How to Make a Wampa Cave Shadow Box

Wampa Cave Shadowbox

‘Tis the season of keeping warm inside a tauntaun! When the temperature drops, I am reminded of the icy planet of Hoth. Nothing says wintertime quite like snowtroopers, smelly tauntauns, and a one-warmed wampa. One of my favorite things about the “Hothidays” is putting up twinkly lights and decorations. However, you won’t find me building a miniature Dickens village. Instead, I try to deck the halls with dioramas, Yoda lights, and some of my favorite Star Wars action figures. This year, I turned a wampa cave into a holiday shadow box decoration! Whether you have these action figures or not, this craft will help you celebrate the Hothidays…Star Wars style!

What You’ll Need:

  • Shadow box
  • White spray paint
  • White craft paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Gray colored pencil or crayon
  • White craft felt
  • Fishing wire or stretchy cord
  • Scissors
  • Double-sided tape
  • Hoth action figures OR color copied images of Luke and a wampa

First you’ll need a shadow box. Most craft stores carry different sizes and styles of shadow boxes. This one is 8″ x 8″.

Shadow box 1

Next I removed the glass from the shadow box. If the glass doesn’t easily come out, break it with a hammer. Carefully. Over a trash can. And don’t forget the gloves! Then I spray painted the frame white.

Shadowbox 2

While I waited for the paint to dry, I began designing the shadowbox background. I specifically wanted to recreate the scene in The Empire Strikes Back where Luke is hanging from the ice ceiling of the wampa cave.

Luke Skywalker in cave

If you’ll notice, there’s a bluish light inside the cave. I thought that might be a fun detail to add so I found card stock in a light blue/aqua color.

Aqua Background

I used a pencil to sketch the outlines of the ice formations. Then I used white paint to fill in the scenery.

Shadowbox 3

To create more definition, I used a gray colored pencil to outline the ice.

Outlining

I used less paint in some areas to allow the aqua color peek through. I also took some artistic license and left an opening in the center of the cave.

Finished Background

Then I taped the background to the shadow box backing.

Taping in progress

Once my frame was dry, I inserted the background into the shadow box.

Shadowbox 5

To create the cave floor, I used a strip of white craft felt. I folded it in half and glued it together with hot glue.

Folding felt

Then I glued it to bottom of the shadow box.

Shadowbox 6

To add a little more dimension, I cut out some ice formations using the aqua cardstock. I painted the strip white, folded a half inch at the bottom, and used double-sided tape to adhere it to the craft felt.

Shadowbox 7

A wampa’s cave wouldn’t be complete without a hanging Jedi in the corner! To achieve this effect, I tied clear stretchy cord around the ankles of my Luke Skywalker action figure.

Shadowbox 8

Then I removed the shadowbox backing. I placed hanging Luke against the background and pulled the cord over the backing.

Shadowbox 9

I secured the background in place and taped the excess cord against the backing.

Shadowbox 10

What if you don’t have a Luke Skywalker action figure, you ask? No problem! Here’s another option: print out an image of Luke Skwalker. I found this screen capture from the wampa cave scene in The Empire Strikes Back.

Paper Luke

Cut out the image and fold the bottom of the paper in half. Place double-sided tape onto the folded portion and stick him in place. Use this same technique for the wampa.

Paper Wampa Cave

For my shadow box, I placed my wampa action figure in the corner of the frame. I thought it would be fun to have his legs hanging outside of the shadow box.

Wampa Sitting In the Corner

Lastly, I created a “Happy Hothidays” banner from the aqua cardstock. I taped it to the frame and…my wampa cave holiday decoration was complete!

Hothidays Shadowbox is complete!

Whether you place it on your mantle or display it on your bookshelf, this wampa cave shadow box will hopefully bring some good Hothiday cheer into your home!

Jennifer Landa is a Los Angeles-based actress, writer, and video blogger.  One of her proudest moments was helping to design the Death Star…into a skirt.  To learn more about Jennifer, visit jenilanda.com.


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