Lighted 3-D Shadowbox

Lighted 3-D Shadowbox

If you have a scroll saw, this is a fun project with endless creative possibilities. Combining three scroll-sawed panels into one shadowbox gives a wonderful sense of depth to the scene and an LED strip in the back gives the scene a sunset glow. If you are really ambitious, you could attach one side of the shadowbox with screws so you could create interchangeable scene panels.

I used 1/4″ (6mm) Baltic birch plywood for all the panels. I recommend using the best quality plywood you can find for this: Most hardware stores and home centers sell “handi-panels” or “project boards” in small sheets. These are usually Baltic birch or other high quality material.

Some of the materials I used:


I printed out three templates and attached them to the boards using spray adhesive. I centered the images on oversized boards which left an inch (25mm) border around all four sides.


I drilled holes in all the negative spaces for my scroll saw to enter, then cut everything out




The fourth panel is a solid board for the background. I painted it and then the rest of the scroll sawed panels.



To make the shadowbox, I used my dado blades to cut grooves along one side of a long strip of 3/4″ (18mm) plywood.


Then I tiled my table saw blade to 45 degrees and cut mitered ends on four pieces.


I painted the insides of the sides white to help reflect some of the light inside the box.


The box is glued together on the mitered ends. I left one side off so I could slide the three scene panels in place.


Then I glued on the fourth side.


After painting the box, I attached an LED strip to the back of the third image panel. The strips have an adhesive strip on one side.


Finally, I attached the back with two screws. I wanted this removable in case I ever needed to access the light strip for whatever reason.



The light strip I used works using my phone and a wireless receiver. It lets me adjust the color of the lighted background for different effects.





    • I would like the plans for the shadow box but I can’t find them. I click on Plans which takes me to a list of videos. Any ideas?

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