DIY Alebrije shadow boxes #craftychica #alebrijes #alebrijesmexicanos

DIY Alebrije Shadow Boxes

DIY Alebrije shadow boxes #craftychica #alebrijes #alebrijesmexicanos

Check out these alebrije shadow boxes I made! They make great little gifts or party favors, or decorations for your favorite space. Here’s how they came about – last November I visited Mexico City – twice in one month! The trip was for a travel campaign with Maya, and the other was a vacation we planned for all year. I have so much to share from the trips, but let’s start here.

Crafty Chica in Mexico City
Relaxing on the reforma!

While I loved, loved, loved all the sightseeing and eating, I really, really, really loved SHOPPING! Co-owning Mucho Mas Art Studio is dangerous, it gives an easy reason to shop like crazy. I budgeted my funds and knew exactly what I wanted, items to make to sell and items to sell as-is. I kinda sorta stuck to my plan…anyway…

The entrance to one of Mexico City’s glorious mercados!

There were so many mercados, I swear, I experienced stimulation overload with every step. It makes the experience all the more meaningful. It’s not just about spending money, it’s really about soaking up the atmosphere. People-watching, snacking and making new friends are a big part of the fun. Each mercado housed dozens and dozens of vendors, some plazas even had two layers. I’m talking rows and rows of brilliant colored handmade goods to purchase. You really have to be strategic.

“Do I LOOOOVE this?” is the deciding factor.

Mexico City treats #craftychica #mexicocity

From chile-dusted fruit to embroidered sneakers to cactus pillows, it was all there to buy and take home. I literally brought a giant empty suitcase with me for my purchases and even packed jeans that I wouldn’t mind leaving behind in case I needed more room…Yah, I was that serious!

There are two ways to approach shopping in Mexico – one is to buy something if you love it because you might not find it again, but then there is another thought pattern of “everyone sells the same stuff.” I combine the two. I can tell if something is really special and I scoop it up!

Mexico City treast #craftychica #mexicocity

Within all this magical glory was a large vendor space with nothing but miniatures. I waved Patrick to go on ahead without me because I knew I had some serious selecting to do. I hadn’t seen the mini-alebrijes and the shop owner offered me a great price if I bought a large number of them. Twist my arm!

DIY Alebrije shadow boxes #craftychica #alebrijes #alebrijesmexicanos

They were so cute, at the time I had no idea what I planned to use them for, but I just couldn’t pass them up. Fast forward to a few weeks after the trip when I finally had time to exhale and unpack all my treasures. I didn’t only find the mini alebrijes, but also all the items I bought at the Mexican craft store. It’s like Michaels, but with more sparkle and all in Spanish.

DIY Alebrije shadow boxes #craftychica #alebrijes #alebrijesmexicanos

How to make alebrije shadow boxes

I had bought a lot of these mini shadow boxes and guess what? The alebrijes fit perfectly inside! I painted the boxes to match the contrasting pattern design of the animals. All bright hues. I let the boxes dry and then added a sealer.

DIY Alebrije shadow boxes #craftychica #alebrijes #alebrijesmexicanos

I know what you’re thinking – Kathy where am I going to find those items? Okay, I thought this through. You can get the small boxes at the craft store, they have mini-paper mache boxes you can use. Remove the lid and use it for something else!

DIY Alebrije shadow boxes #craftychica #alebrijes #alebrijesmexicanos

As far as the alebrijes, I found a few sources online here, here, and here!

RELATED: All about alebrijes from the Coco movie!

Once the painted boxes are dry, simply glue the alebrije to the inside of the box. I also added a small hanging attachment on the back.

DIY Alebrije shadow boxes #craftychica #alebrijes #alebrijesmexicanos

Here is the final result! I love how cute these alebrije shadow boxes came out! I put them for sale at Mucho Mas Art Studio and plan to make more! Guess I’ll have to go back to Mexico City to buy more supplies, lol!

DIY Alebrije shadow boxes #craftychica #alebrijes #alebrijesmexicanos
This one is my fave!
DIY Alebrije shadow boxes #craftychica #alebrijes #alebrijesmexicanos
They each have a little condo to live in!

RELATED: Check out my alebrije-inspired monoprint!

Love & light,


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Kathy Cano-Murillo

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Hi, I’m Kathy, The Crafty Chica! My specialty is creative motivation. I’m an artist, author, and speaker and this is where I share my craft tutorials, artwork, articles, books, product lines, and workshops!

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