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  • Shelly Tschupp

Natural Impressions Ceramic Shadow Box Collage Ideas

Updated: Sep 18, 2023

If you love ceramics but have been afraid to give them try then you should try this easy project! Ocean & Beach inspired wall art using a Shadow Box, some shells, glue and yes, Ceramics you can make at home and without a kiln! Whether you love Island, Coastal Cottage, New England, the Southern Beach vibe from the Keys, you can do this and it will be beautiful!

Finished Natural Impressions Ceramic Shadow Box
Seashells & Found Objects With Scrapbook Papers

Natural Impressions example
Sea Shells Shadow Box with Beads, Bird & Dried Flowers.

Project: Natural Impressions Ceramic Shadow Box

Active Time: 1.5 hours

Difficult level: Beginner


  1. Clay for kiln or Self hardening Clay or you could even use Polymer Clay that you can bake in your own oven

  2. Clay stain (or Acrylic paint if using Polymer)

  3. Roller to roll out the clay

  4. Things to impress in the clay: found items such as Plants from your house/yard, shells, knick knacks, scrapbook paper, let your imagination run free!

  5. Shadow Box

  6. Hot Glue, Glue Gun, Wax or plastic to protect your work area

  7. Things to glue inside the box that you like, dried flowers, shells, etc.


  1. Find a clean area to work, I usually use a folding table or counter top. Lay down your protective material (Wax paper or plastic), gather your materials for the Clay impressions.

  2. Roll out your clay to 1/3 inch thickness for Ceramic Clay (1/4 inch for Polymer) and size to fit inside your Shadow Box leaving 1/4 inch or more on 3 sides. (12x12 box = 11.25x11.25 maximum size). If using self drying/hardening clay check the shrinkage, if it is 10% then roll to 1/3 inch thickness. Don't worry about it being exactly the same thickness, or even square, keep it organic!

  3. Press your found items in the clay and remove to create your design. If you want you can use a utensil or toothpick to write a message, etc.

  4. Follow the Clay instructions to dry and fire. For Ceramic Clay you will need to allow it to fully dry, then fire to bisque, then stain and fire. For Polymer be sure to follow the manufacturers instructions. For air dry clay follow the instructions and paint after it is dry.

  5. Assembling your box: Gather your items that will go inside of the box and do a rough layout of everything inside the box as a dry run, to be sure it's the way you want it. Using your hot glue begin gluing the farthest item first on it's back side so that you don't see the glue. Repeat for each item. Allow it to sit for 15-20 minutes to fully cool. Put the Shadow Box lid back on and hang your beautiful new Decor!

Materials can be found here, this is an Affiliated Link that does not cost you more to use, it does help offset the cost of this blog.


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