Today, I will show you how to make an easy shadow box from an old picture frame and thin plywood. Step-by-step directions will allow you to make your own repurposed frame shadowbox in an afternoon.
Thrift Store Picture Frame Project
As I mentioned before, picture frames are among my top 5 items to look for while junking!
Thin Plywood is Used to Make an Easy Shadow Box
I grabbed a large frame from my stash of thrifted frames and cut some thin plywood to size. On large frames like this, a lip around offers the perfect ledge to hold the thin plywood. The easy shadow box is already on its way!
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Use Wood Glue Instead of Nails
I added Gorilla Wood Glue around all the edges (lip) of the frame to make the display case.
Then, I added the wood glue to the edges where the thin plywood meets.
Clamp The Sides of The Shadow Box Until The Glue Sets Up
I clamped and braced the boards until the wood glue had time to set up on the easy shadow box.
The thin plywood looks much nicer in the little lip of the frame than a thicker piece of wood, such as a 1x4 or 1x6.
Add Bead Board For The Back
I used a scrap piece of bead board for the back of the shadow box. Of course, I used more Gorilla Wood Glue and then weighted the back until the glue was set up.
How to Add Scrap Wood For Hanging
Because the plywood is very thin, I didn't have enough thickness to attach my favorite d rings for hanging. I used some scrap pieces of wood and some Gorilla Glue Construction Adhesive to secure the wood to the back of the thin plywood. I used two pieces, one at the top and one at the bottom.
In this image, you can see I've painted one before I remembered to take the picture.
White Easy Shadow Box made from a Picture Frame
I've been quite lazy with my staging lately—in case you didn't know, I always stage my projects outside on a portable wall. It's been really hot, the garage is crowded, and the gray side of the wall needs repainting.
I took it to my booth at Vendors' Village. It's shown here hanging under the wreath I got from Pink Door Wreaths.
This project sold very quickly. I should make some more of these. So, do you hoard love frames as much as I do?
Here are a few more shadow boxes I've made out of picture frames:
Related Content: Picture Frame Ideas For Home Decor and More
Gail Wilson is the author and mastermind behind My Repurposed Life. She is obsessed with finding potential in unexpected places and believes that with a little hard work and imagination, any old thing can be made useful again, including herself!
Gail reinvented herself during a midlife crisis and has found purpose again. She hopes you will find new ideas for old things and pick up a few tools along the way.