DIY Wedding Memorabilia Shadow Boxes

DIY wedding memorabilia shadow boxes

Check out my new DIY wedding shadow boxes! I’m smitten. Instead of languishing in a dusty box somewhere, I decided to create shadow boxes and display some of our wedding keepsakes.  The frames were easy to assemble and personalise to suit our home decor and our keepsakes, and they look great on our wall. Here’s how my wedding shadow box gallery wall display was created, along with tips for customising your own special shadow boxes.

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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! Worth the fussy searching and waiting. Haha!

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 shadow box isn’t attractive or is the wrong colour, change it. You can 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, though. It might distract from your displayed treasures.

DIY wedding memorabilia shadow box gallery wall

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. You can carry that through in the box framing, backings, 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 have our display wedding photo as a black and white print 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 flat 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.

DIY wedding memorabilia shadow boxes

Securing Items Inside Hanging Shadow Boxes

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.

Heavy or bulky objects may need special TLC to secure them in the shadow boxes.  Removable hook-and-loop 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 ever do remove them. 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. As a note of caution when picking your methods and objects, remember that anything made of paper that’s not completely fixed may curl on its free edges over time. Things inside your shadow may also fade or discolour, especially if exposed to strong light. Take special care with irreplaceable items and consider using display copies for any for paper items.

Attaching items for display in DIY wedding memorabilia shadow boxes

My DIY Wedding Shadow Box Gallery Wall

My wedding shadow box gallery wall has six matching boxes. All are the same size, with a black exterior and a matte grey background. They contain:
  • Wedding invitation and envelope including 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 black and white bakers twine was used throughout our wedding decor, so it’s an extra special touch. 
  • 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.” Tracking one down through coin shops or dealers has become one of my favourite little gifts for brides-to-be.

Lucky sixpence wedding memento

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 and the sixpence was purchased on Ebay.

DIY Wedding Memorabilia Shadow Boxes

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