Using Shadow Box Picture Frames

Shadow box picture frames are easy-to-use display cases that can showcase beloved mementos or items that have sentimental value. This can be virtually anything that is “thin” enough to fit into the shadow box picture frame. This can include wedding souvenirs, sports equipment, a sports jersey, a coin collection, a license plate and much more.

The frame has a dual purpose of displaying the items and protecting them from the elements, such as dust, grime and moisture. Rather than allowing these treasured mementos to gather dust somewhere in the attic, you can showcase them for all to see while ensuring that they stay in good condition.

A shadow box frame is an option to using a plain frame with convex glass. The shadow box frame has an easy-open tab that you can open from the back. With some mounting tools, you can attach your item in such a way that the highlights of the item is readily seen. After mounting the item, you can simply attach the mounting board from the back, reattach the backing and hang the picture frame in a preferred spot. The important thing is that you are able to mount the item with care so as not to cause damage on the item.

When using a shadow box picture frame, here are some things you should consider:

  • Choice of glazing. Glazing serves to protect the items from dust and grime. Glazing is a necessary addition to the shadow box frame. There are a number of options – glass and acrylic are the first two choices. Glass is heavier but has more visual clarity. Acrylic is shatter-resistant, which provides another level of protection. It prevents scratching and damage in the event the glass breaks. You can also opt for glazing that provides the following additional benefits: UV-protection, non-glare finish and high visual clarity.
  • Choice of matting. Matting for shadow box frames is optional. It can, however, be used to add a decorative element to the display case. The color of the matting can offset the item being displayed.
  • Using needle and thread. If the frame is used as a jersey display case, you may need to sew the jersey into the backing to secure it so that you display key sections. Since you cannot display both of the jersey’s front and back, you can fold and sew the jersey so that the name, number and team logo can be seen. You can also use tissue paper or a piece of mat board to provide additional support and to give a 3-dimensiona look to the display.
  • Hooks or hangers. You can suspend the item from the top of the interior edge of the frame. This is a great way to mount a jersey, another piece of clothing or a piece of jewelry such as a necklace.
  • Straps. You can tie the item securely into the mounting board with suitable materials such as a clear plastic ribbon, colored ribbons or leather straps. You can also opt for the invisible look by using transparent thread. These can be tied at the back of the mounting board to prevent the item from being dislodged.
  • Glue or adhesive. You can glue the item on to the mounting board. However, this option is usually irreversible. If you want to remove the item from the mounting board, you may damage this. The same is the case for using a glue gun. What’s more, the glue from the glue gun has a tendency to break down over the years. If you still opt to use glue, choose a clear silicone adhesive that is also acid free, which is stronger and able to hold heavier items in place. Once you attach the item to the mounting board, allow the board to “breathe” so that the glue takes time to cure.
  • Specific mount. There are mounting mechanisms that are designed for specific items such as coins, collector’s spoons, plates or guns.
30th Nov 2014 Eric Morgan

Recent Posts