Make Your Altered Book Interactive with a Shaker Box Embellishment


A shaker box contains items that the viewer can shake.

shaker boxIt could contain beads, glitter, sequins, tiny seashells, seeds, spices and dried herbs, colored sand, or anything else small enough to fit in.

The sample to the left didn't photograph well, but it represents a pair of old-fashioned lady's bloomers, with real lace glued to the waist and leg bands.

The shaker box contains beads that move around when the book is jiggled or shaken.


  • Transparent Acetate-like Material. You use this for the front of the box. Page protectors cut into desired shapes work fine.

  • Box Contents. Small, shakeable items that you will place in the shaker box.

  • Mounting Tape. It should be doubled sided, and thick enough to allow space for the items you plan on putting in the box. The tape you buy for mounting posters is fine, or you can purchase mounting tape in a craft store.

  • Card Stock. Use for the box's frame and backing.

  • An Altered Book . Cut a niche large enough to contain the shaker box.

  • Glue.

tip You can make a shaker box any size and almost any shape that you want. Square or rectangle ones are the easiest. Shaping mounting tape around curved spaces is difficult.

It's a matter of preference, but I find it easier to make my shaker box before I cut the niche in the altered book. That way, I can be sure I am cutting to the right size.


These instructions make a 3" by 3" box. Adjust measurements to increase or decrease the size.
  1. Cut two pieces of card stock, each 3" by 3". Put one aside to use for the back. Cut a 2" by 2" square out of the MIDDLE of the second piece of card stock. This creates a frame that is 1/2 inch wide on all sides.

  2. Cut a square of acetate, 4" by 4".

  3. Glue the aceteate to the BACK side of the frame, making a framed window. Avoid smearing glue on the part of the acetate that forms the window.

  4. Cut four pieces doubled sided mounting tape. The tape should not be wider than the frame. Cut two pieces of tape 4" long. Cut two pieces 3" long. These measurements must be exact, or items will fall out of the shaker box.

  5. Working on the BACK side of the frame, attach one 4" piece of tape along one side, over TOP of the acetate. Attach the second 4" piece of tape along the opposite side. Carefully fit one 3" piece of tape along the bottom of the frame, ensuring that both ends fit snugly against the tape on both sides.

  6. Make a funnel- shape out of a piece of scrap paper. Insert the bottom end of the funnel through the unsealed opening along the top of the shaker box. Pour your glitter or beads into the box using this funnel. Fill about 1/3 full, so the items have room to shake around. Remove funnel.

  7. Carefully attach the last 3" piece of tape along the top back of the frame. Fit it snugly so as to to seal the contents inside. Shake the box to test it. If any glitter or beads leak out, you will need to patch it up before inserting in the niche.

  8. Prepare your niche. When ready, fit your shaker box into the niche, attaching with glue or double sided tape (not mounting tape this time).

Altered Books 103: Little Books, Decos, CDs & More! (#5215)

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Return to Altered Book Home Page when finished with shaker box page.