Make an Oversized Shadowbox Facade

Create a focal point on your wall and unite a disparate grouping of objects with a large-scale shadowbox facade made from basic lumber and materials.
Detail Photo of Wall Shadow Box

Detail of a Wall Shadow Box

A detail photo of a wall shadow box that unites a disparate grouping of objects.

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Materials Needed:

  • framed photos or artwork
  • wall sculpture or found objects
  • measuring tape
  • 8'; planks of 1x6"; pine
  • circular saw with miter setting
  • 8'; strips of 1x2"; pine trim
  • nail gun
  • brads
  • drill
  • 2"; wood screws
  • screwdriver
  • wood glue
  • picture nails
  • quart of semi-gloss latex paint
  • spackle or wood filler
  • spackle knife
  • 2"; angled paintbrush
  • orbital sander
  • sanding pads
  • key hole picture hangers
  • picture nails
  • hammer
  • damp cloth

Measure, Mark and Cut Frame

Gather disparate framed photos or artwork as well as wall sculpture or found objects, then lay them out on the floor in their proper positions as they’ll be seen once hung on the wall. Use measuring tape to determine the height and width of the space needed to properly display all pieces. Since the shadowbox will work as a facade, the pieces displayed inside of it will be attached directly to the wall. Referring to these measurements, measure and mark two planks of 1x6” pine to the intended overall height and two planks to the intended overall width (Image 1). These will become the four pieces which make up the shadowbox frame. Next, add 45-degree miter cuts to each end of all four pieces using circular saw (Image 2).

Measure, Mark and Cut Fascia

To create fascia for the front of the shadowbox, strips of 1x2” pine trim will need to be cut to size, then attached along the front of the frame. First, referring to measurements, mark two strips of 1x2” pine to the intended overall height and two strips of 1x2” pine to the intended overall width of the shadowbox (Image 1). Next, add 45 degree miter cuts to each end of all four pieces using circular saw (Image 2).

Assemble Frame

Add wood glue along the edges of each miter cut (Image 1). While glue is still wet, place all four pieces of the frame together, creating a perfect rectangle or square, then use nail gun and brads or drill and 2” wood screws to secure the four pieces of the shadowbox frame to one another (Image 2).

Attach Fascia to Frame

Add wood glue along the front edge of the frame (Image 1). Next, place each of the 4 mitered strips of fascia into their proper positions, with the wood glue holding them firmly in place. Secure all four pieces directly to the frame using nail gun and brads, or drill and 2” wood screws (Images 2 and 3).

Spackle, Sand and Paint

Use a spackle knife to fill nail gun or screw holes with wood filler or spackle (Image 1). Once dry, use an orbital sander and sanding pads to smooth surface (Image 2). Wipe away all dust using damp cloth. Next, use 2” angled brush to paint the interior and exterior of the shadowbox with semi-gloss paint (Images 3 and 4).

Attach Key Hole Picture Hangers

Attach key hole picture hangers to the back of the shadowbox frame using drill or screw driver (Image 1). Once securely fastened, hang shadowbox on wall, then position frames and objects in their proper positions, and hang with picture nails.

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