Project – Shadowbox


I recently put together a shadowbox of Boy Scout memories with books, scarves, patches and a National Council card dated 1943. These items belonged to my father-in-law and husband, and together they created a perfect assortment of memories to be treasured in a shadowbox.


My first step was enlarging and printing out a cute photograph of my father-in-law as a boy onto a piece of cardstock. I cut close to the actual image on the right side, but left some of the background to the left. Cutting completely around a head in a photo creates a distracting helmet-like appearance. My father-in-law’s hand in the photograph was in the perfect position to hold an item, allowing me to cut around the outline of his hand and part of his wrist.


To keep the photo upright I reinforced it with a strip of thin cardboard cut away from a piece of recycled cereal box. It worked perfectly.


Shadowboxes can be expensive. I purchased this one at a local craft store with a 40% off coupon. There are also good ideas on how to create a shadowbox yourself on Pinterest and other websites.


The shadowbox came with four pins in a velvet background. I’m glad it did for I found this was the perfect way to stabilize the items inside the box. I moved my memorabilia around until I was satisfied with the appearance, and then pinned everything to the velvet backing with long straight pins.


I found that lowering the shadowbox frame onto the backing, rather than trying to fit the backing into the frame was the best way to fasten the two together without marring the arrangement. This step is easier with two people, one to hold the pieces, the other to fasten the bottom and top together.

Even though most of us are all grown up, a shadowbox of memories can immediately take us back to a happier time and away for a moment from the cares of the day.

4 thoughts on “Project – Shadowbox

    1. Hi Susie, My father-in-law, a wonderful man, has passed, but his memory is still very much with his children, grand-children and great-grand-children. A shadowbox is usually a frame with two to three inches of depth. The backing is either separate, as in my case, or it opens up like a door. You can place memorabilia and other treasures into the shadowbox which can be sat on a table or hung on the wall. The little girl in front of the first photograph is my husband’s mother.

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