write about what we did and mail it back to our home. When we started this he was one and we would write for him.  He is now 21 and I was thrilled to see a postcard delivered to our home recently after a trip. He had written about all that he and done! In those five years abroad we visited 21 different countries and countless towns. He now has the most amazing journal and it keeps growing!

Germany souvenirs postcards nutcracker

This memory shadow box is a great way for him to display his keepsakes! Arrange the items on the page of photo text.  Place this on top of the shadow box insert.  Typically this backing is padded so straight pins work well for fastening items.  Archival tape and foam mounting circles work well also.

shadow box ideas

A shadow box has an extra deep frame perfect for mounting 3-dimensional objects. The foam mounting circles work great for attaching items to the frame.

nutcracker in shadow box

Fasten the back into the frame.

travel shadow box

Now you have the perfect way to display those special mementos and remember good times and fun memories!

Vacation Shadow Box

I love how easy it is to edit my photos without tons of guesswork and training! Adobe has made it possible for me to easily edit like a pro and make cool stuff. Did you see my DIY Custom Watercolor Photo Canvas and DIY Fabric Paper Printed Notebook Cover?

You can try out Adobe Photoshop Elements 2018 for free. Download your free trial here.

About Cindy Hopper

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  1. So great to have a program for all your photos. Great to capture the amazing life adventures! Love it!

  2. I love fun ideas kids can make to remember things! I can’t wait to try this idea. Thanks.

  3. I have never made a shadow box, but after seeing this- I’m going to do it. Thanks for the inspiration and tips!!

  4. This is SUCH a cute idea! Totally making one for my vacation in Nantucket! Thanks for the great idea!

  5. My mom always made shadow boxes when I was younger, and it always seemed super hard, but this makes it look so much easier! I’m definitely making a few of these.

  6. This makes me want to decorate my office with boxes from all the places we have been! How fun!

  7. I love this! I think I need to do something like this after my recent trip to Alaska 🙂

  8. This looks so fun! Thanks for sharing! I can’t wait to plan a trip there soon!

  9. What a great way to display items you gathered on your travels. I could see devoting a whole wall to these shadow boxes.

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