Instructions For Making A Custom Shadow Box

Making a custom shadow box, to protect and display your collectibles is simple with these instuctions.

Those wonderful collectibles you have gathering dust on a shelf need some protection. Not only that, they are hard to see when they are on a shelf. Displaying them in a shadow box will protect them, as well as display them so you can see and admire them without fear that they might get broken.

A shadow box is really nothing more than a deep picture frame with small shelves built into it. You can either build your own frame, or purchase one from a frame shop, either way this becomes your first step in making your own custom shadow box.

You will want a frame that is two or three inches deep, with glass cut to fit and installed. The glass will provide protection, and help keep the dust off those small collectibles. If you don't want the glass you can eliminate it, especially if you have items that are slightly bigger than your shadow box is deep.



Decide which of your collectibles are going to go into the shadow box. You will need to measure height, and width of each one. Measurements don't have to be exact, but should be within about a 1/4 inch. It is better to err on the side of being too big than to small.

Plan your arrangement. You will want to have different sized cubicles next to each other, and avoid having them line up exactly.

To make the small cubicles inside the frame, you will need some thin (1/4 inch or smaller) strips of wood. You might look at drawer dividers for the strips. Sand and finish the longer strips before cutting. The first cut on all pieces will be to cut them 1/8 inch smaller than the depth of your shadow box.

Look at your arrangement, and cut strips into appropriate sized pieces. Use a good quality carpenters glue, or liquid nail to attach them together. It is important to work slowly at this point, insuring that all the pieces have the proper angles. Don't forget to remove excess glue as you work.

Once you have built your shelves, then slip the finished shelves into the shadow box, and glue in place. Allow to dry for about 24 hours, before putting your collectables in place.

When you put your collectibles in, you might want to use small pieces of two sided tape to insure they stay in place while you are moving the shadow box. Put the back on the frame, use caution to avoid tipping things over that are supposed to be standing.

Your shadow box is finished, and you can hang it on a wall or stand it on a shelf, knowing that your small collectibles are no longer going to be subject to dust and damage.

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