How to Add Light to a Shadow Box

Lead Image
  • 2-4 hours
  • Beginner
  • 20
What You'll Need
Goggles or other protective eyewear
Etching solution
1 x 1 x 36 piece of wood
Wood glue
Lamp cord
2-hole strap for lamp housing
Screws for the holes in the strap
Low-wattage bulb

People all over the world like to use shadow boxes in their homes. Shadow boxes are a great way to display accolades, memorable family heirlooms and other things of importance in your home. However, it may become slightly difficult to see what's inside once the sun begins to set and there's less light in the house. Adding a light to your shadowbox is a great simple project that has many benefits when executed properly. Not only will a light help you be able to view the items within your shadowbox, but it also helps draw attention to the items within the box. It will also help add more light to a dark room. All in all, there are many positive sides to adding a light to your shadowbox.

Remove the Screws

Using a screwdriver, carefully remove the screws holding the glass in the shadowbox and put them somewhere where you will be able to find them again - you will need to use them when replacing the glass later.

Clean The Glass

Clean the surface of the glass.

Use The Etching Solution

Brush on a thick layer of etching solution. Try to get it as even as possible. Consult the instructions on the bottle to see how long you should leave it on before rinsing it off, as this time could vary depending on the brand of solution.

Replace the Glass

Replace the glass once the etching solution has dried.

Prepare the Box

Measure the shortest distance inside of the box. Measure twice just to ensure that you are being as accurate as possible.

Cut the Wood

Cut your 1 x 1 x 36 piece of wood to the measurement you just took.

Place the Strap

Place the two-hole strap and lamp housing where you eventually want it to go on the piece of wood you just cut and mark the openings.

Drill A Hole

Drill a hole at each mark. These holes will make it easy to screw the strap in place later.

Secure the Wood

Replace the lamp housing and secure the piece of wood.

Step 10 – Place The Cord

Decide where you want the cord to come out and drill a notch big enough for it. It is entirely up to you; place the cord where it will be most convenient for you.

Step 11 – Add The Bulb

Now all you have to do is add the light bulb and you're finished! Plug it in and enjoy your memories.