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Goodnight Moon Recycled

Goodnight Moon Recycled

An American classic, Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, is the most perfect bedtime story to this day. We love the simple and soothing story line, the idea of an every night ritual, and of course the illustrations. The thing about this book, is that it is probably the ultimate gift for new mothers, which is great... except for when they have second, third or even fourth children and are still receiving it over again. This causes one household to have many, many copies of the same book. But no mother likes to give up one of their child's first gifts, especially not one as sweet as this. So what do you do with all of those extra copies?

Searching through our book case, there were at least three copies of Goodnight Moon within arms reach. Though the kids have out grown it, whenever it's time to purge the book shelf, I fall in love with it once more and can't bear to get rid of it. Instead of keeping it a hidden treasure, the kids and I decided to bring it back to it's rightful glory as the center of our bedtime rituals, by recycling this classic story into our very own shadowbox for their bedroom. Since this story takes place in just one room, this project works perfectly, allowing us to build a visual keepsake of a childhood memory. We used the first page as the background, and then together went through the rest of the book, picking out which elements to cut out and collage onto the room. The result? The kids became their own story tellers, observing all of the detail and remembering the sweet tale that helped them get to sleep night after night when they were younger.


Goodnight Moon, a copy you are not be afraid to tear apart.
Shadowbox Frame, the size of your, preferably at least 1.5" thick.
Xacto Knife
Glue (or a glue gun, using caution!)
Foam Core



1. CUT out the first page of Goodnight Moon, using an xacto knife to carefully draw a straight line down the core of the book, releasing the page. This will be your background.
2. REMOVE the backing of your shadowbox frame and GLUE the background onto its internal side, cutting to size to ensure there is no paper that is larger than the backing.
3. OPTIONAL: we chose to cover the bottom layer of the page with a piece of red fabric, to cover up the type and give more dimension.


4. DECIDE on the elements of the room that you would like to include in your shadowbox - the rocking chair, the frame, the bed, the dresser, etc.
5. CUT the chosen elements out, using scissors. It may be easier to cut the smaller images by removing the whole page from the book first.
6. MEASURE the appropriate sized piece of foam core for each cut out. The foam core is going to make each element stand up in a 3D form, so the foam must be sized to fit behind each cut out.


7. LAYER your foam core. One piece of foam core will make the element stick out just above the background. Two pieces of foam core will make the element stick out closer towards the glass frame.
8. DESIGN your room. Think of this process as deciding on a foreground and a background. We used our glue gun to attach foam layers.
9. GLUE your foam core onto your cut outs, remembering how many layered pieces you wanted for particular elements.


10. REMOVE the square insert that comes inside of the frame. Whatever you choose to stick around the edges of this will be your very front layer, the closest to the glass frame.
11. CHOOSE the cut out elements that you would like at the very front of your shadowbox. We chose some text excerpts, the curtains, and the house.
12. GLUE your cut out elements to the front of your frame insert. The internal sides of this frame should also be covered with some illustrations, otherwise they will remain white and appear as a gap.


13. TAKE your inner frame and make sure all your foreground components are secured with glue. 
14. CAREFULLY place the square frame insert back into the frame, so that the images are pressed up against the glass.
15. TAKE your background piece, with its 3D components attached, and carefully place it into the frame as well, closing it up as you would any other frame backing.


VOILA! Your Goodnight Moon shadowbox masterpiece is ready to be stored in your bedroom, hung on your wall and admired before bed.

Posted in: Crafts: Make It!   

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Recent Comments

Sari said…

We have so many wonderful books that I can’t bear to trash that are barely holding on to the spin with Scotch tape, including Good Night Moon. What an awesome + affordable way to decorate too. Thank you!!!

Linda Hollander said…

What an awesome idea!  Like Sari we have multiple duct-taped books that I can’t bear to part with, even though our son has outgrown them. He still loves the illustrations though, so I’ll defiitely make one (or more) from his favorite books. Thank you for such an original take on decoration!

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