Shadow boxes can make for a stunning departure from everyday frames, opening up a whole world of possibilities for showcasing items that standard frames would throw their hands up at and admit defeat. If you are a creative type shadow boxes are a wonderful way to stretch your artistic and inventive side, yet even those who more commonly fail it rather than nail it when it comes to arts and crafts projects are able to use shadow boxes to their advantage.
So, first things first, what is a shadow box?
Shadow boxes have very deep frames that can range from 2 inches to 5 inches and beyond! They have a glass front to them and usually a very study backing. They are normally used to display 3D objects and can look quite stunning and dramatic when the content is of mixed mediums and sizes. Shadow boxes were most commonly used as a way to celebrate military service as the width allowed items such as medals to be displayed alongside photographs and certificates in a unified way. However many people have since come to embrace the use of shadow boxes for other purposes and you can easily find tutorials and suggestions for use along with instructions as to how to construct your own box.
If you are a fan of live music and a frequent attendee of concerts you probably have a stack of concert tickets and stubs in various pockets, pinned to notice boards or tucked away doubling as bookmarks. A shadow box is a great, and simple, way to collect them all in one place while looking good. It doesn’t need to just be concert tickets that you display; travel tickets for planes, trains or automobiles (okay buses), museum admission and lecture series’ all make for a wonderful conversation starter and celebration of your interets. For ease of use, you may want to doctor your shadow box slightly by cutting a slit in the top of the frame so you can easily post your tickets through the top of the box and watch your collection grow!
A shadow box can easily be converted to a lightbox, simply replace the glass with an opaque or frosted piece of glass or plastic and insert a small led light or two into the body of the frame. Attach images to the back side of the glass or plastic for an interesting effect. If the lights on the inside are bright enough you even may be able to cast the shadow of a 3D object, also placed inside the frame. Our favourite DIY of the lightbox concept has to be this particular application!