Check out my new DIY wedding shadow boxes! I’m smitten with this recent homemade home decor project. Instead of languishing in a dusty box to be seldom opened, I decided to create shadow boxes and display some of our wedding keepsakes. The frames were easy to assemble and personalise to suit our decor and our keepsakes, and they look great on our wall. Here’s how my wedding shadow box displays were created, along with some tips for customising your own displays.
Creating a Custom Shadow Box Display
Finding the Right Box (or Boxes)
Finding the right box is key to getting the look and style you want. Take the time to shop around and if all else fails, create your own or have them custom made. Pick a style that suits both your decor and your wedding/memorabilia, if possible, so that the display will look cohesive in your home. It took me ages to find a frame I liked. When I finally did, the shop didn’t have enough so I needed to buy them as a special order, but I’m so happy with them. Yay!
Shadow Box Backgrounds
Unlike a normal photo frame, the background of the shadow box will be the visible backdrop for your displayed items. If the backing of your boxes isn’t attractive or is the wrong colour, change it. Replace it with a painted board of similar thickness (frame style depending), repaint the existing backing, or cover it with fabric, paper, or similar in a style that suits your project. Don’t make the background too dominant. It can distract from your displayed treasures.
Creating an Attractive and Cohesive Shadow Box Display
Since weddings are often styled in a coordinating theme or style, you already have a head start on creating a cohesive shadow box display. Carry that through in the displayed objects and any visible attaching hardware.
Colours are an important part of making your display be cohesive, both on its own and as part of your home decor. Our wedding was predominantly black, white, and silver (also coordinates well with our home decor – win win!). I carried these colours into the clips, brads, and string. I also opted to keep our photo black and white so that everything stayed cohesive.
For a gallery display, try to present you objects so that the use of space within the frames is similar. For example, I hung my spoons instead of just attaching them so that they didn’t look undersized in the fame compared to my other displays. The pocket square and ring box were grouped in a single frame, while the birds were spaced in a flock. Lay things out and get a feeling for how the boxes will look together as a group before you start attaching things that can’t readily be moved.
Securing Items in a Shadow Box Display
The best way to secure items will depend on the frames as well as the objects, especially if you are putting precious mementos on display.
Scrapbook adhesive squares (or double sided tape) are quick and simple, but only suitable for light-weight objects. They might also cause damage if removed. Pushpins or brads are also simple, although you may need to drill a hole through your backing. You can use a similar technique to secure a bulldog clip through the backing for a removable display.
Remember that anything made of paper that’s not completely fixed may curl on it’s free edges over time. They may also fade or discolour, especially if exposed to strong light. Take special care with irreplaceable items or display copies.
Heavy or bulky objects may need special TLC to secure them in the shadow boxes. Removable hook-and-loop (e.g. 3M) strips are a convenient option. They keep things semi-removable, but use them with care as they might still damage your frame or keepsake if you need to remove them in the future. If things are too precious to risk any form of direct attachment, sewing into position or suspending may work better for you.
Personally, I’ve used all of these methods for different wall art of the years. It’s all case-by case depending on the items and the display.
My DIY Wedding Shadow Box Gallery Wall
- Wedding invitation and envelope including our homemade sticker seal, attached with a bulldog clip.
- Laser cut paper bird wineglass seating cards attached with scrapbook adhesive squares.
- Groom’s pocket square attached with a bulldog clip and our ring box attached with a 3M strip. I keep the lucky sixpence that was taped into my shoes on our wedding day in the box.
- Keepsake stamped wedding spoons suspended on bakers twine from heart-shaped brad, reinforced with small sections of 3M picture strip. The same bakers twine was used throughout our wedding decor.
- Sheet music of the song playing when I walked down the aisle, secured with a bulldog clip.
- A black and white wedding photo of the two of us secured with a bulldog clip.
Not familiar with the lucky sixpence? The familiar wedding rhyme is actually “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe.”
Love the look? The design for our wedding invitations was custom created by Lane Love Design, the wedding spoons were custom stamped by Sycamore Hill, and the carved wooden ring box was custom created by LV Woodworks. These pictures don’t do them full justice as sections have been edited for privacy, but they are all fabulous and were perfect elements in our wedding day. The lasercut birds came from AliExpress (affiliate link) and the sixpence was purchased on Ebay.