Fall Maple Leaves & Butterflies Shadowbox & Candle

By  Kathy Post  for  Safire Designs

sizes: shadow box, 8"x10"; candle, 3"x6"


  • Shadow box frame with light brown mat board, 8”x10”
  • Multi-colored candle, 3”x6”
  • Cardstock: white; rust; medium brown; leather texture; heavy-weight brown
  • White tissue paper
  • Barbara Trombley’s Elements Earth Textures (Art Glitter): Bark; Bran
  • Small crystal rhinestones, two
  • Silver heart charm
  • Red wire, 16-gauge
  • Rust raffia


  • Stamps (Safire Designs): Butterfly Wings 2 (#H2009); Mini Butterfly Wings (#D2081); Maple & Pine (#G2233)
  • Ink pads: black dye; VersaMark (Tsukineko)
  • Black embossing powder
  • Decorating chalks
  • Watercolor paints: WaterColors Cake Set (Loew Cornell); Pearl Ex Watercolor CD (Jacquard Products)
  • Diamond Glaze (Judi-Kins)
  • Stickles Glitter Glue (Ranger): Diamond; Copper; Gold; Yellow; Red; Black Diamond; Orange; Blue
  • Heat tool
  • Bone folder
  • Wire cutters
  • Large stipple brush
  • Toothpick
  • Waxed paper
  • Crayon
  • Adhesives: hi-temp hot glue gun; foam tape; Aleene’s Tacky Glue (Duncan)
  • Shadow Box Frame
  • 1. Use black ink to stamp three large butterflies on rust cardstock and three small butterflies on white. Stamp and emboss three maple leaf images on medium brown cardstock. Rough cut, as opposed to detail cut, around larger butterflies and one complete maple leaf scene.
  • 2. Completely cover back of each cut-out with thin layer of Tacky Glue and adhere to heavy-weight cardstock. Using bone folder on back side like a squeegee, burnish paper from center out toward edges until images lay completely flat and glue seals paper edges. Set aside to dry for five minutes.
  • 3. Using photos as a guide, watercolor all images and let dry. Complete maple scene should be more muted than other leaves will be. Highlight all images with assorted glitter glues. Dot leaves with Diamond Glaze for dew drop effect. Let dry completely.
  • 4. Detail cut around two whole large butterflies. Cut out upper wing/body portion only on third image. Cut away antennae from all images. Repeat for small butterflies. Detail cut around two large leaves and one smaller leaf, cutting away stems.
  • 5. Cut leather paper to fit back panel of frame. Crumple paper, and then smooth out. Completely cover back of paper with Tacky Glue, attach to back panel and gently squeegee with bone folder. Let dry.
  • 6. Place mat board over back panel to determine image placement. Using foam tape, adhere roughcut leaf scene to back panel. Place one large and one small leaf directly over scene and hot glue stem ends only to scene; glue remaining leaf near upper right corner of opening. Use fingers to curl opposite leaf ends out slightly; place small pieces of foam tape near stem end to add lift.
  • 7. Using Tacky Glue, adhere one whole large butterfly to back panel, near upper leaf. Bend second whole large butterfly in half and glue to first, sliding second butterfly up slightly so bottom wing edges of first are visible.
  • 8. Cut 5" wire length and bend in half. Curl ends into spirals for antennae. Fold partial large butterfly in half and hot glue over wire "V"; hold in place until glue sets. Glue wings to layered butterfly.
  • 9. Repeat Steps 7 and 8 for small butterfly, omitting wire antennae; glue to maple leaf scene. Use toothpick to apply dot of glue to each butterfly head; place rhinestone.
  • 10. Apply Tacky Glue to maple leaf scene edges and back panel in irregular squiggles and shapes; sprinkle with Elements Earth Textures. Attach charm with hot glue.
  • 11. Use VersaMark pad to stamp all three images randomly over mat board. Using chalks a shade lighter or darker than mat board, dust images with large brush. Apply thin lines of Gold and Copper glitter glues here and there; let dry. Mat board should be very "soft" so as not to detract from main scene.
  • 12. Assemble frame.
  • Candle
  • 1. Use black ink to stamp three maple leaf scenes, one large and one small butterfly on tissue paper. Repeat Shadow Box Frame Step 3, being careful not to over wet tissue or it will tear. Lift tissue occasionally to prevent it sticking to work surface; let dry. Apply glitter glue in similar shades to images; let dry. Cut out images.
  • 2. Cut three pieces of waxed paper to fit around center design area of candle with a few inches of overlap, leaving top and bottom edges uncovered.
  • 3. Place first image onto candle, smoothing out creases so it lays flat. Place a piece of waxed paper around candle, over image, and hold firmly by excess waxed paper at opposite side.
  • 4. Holding heat tool 4" to 6" from candle, begin heating image using quick, circular motions. Keep heat on image for only a few seconds at a time, moving tool as soon as one area of waxed paper turns clear. Give wax a chance to cool, then return to heat another area.
  • 5. Continue adding stamped images to candle, changing waxed paper after each pair of images. When all images are applied to candle, highlight with glitter glue: yellows, oranges and red on leaves; gold/copper on pinecones and large butterfly; diamond on small butterfly. Let dry completely. Tie raffia around base.
  • Designer Tips
  • 1. Use a regular crayon to pick up and place rhinestones in glue - a wonderful tool.
  • 2. Practice waxed paper technique on inexpensive candles before trying it on a finished project to get a feel for heating images without melting the candle.
  • 3. Shimmering watercolors and glitter glue applied to tissue paper images before heating results in a metallic look once cool.