How to Make Shadow Box Picture Frames

Written by kelly sundstrom
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How to Make Shadow Box Picture Frames
You can make a shadow box out of basic materials. (Todd Warnock/Lifesize/Getty Images)

If you have small trinkets or special memorabilia that you want to display, it may be too precious to place out onto a shelf. One solution is to place the items into a beautifully displayed shadow box, which will hang onto the wall like a framed picture. Instead of buying shadow boxes at a home decorating store, you can save money by making your own shadow boxes at home using a few basic craft materials.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • 4 wood boards, 1/2-inch wide by 4 inches wide by 18 inches long
  • Nails, 1/2-inch long
  • Hammer
  • Sandpaper, medium-grain
  • Sandpaper, fine-grain
  • Cork board
  • Scissors
  • Tacks

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  1. 1

    Place two wood boards standing on their edges horizontally onto a table top. Space the boards 18 inches apart, making them parallel to each other.

  2. 2

    Place two more wood boards standing up on their edges vertically against the horizontal boards. This should create a square.

  3. 3

    Nail the boards in place using 1/2-inch nails and a hammer. This will secure the boards into the square shape.

  4. 4

    Sand the entire structure using a coarse-grain sandpaper. Move the sandpaper in circular motions, which will remove the roughness and splintering.

  5. 5

    Sand the entire structure using a fine-grain sandpaper, which will make the shadow box smooth and silky.

  6. 6

    Cut a piece of cork board to measure 18 inches square.

  7. 7

    Tack the cork square onto one open side of the box. This will be the backing of the shadow box, and will enable you to pin items onto the back of the shadow box. You can now place items into the shadow box for display.

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