DIY: Watercolor Magnet Shadow Boxes


Last week I participated in the semi-annual Creative Collaborative gift swap. Last christmas was amazing, so I wanted to participate again. Trying to think outside of my normal make-jewelry-from-my-leather-scraps box, I found a use for these sweet little tins I picked up from Pick Your Plum last year.

DIY Painted Magnetic Shadow Boxes

I guess you could consider me a sucker for mini packaging. I am. I thought these little containers would be perfect for little spices, but they’re much too small, coming in at about 1 1/8 inches in diameter. They’ve just been sitting, begging to be used for something.

I’ve been trying to get back into painting, so a little lightbulb hit: make watercolor shadow box magnets. I had originally been inspired by the idea of doing a magnetic spice wall (like here and here).

Simple enough, fun and I get to paint! The DIY is pretty darn obvious, but read below for supplies and tips on how to make your own. You will need:

Open your jars and trace around your jar with a pencil. Trace as many as you want out on a page.

Make your mini watercolors, but don’t worry about staying perfectly inside the lines. It’s nice to have a bit of a bleed with these kinds of projects.

In the Instructables magnetic herb jar tutorial, the author talks about putting the magnet on the inside of the jar. Since you’re not putting food in there, the magnet on the inside would be perfect. Glue your magnet inside the jar. Cut out your watercolors, but just inside your pencil line, for a snug fit. Insert into your jar. I had a really snug fit, so I didn’t have to glue it in place.

Stack them and take pretty pictures with your watercolors. Enjoy!

This would be a fun way to hang to do lists or children’s artwork. Heck, if this is a great way to immortalize your child(ren)’s artwork! Just cut out small vignettes of their paintings and mount! Even using larger jars and mounting to the wall would look absolutely lovely.

This tutorial/freebie is free for personal use and should not be distributed/republished without the express consent of Melissa Esplin. I love getting shout outs from around the web, but please, link with love. Do not copy this post, publish more than 2 photos or outright steal this idea for commercial publications. If you would like to use this tutorial for commercial purposes, please email me. Thanks!


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    1. Meg says:

      These are too cute! I love those magnetic jars, must find some :)

      I mentioned you in a post if you have a second to check it out!

    2. kristin says:

      oh these are great! especially love your color choices – so happy and fresh. time to break out the watercolors!

    3. Jennifer says:

      love the watercolor look – so pretty

    4. phil says:

      beautiful :-)

    5. Meream says:

      Those are incredibly beautiful.

    6. […] jars that I’ve never managed to use that looks as though it’ll be just perfect for this little project I found on I Still Love You. I’ll let you know how I go as I go along . . . Share […]

    7. TJ says:

      I love these! I have a set of magnetic spice jars that look as though they’d be perfect for this. I hope you don’t mind – I’ve linked to this in a blog post:

    8. […] This is your weekend DIY (via and you should check them out too – amazing magazine!) […]

    9. OMG. I made some of these myself. Although I doodled mine (because water and paint and me, that could be problematic). Loveliness all around with these mini pieces of art.

    10. […] 2. diy watercolor magnet shadow boxes from I Still Love You […]

    11. […] I made a tote bag out of a pillow case, I finally shared how to color block leather, I started the zero budget project and I painted magnets. […]

    12. […] Neem kleine, ronde opbergdoosjes met doorzichtig deksel, kleef achteraan een magneet, haal de kunstenaar in uzelf naar boven en schilder er op los, vul de doosjes en aanschouw je eigen magneetkunst. Zelfde idee ook perfect toepasbaar met foto’s etc.  Danku, Melissa Esplin! […]

    13. Sherry says:

      ooh .. i LOVE these!

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    16. […] DIY Watercolor Magnetic Shadow Boxes via Melissa Esplin […]

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