A shadow box is the perfect way to show off your cherished collections or to celebrate memorable occasions. They can also make wonderful, heartfelt gifts for friends and loved ones by personalizing them to fit each individual's interest. Just about anything you could think of can be used to create a unique shadow box. Everyday mementos such as seashells, old coins, letters, photographs, what-knots, and even clothing can be put into a shadow box. Because of the endless possibilities, there are numerous themes with which can also be applied to your shadow box.
Maybe you have things lying around the house that serve no purpose other than the fact that you are unable to part with these items. Then again, maybe you want to relate a story or even remember a past event. Choose whatever design you want to express and simply collect items relating to your design in some manner. For example, someone who enjoys traveling may have collected numerous items during their travels. Old maps, post cards, souvenirs, ticket stubs, matchbooks, restaurant menus, etc., can be grouped together and put into a shadow box. Sports enthusiasts could utilize old score cards, balls, brochures, game tickets, ribbons, trophies, fishing tackle and lures to create wonderful sports related themes. Individuals favoring antique or collectibles may want to employ anything from old bank notes and letters to photographs, vintage clothing, and miscellaneous aged items into a shadow box. Special occasions are probably the most popular shadow box themes. These can range anywhere from past trips and childhood memories on up to graduations, weddings, or recent births. One of my personal favorites is a childhood memento theme. This is a great way to hold onto those precious keepsakes from your child. I have used such things as hospital identification bracelets, copies of birth certificates, old schoolwork, photographs, game pieces, favorite toys, and clothing. This particular theme not only allows you to remember special times in your child's life, but it also makes a unique gift for your child once they are grown with which they can pass memories onto their own children.
Almost any box-shaped object can be used when designing your own shadow box. Cabinets and display cases are good choices. You might even consider using an old drawer or small curio with multiple cubby holes. Cardboard boxes can make interesting shadow box frames as well. Your background options might include the use of foam core, fabric, or paint. Foam core provides a better contrast and can easily be cut to fit into the back of your box. Fabric covered cardboard, foam, or hardboard will also make an exceptional background and nearly any type of fabric works well. You could even choose to paint your background to create more texture. Some people also prefer to use framed art prints as a background. Once you have chosen your box, background, and theme you are ready to start your shadow box. You will first decide how you want to set up your theme. The largest item should generally go on the bottom with all others fitting in nicely around it. Any paper items and photographs can be placed neatly behind objects, either propped up or glued. You will want to use an epoxy or hot glue for your objects or you can drill holes and attach objects using twist ties. Once the objects are securely in place, you may cover it with fitted glass (if box does not already provide one) or simply leave it open. Either way will work fine.
shadow boxes are a wonderful way to show off a collection of trinkets or odds and ends that have simply built up over the years. They make ideal gifts for those celebrating unforgettable moments as well as for individual hobbyists. Basically any kind of item can be collected and put into a shadow box. Whether you want a shadow box for yourself or to give to others, the variety of ideas and themes are endless. You can put them together yourself or have them personally made, however, making your own will not only be more satisfying and memorable but less expensive as well. So gather up all your clutter or old junk that might be lying around; anything with which you are proud of in some way, and turn your house or someone else's into a home full of memories and meaning. Create a shadow box.