GM Crafts A4 Card Shadow Box Tutorial and FREE Cut Files For all Machines.


Hello there!

This week’s tutorial is for a multi layered Shadow Box. Of course, this design isn’t limited to shadowboxes and could be made into a card, even just the top layer could be added to create a card with a sentiment of your own choice.  It would work on any form of project, including using the front layer as a T-shirt design with HTV, just adapt the process to the medium you plan to use it on and be sure to check our application guides as appropriate.

Get crafting this fun design for loved ones, friends, and family. You could even do a matching shadow box, T-shirt and Gift bag with the design to really impress your friends or family! This Tutorial is also suited for the Silhouette Cameo and portrait range, Cricut Maker, Explore and Air 2, Please be aware if resized for the Joy it may be too small detail to cut properly. This also will cut perfectly on the Brother scan n cut, Please see further down for the free files, and for Silhouette and Brother machines instructions after the tutorial.  Please bare in mind the cut and mat settings will need to be adjusted as appropriate for the machine – see our settings guide here 

We would love to see what you make!  Have you found our You Tube channel yet? The video showing this and all of our other tutorials are  available on there, as well as exclusive demos, inspiration and more!  Join us on Facebook , Instagram or Tiktok or  send us an email to [email protected] we would love to hear from you!

***watch this being made here***

What you’ll need:

  • Cricut machine Available  here Or Silhouette Cameo 4. Available here 
  • A4 Gemstone Glitter Self adhesive Vinyl. Available here
  • A4 Satin card. Available here
  • A4 Linen card. Available here
  • A4 Glitter card . Available here
  • A4 Pack or roll of Transfer Adhesive Available here
  • Reusable Application tape. Available here.
  • LED weeding pad. Available here.
  • Squeegee. Available here
  • Weeding tweezers . Available here
  • Red Double sided adhesive tape. Available here
  • Rubbing alcohol and lint free cloth here
  • Scissors,  Box frame and lights from your own stash
  • Cut files, which are free below! Including, Cricut, Silhouette and Brother cut files.

Shadow Box Cut files Click Here to Download For all Cutting Machines

shaow box what you need



1. Before you start you will need to download the cut files for your chosen machine, link above. Unzip the file to use it by right clicking it in your downloads.

2. Upload each PNG into the design space. Click “Upload Image” on the left-hand Design Panel, and navigate to the  files you want to open. Select ‘Insert image’ and select image type ‘simple’ when prompted.( Add 1 of each file see below). Next you’ll be asked to delete any space that does not get cut, you can skip this part by pressing ‘continue’. When asked if they’re print-then-cut images or just cut images, select cut images. Click save. When it has been uploaded, Insert the images onto the canvas and resize to suit your project, I Recolour each one differently, so I can cut the different Card, Vinyl etc for each layer, which means I don’t have to keep returning to the design page, see below, then click make it to move on to the next screen. On the next screen, If using the Cricut Maker 3 then you will need to choose to cut on the mat (unless using smart media)

shadow box layers snip cricut shadow box layers snip cricut. 2

3. Click continue in the bottom right on the next screen. In the next window make sure your settings are all set to the successful settings from your test cut and ensure your machine is linked before proceeding to cut. Cut settings: (**please test cut) Press the flashing Cricut symbol on your maker to cut, after loading the sheet into the machine. Apply the settings needed for your chosen Vinyl, we made it with our GM A4 linen, gloss card and Glitter card on the maker 3, and used the Heavy Card stock  on setting on the Cricut maker 3 with Default pressure. And Heavy watercolour setting with more pressure for the glitter card. Lastly for the final front layer we used Gemstone Glitter Vinyl—- Cut setting –  Premium Vinyl Frosted Glitter ,  Pressure setting- Default .

**A reminder that these settings, including the blade setting, are specific to the materials and machine we’re using, adjustments may be necessary if using different materials and machine**

We always recommend before proceeding, you test cut your materials when first using so if you have not recently used this product in your machine. Please test cut for your chosen machine found on our Application guide, and also Blog.  Load the Vinyl chosen individually for each layer.

cricut settings card for shadow box

4.  Place the Card for the First layer you are cutting on the mat. Press the up arrow to load the mat, and press the flashing light to proceed to cut on the machine. Repeat this step for all the layers, ensuring to use the correct cut settings for each material.

