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Make Your Own Shadow Box With These Easy Steps

By Shelby Burr

Do you collect memories? Whether it be ticket stubs, pressed flowers, sea shells or buttons, those items hold precious moments. So, why keep them in that shoebox under the bed or in that tub sitting in the attic? Let your memories be displayed for all to admire in a shadow box. A shadow box is a fun way to decorate your home and preserve your memories without keeping them stuffed in a closet somewhere. An added bonus is that it can declutter some space! Your memories will be beautifully decorated in your home and they will offer fun stories to share when friends/family come to visit.  


Pick your shadow box

Shadow boxes come in all shapes and sizes, so find out which is best for you. If you have small items such small shells, ticket stubs, love letters or beach sand, a  5 x 7 or 8 x 10 inch box may be best for you. For those large items, such as baby clothes, thick flowers, large shells or medals, a 16 x 20 or 30 x 40 inch box might be your best bet. It all depends on what you’re putting in, where you want it to go and what size you’re happy with!



Some shadow boxes come as plain Jane. There are so many ways you can spruce up your shadow box to fit your vision. You can paint your shadow box in any color, distress the paint after you put on a coat or even paint your own designs around the box. Let your creativity fly by adding ribbons, glitter or keeping it simple and stain the wood a darker color.



Each shadow box has a backing that is optional to adjust. Whether you want to leave the background black, white or add a fun decorative paper, the options are limitless! Some have put in patterned backgrounds to give off a specific theme, such as baby clothes or beach items. Others have left their backgrounds black in order for their memories to stand out on their own. Whether you want flare or simplicity, your shadow box will showcase your memories perfectly.


Fill, Fill, Fill!

Now is the time to fill your memories! You can strategically place all of your items in a specific order or you can fill your shadow box so there isn’t any room. Some have glued scrabble pieces to spell out a word or phrase, where others have filled their shadowboxes to the brim with wine corks, pictures, movie tickets, etc.!



You can hang your shadow box in the hallway, bathroom or even your bedroom; it will look awesome just about anywhere. Some have even opted out of hanging their memories and, instead, lay or sit their shadowboxes against a wall or on top of a table. Place it in the entry way for all to see or on your dresser for you to admire!
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