Shadow Box Framing: Turning Memories into Heirlooms

I love my job. Custom framing allows me a beautiful insight into the lives of my customers. They bring me their most treasured items; their child's artwork, the poster they picked up on a trip out west, or the painting they purchased from a street vendor in Italy. My job is to enhance and preserve those items, to capture the memory and save it for them in a convenient package that they can proudly display for the next 30+ years.
Of all the various framing jobs I see, by far the most personal, and most moving, are the shadow boxes. A shadow box, filled with memories of a specific person, activity, place or event, becomes so much more than the sum of its parts. It takes items and photos out of drawers and boxes, and allows you to tell a story in 3 dimensions. Those items, that are so personally important, become a visual display to share and relive.
Interested in creating your own shadow box? Here's what you need to know:
  • A shadow box frame can contain absolutely anything. I've seen everything from wedding rings, to a trophy-size mounted musky go into a shadowbox. There is really no limit.
  • The important thing to remember is that you are trying to tell a story. Choose items that capture what you want your shadow box to say.
  • When you've got your items together, consult a professional. A qualified framer can assemble a shadowbox that is not only timeless and beautiful, but also archival and reversible.
  • Even if you are planning to assemble your own shadow box, seek advice. We have been doing this a long time and can help you choose the best methods to preserve your items.
As a custom framer, the highlight of my day is getting to watch customers pick up their items. To have been entrusted with a father's military medals and photos, or the items from a couples' wedding is a great honor and responsibility. To take those memories and transform them into an heirloom that will be treasured for years is the magic of my job. If I do it correctly, I'm awarded smiles, gleeful laughter and occasionally, tears of joy.