How to Build a Picture Shadow Box

What You'll Need
Picture Frame
Thick wood or sturdy cardboard box
Strong adhesive glue
Hand saw
Tack pins
Trinkets or memorabilia
Picture or poster
Wooden or foam blocks

A picture shadow box is a 3-dimensional picture that includes photos, artifacts and other memorabilia to create a layered look. Shadow boxes have been around for many years and can be used as a personal gift for someone or to represent a special event such as a holiday, birth or graduation. Making a picture shadow box is a relatively easy and enjoyable task, and the product will be admired by many. You can make a shadow box using a sturdy cardboard box that is the same size as the frame, but for a more resilient and longer lasting box, you can use wood.

Step 1 – Measurements

Measure the sides of the picture frame to determine the dimensions you will need to create the shadow box. Measure the full length and width of the frame, as you will need these measurements to make the backing wood.

Step 2 – Making the Box

Cut the wood to the required lengths using the hand saw, and then fix together by making specialist wood joints and glue or nails. Once you have made the shadow box frame, you must secure it to the backing wood.  he backing wood will need to be the same size as the picture frame. Run adhesive glue around the edge of the back of the shadow frame, and then push the backing wood into place. For extra security, hammer small tack pins around the outside as well.

Step 3 – Completing the Frame

Once you have made the shadow box, you must attach the picture frame. Remove the frame backing and glass front. Run strong adhesive along the edges of the frame, and then attach to the shadow box. Leave it until the frame is secure.

Once the glue has dried, fit tape onto the inside of the box to ensure that the picture frame remains securely in place.

Step 4 – Background

Use a picture or poster and fix to the back of the shadow box. You can also paint the back of the picture shadow box in any desired color, or you can attach a piece of fabric attached to create a textured feel. If using a picture or piece of fabric, ensure that is the same size of the back of the box, and carefully fix into place using adhesive glue.

Step 5 – Display

Place the memorabilia or other artifacts into the picture shadow box to provide an idea as to where and how the different elements will be placed. To create a more layered and 3D effect, use wooden or foam blocks to display certain items. You can install shelves inside the box to display smaller items. Once you have achieved the the desired layout, use the strong adhesive glue to fix the items into their permanent location.