5. Gently peel the card off the mat once cut, be careful not to damage the fine details, use your tweezers and peel the mat away from the back as you go. Use your squeegee to remove the waste from the mat as shown below. Poke out any bits from the cut scene with your tweezer tips once lifted. BBD529BD-6759-46BE-BB52-93B8EA44098F_1_201_a 7DF85AA0-2517-4538-9093-990F07A1FF7F_1_201_a 42745F0D-56AA-480C-B25C-E4DF3D7F0903_1_201_a 2DE5B40D-D262-426C-9E5B-133573E9077D_1_201_a

6. Cut the Gemstone Vinyl top layer. Trim once cut with scissors any area not cut, see below. Ensure you have the correct cut settings.

7. Take the rubbing alcohol, and lint free cloth, clean the glass area back and front of the frame, and also use on your fingers, to remove any natural skin oil, to prevent you contaminating the glass during application.

8.  Whilst the glass dries, Switch on your LED weeding pad, proceed to trim the excess uncut areas away from the Self Adhesive vinyl, before proceeding to weed all the unwanted vinyl surrounding material.

9. Once weeded, Take some of the Transfer Application tape, lay it on the table Sticky side face up. Place the sheet with the design onto the sticky side, with the design face down onto the sticky side. Rub the back of the vinyl carrier with your squeegee as shown, then trim with scissors.

 10. Take your Glass front from the frame, and the square vinyl layer, peel away the vinyl backing, we lay it on the glass upside down so it doesn’t stick to be sure we are happy with the size, before turning it over, then pop your squeegee on the glass to help line it up, which prevents it sticking until ready, then carefully roll the App tape back and run the squeegee firmly over the back of the vinyl to apply, and get rid of any air bubbles. Once you are happy roll the application tape backwards as you remove to stop it lifting the vinyl, as shown below.

11. Place the Glass with the vinyl on the outside into the frame, so the glitter vinyl is now on the front.

12. Taking your red liner tape, and the LED lights, with your scissors, start to place the lights inside the front edge of the frame, secure in place with the red tape, and remove the tape backing to make it invisible once applied.

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13. Take the Frame cut to stick to the back of the first layer, which will create a gap ready for the next one. The frame will stick to the tape, once you have removed the red backing of the tape in place, and secure the frame, hiding the wires. Next Place the green cut scene behind this frame, before placing the wooden surround back in from your box frame, see below, if your frame doesn’t have this box frame square wood insert, you can repeatedly fold tightly a piece of card back and forth to create a gap between this and the next layer.

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14. Once you have the box frame back in place (or folded card as per the above instructions) you can go around again with the lights and red tape. See below. We added an extra part of the lights into the back of the tree and secured again with red tape.

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15. Once you have the green layer tree in, and the lights wound around the edge of the frame, take the green Gloss card layer, with your red tape, and apply it to the back board as shown below, before again winding the lights around it, using red tape to secure, once you have done this, ensuring the wire is ready to hang out of the frame, you can take the red cover off the tape and apply the last white cut layer on top, as the lights wires will hold it proud of the background, and the red tape will secure it, turn it over and place in your frame. See Below.

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16. Lastly close the frame from behind, if you want to use the battery pack as a stand, or to hide it you can use your red tape to stick it to the back of your frame. If the metal clips on the frame are tight to close, save your fingers and use your squeegee to bend them over.

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We hope you enjoyed this weeks Blog, and remember to click the link at the top to watch this being made. Don’t forget your finished design can be matched by using any material cut using a cutting file, card, self adhesive vinyl or even HTV. We’d love to see your makes on our social media pages! Or email them in!


Silhouette Cut File (download above)


Before you start, you need to download the cut file,  Upload the cut file into Silhouette Studio and resize as necessary,  (when resizing bring all  layers into the design software and select all  at once to get the correct offset layers and save the adjusted file, so you can cut layers individually at that correct scale you have chosen) Remember to test cut if necessary and cut settings are found here along with test cut guidelines for every machine.

Brother Cut File

To import these files into the Brother Canvas Workspace:

After downloading, please log in as usual to your design space account, open a new project mat, then left click on the SVG  icon in the top left bar in canvas, this will then allow you to import your files. Once you left click this icon, a pop up box appears with you to choose where to import file  from, choose to import the file from your downloads list or where you have chosen to save when unzipped.

Cut settings are found here

Just incase you need the link CanvasWorkspace