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Often, it’s easier to preserve a memory than the small tokens kept to remind us of it. Movie stubs, concert tickets, notes, and photographs can easily be tucked away in a forgotten corner and left susceptible to damage – no matter how much sentimental value they hold. Rather than letting these token become just more bits of clutter (or worse yet, lost altogether), shadow boxes offer an aesthetically pleasing way of organizing and displaying treasured pieces or memorabilia.
Shadow boxes go beyond the capabilities of a basic frame due to their depth. Ranging from one to three inches deep, shadow boxes are design to hold both flat, and three-dimensional objects. The box’s glass cover and rectangular wooden structure still give it the display capabilities of a frame, but the overall boxy build gives you more freedom to arrange objects in unique ways, rather than simply inserting them into the dimensions of a fixed space.
The depth of the shadow box you choose should largely depend on what you plan on displaying. If you want to showcase photos, tickets, and notes, then you won’t need two inches of space. However, if you want to fill the shadowbox with wine corks, shells, or small knick-knacks, then a greater depth is necessary.
Another factor to consider when selecting the right shadow box is the backing material. Some will have fabric backings – whether it be soft linen or textured burlap – that let you use push pins to keep your momentos in place. Others may have cork, which also facilitates push-pin use but offers less aesthetic uniqueness. Some may have just a wooden backing, making those shadow boxes better-suited for holding decorations like sand, shells, or corks, instead of objects that need to be held in place with an adhesive.
When it comes to safekeeping, shadow boxes let you openly showcase treasured memories while also preserving them and keeping them out of harm’s way. With the great variety of available depths and backing materials, you have the ability to get creative with your displays.
1. Love-KANKEI Shadow Box Frame
Measuring eight by ten inches with two inches of depth, this shadowbox has the space to house three-dimensional objects. However, you’ll be free to switch up your display to include photos, tickets, and notes should you choose, thanks to its combined use of cork and fabric.
The cork makes it push-pin friendly, and the woven burlap cloth placed overtop adds a bit of rustic style, complementing the box’s wooden frame. Plus, we love this shadow box for its magnetic door. Switching up the internal design is quick and easy.
2. Americanflat Shadow Box Frame
Whether it’s mounted on the wall or displayed on a tabletop, this shadowbox shows off your treasured momentoes while also keeping them safe beneath its shatterproof glass. While the depth (1.5 inches) is useful for holding trinkets or medals, it can be minimized for times when you’d simply like to display a photo. The inside pieces of wood can be removed so that it’s converted back into a standard frame. In addition to its sleek black design, we also love this model for its linen backing that allows for push-pin use.
3. Upstreet Shadow Box
If you want to bring reminders of your travels back into your own home, this top-loading shadow box with a 1.8-inch depth is a beautiful way to showcase what you have collected. Small shells, sea glass, and sand are especially fitting with the shadowbox’s top-loading method and wooden backing layer. If you’re drawn to the hobby of collecting things, you’ll especially love how the top slot lets you continuously add to your display and watch your collection grow over time.
4. Golden State Art Shadow Box
Whether you want to make art projects out of beloved knick-knacks found around your house, or you’re in need of an unconventional canvas for multimedia art, this shadow box is easy to manipulate because of its hinged magnetic door. Being able to open the door gives you increased control over how you arrange the contents of your shadow box. We also love this model for its larger size. It measures 11 by 11 inches and has a thick black molding frame.