Craft -Twelve Days of Christmas Shadowbox


The Twelve Days of Christmas Shadowbox described in this craft post is a wonderful way to create a special piece of holiday artwork to display in a home either hung on the wall or placed on an easel in a bookcase or on the mantel.  This craft project is relatively simple to create requiring just a few supplies that should be available at a minimum cost.

“The Twelve Days of Christmas is an old English Christmas carol dating back to 1780.  The song is sung as a cumulative song which means that each of the twelves verses describes a special gift and is sung as a progressive addition to the previous verses.  The twelve gifts are:

A partridge in a pear tree,
Two turtle doves,
Three French hens,
Four calling birds,
Five golden rings,
Six geese a-laying,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Eight maids a-milking,
Nine ladies dancing,
Ten lords a-leaping,
Eleven pipers piping,
Twelve drummers drumming.

Special Note: The time period referred to in to the classic holiday song, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, begins on Christmas Day and running through to the day before the Epiphany or January 5th.

Twelve Days of Christmas Shadowbox supplies

  • Wooden shadowbox with twelve divided spaces
  • “Twelve days of Christmas” illustrations, copies printed on a computer
  • One sheet of 12”x12” scrapbook paper, used for the shadowbox background
  • Black paint and paintbrush
  • Glue stick
  • Scissors
  • Sandpaper (optional)
  • Wooden or plastic numbers ranging from 1 to 12 (optional)

Twelve Days of Christmas Shadowbox instructions

Prior to starting the assembly of the shadowbox you need to find illustrations or photos to represent each of the “twelve days of Christmas”, so I highly recommend doing this a few days in advance.  Using my computer, I did a search on the internet for images for each of the “twelve days of Christmas”.  Here is a list of what is needed: a partridge in a pear tree, turtle doves, French hens, calling birds, golden rings, geese, swans, maids milking, ladies dancing, lords a leaping, piper and a drummer.

  1. Use sandpaper to smooth any rough edges of the wooden shadowbox.
  2. Paint the shadowbox using black paint, be sure to cover the surface of the outer and interior edges of the shadowbox and the twelve individual spaces.  (Craft Tip: Do not paint the center area of each divided space; leave the space clear for glue to attach the scrapbook paper)
  3. Measure and cut scrapbook paper to fit into the divided spaces of the shadowbox, cut twelve pieces.  Glue each scrapbook piece into the twelve divided spaces of the shadowbox.  (Craft Tip: The first piece of scrapbook paper will become the “template” to cut the additional eleven pieces required for the project)
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  4. After finding each image to represent the “twelve days of Christmas” copy to a file.  Then, print a copy of each image in a size that would fit into each of the twelve individual spaces of the shadowbox. (Craft Tip:  I used a wallet size print, then trimmed the copy so that there would be space all around the four sides to show the scrapbook paper.
  5. Optional step – Paint the wooden numbers, 1 to 12, with black paint.  Glue each to right corner of each of the twelve divided spaces.