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Shadow Box Made From a Salvaged Cabinet

Recycle your old cabinets by turning them into shadowbox display cases.

Materials and Tools:

one old cabinet door (from entertainment center, kitchen cabinets, etc.)
one sheet 1/4" oak plywood
one sheet 3/4" oak plywood
one sheet clear acrylic glass
one spool 2" ribbon
1/2" strips of wood
door knob
white paint
jig saw
table saw
hot-glue gun
brad nailer, 1-1/2" and 5/8" brad nails
1/4" dado bit
family photos or mementos

Figure A


1. Take a door and hinges off an old cabinet.

2. Using a jig saw, cut out the inlay of the door, so that all that remains is the thicker exterior border.

3. Sand off any old paint and smooth out the surface.

4. Paint desired color (we chose white).

5. Cut acrylic sheet 3/4 inches smaller than outside dimensions of existing door.

6. Fasten acrylic to existing door using 1/2" strips of wood.

7. Using a table saw, cut four pieces of 3/4" oak plywood to the dimensions of the existing door, making each piece three inches deep.

8. Make 1/4" dado cuts down the length of each piece at 1/8" deep.

Figure B

9. Attach three side pieces together using 1-1/2" brad nails.

10. Cut 1/4" oak plywood to dimensions of the box for the backing and slide into the dado cuts of the three side pieces.

11. Apply the fourth side piece and attach the backing using 5/8" brad nails.

12. Cut strips of ribbon or fabric to the length of shadow box and hot glue them to the inside back of the box to create a nice background.

13. Using the existing hinges to fasten the door to the shadow box.

Figure C

14. Attach door knob to the door of the box.

15. Adhere battery-operated puck lights to the inside top of the box.

16. Adhere pictures to the ribbon (using double-stick tape or glue).

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