Today I’m going to show you how to make an easy shadow box out of an old picture frame and thin plywood. Step by step directions will allow you to make your own in an afternoon.
As I mentioned in episode #2 of my new podcast, Thrift Store and Curb Shopping, picture frames are one of my top 5 items to look for while junking!
To begin, I grabbed a large frame from my stash of thrifted frames, and cut some thin plywood to size. On large frames like this, there is a lip all the way around that offers the perfect ledge to hold the thin plywood.
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I added Gorilla Wood Glue around all the edges (lip) of the frame to make the easy shadow box.
I also added the wood glue to the edges where the thin plywood meets.
I clamped and braced the boards until the wood glue had time to set up.
The thin plywood looks so much nicer in the little lip of the frame than a thicker piece of wood does such as a 1×4 or 1×6.
I used a scrap piece of bead board for the back of the shadow box. I used more Gorilla Wood Glue then weighted the back until the glue set up.
My paint can was getting a little rusty so I used this cansealid that I received to review. You can read my review on Amazon. In short, I love how this lid works! It goes on easily, seals the can really well, and is easy to remove.
Doesn’t it sort of look like the paint can is wearing a painter’s cap? After placing the lid on, you sort of “burp” the air out by lifting the brim of the lid.
Because the plywood is very thin, I didn’t have enough thickness to attach my favorite d rings for hanging. I used a couple of 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.
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.
EDITED TO ADD: This shadow box sold very quickly, it is no longer available in the booth.
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: