Mini Shadow Box Fridge Magnets

Today I am going to show you how to make an inexpensive, unique way to display your memories beyond the framed photo. You can make these mini shadow box fridge magnets to display vacation memories, remember special occasions, and more–with a combination of photographs and small mementos!

Here are the supplies you will need:


The first thing you will want to do is select images that are around 2″ in size. You can do this in a photo editing program, or just use photos you have on hand. Wallet sized photos are perfect. Turn your 2″ circle craft punch over so you can see where it will punch.

Punch all of the photos you will be using.

(The aluminum tins come 12 tins to a package.)

Run all 12 of your selected images through a Xyron machine. The reason for the Xyron, is so your images will lay flat in the tin. This will prevent the seed beads, sand, or other selected material, to not get stuck underneath the photo-or stick to liquid adhesive that might escape the edges of your photo.

If you have not used a Xyron before, prepare to be hooked!

Load the machine with permanent adhesive. The sticker maker machines will already be defaulted to this.

Line up your images to utilize the space.

Roll the images through the machine. This will sandwich your image between adhesive-backed “bottom” and a protective top coating.

Peel the top coating away:

Your image is now, magically, a sticker!

Peel your image away from the backing, and adhere it into the bottom of the aluminum tin. Smooth it out.

Now is the time for you to get creative! You can add anything to the tins for the “shadowbox” part.

The obvious choice for this photo was some sand.

And some tiny shells.

Seed beads are a great choice as well.

You can really use anything you would like.

Just make sure the items you choose are NOT metallic, they will clump up and stick to the magnet you will be putting on the back later.

(Then you will need to pry the already glued tin back open, with an awl, and stab yourself in the finger. Allegedly.)

Fill your tin with your desired material, then put the lid on it, and eyeball the levels.

When you are satisfied with the level of your material, apply a thin line of glue around the perimeter of the tin. I recommend using E-6000, it is a strong bond, but also pliable.

Place the lid onto the tin, pressing down on all the edges.

Allow the adhesive drying time, and then the extra glue that squishes out of the sides of the tin will just peel off.

Using a dab of E-6000, glue your heavy duty magnet to the back of the tin.

Allow the adhesive to dry completely.

Stick those cute shadow boxes on your fridge!

Indulge me while I share with you some of the ones I did.

My daughter on her 4th birthday, I added candle buttons, and some sprinkles.

My son at the pool last year. I added seed beads and a fun sun button.

My daughter sledding last winter. I added some clear and pearl seed beads and some crystal snowflake buttons.

Last up is my daughter in Maui, on the black sand beach. No kidding-the sand was black from all of the surrounding volcanic rock. Lucky for me, my mom thought ahead and brought a baggie of that sand home with her. She shared some with me for this project.  Now it is on display on my fridge, a visual reminder of a fun trip!

Thanks Mom!

The tins are intended as wedding favors:

How fun would it be for your guests to finish the treat, and find the tin personalized with a photo?

There are so many possibilities with this project!

Get creative, and get filling some of your own!

About Shaunte

Shaunte is a 30-something, chocolate-loving, SAHM from Utah. She has been scrapbooking since 1997, the dreaded era of photos cropped with deco scissors. Since then, her work has evolved into a clean, linear, photo-focused style. Her favorite subjects to scrap are her husband and five kids (never a lack for subject material there).


  1. Billie says

    Is there a way to keep the sand in place. I don’t want the sand to be able to move around and hide the shells?

  2. Diane says

    I love this idea, but I don’t have a kyrlon machine, any other ideas how to get the back sicky? Example can you take it to say Office Max and do they have that type of machine. Or anything else?

    • Shaunte says

      @diane- You can use any type of strong adhesive. I like the Xyron because it applies an even, flat adhesive layer. Just make sure when you apply your chosen adhesive that there aren’t any lumps or bumps. You want the surface smooth so little bits will not get stuck behind your photo over time. Happy crafting!

  3. Sarah says

    What a perfect idea and perfect timing! My husband is getting annoyed with the pill bottle of sand I brought him back from a recent solo trip to the beach. I will surprise him with a picture of me on that beach,etc.. Thanks for sharing

  4. says

    Hey! I blog about tips for displaying printed instagram photos. I often look around to find cool and different ways to display photos so I can blog about it. The idea that you have got here is awesome, thank you for sharing and thank you for the inspiration!

  5. Carol Pullen says

    I am thinking this would be a fun project to do with my granddaughters. Could make them into a necklace instead of a magnet.

  6. Anne says

    I loved the idea. Too bad here in Brazil I do not find these cans.
    Vc indicates a site that sells and delivered in Brazil?


  7. Sonja Horn Mount Solon, Virginia says

    Thank you so very much for this fabulous idea. I have kept several of these containers knowing that sometime I would see a great way to use them. We have been traveling a lot and one trip was to Alaska. We paned for gold and have a few VERY SMALL PARTICLES. THIS WILL BE A FABULOUS WAY TO SHOW OFF OUR PICTURE AND GOLD !!!!!!!! I look forward to more of your great suggestions !!!!

  8. KimM says

    Shaunte, I LOVE these! And I agree with Andrea–I don’t know how you come up with all of these great, creative projects. You’re amazing!


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