How to Personalize a Shadow Box for a Gift

Some of the best gifts are uniquely crafted items that contain memories and personal thoughts. Like shadow boxes! Shadow boxes are display cases that can be filled with mementos and small trinkets of many variations. Whether it’s for a recent graduate, memories from the holidays, or for someone who’s lost a loved one, nothing captures the fondest moments and past memories in one place like a shadow box. Below we’ve made a list of ideas that can be placed in a shadow box for the perfect gift!


If you’re having trouble thinking of some creative ideas, simply begin with a picture. If needed, first mount a background of your choice such as patterned scrapbook paper, burlap, ribbons, etc. Then pin some photos. Feel free to add any paired meaningful souvenirs on top. Keep in mind that the pictures chosen will honor your memories for years to come. 


Does your family have a favorite meal that you grew up enjoying around the table? If so, the recipe would be a thoughtful memento to include in a shadow box. Recipes are a nice reminder of that person’s favorite dish, bringing back memories of home-cooked meals and special dinners spent together. These are great shadow box ideas in remembrance and in honor of a lost grandparent or relative. This gift can be passed down to each generation.


Medals are small and easy to place inside the box. Usually, medals get lost among old family trinkets in storage over the years, but a shadow box is a great place to display your loved one’s accomplishments and awards. 


Looking to bring some nature indoors, add some greenery, or a vertical garden to your home? Dried flowers or planted succulents add color and life to your shadowbox. As you can see in our image above we have created a shadow box containing coral, which would be a great gift idea for a beach house owner or someone that loves the ocean! Nature can be incorporated in a variety of shadowboxes like wedding flower memories, a gift for a new homeowner, etc. 


This is a perfect idea to implement in a baby shadowbox. Adding baby clothes/shoes is easy and a great way to keep your favorite baby stuff that can no longer be worn. Keep these special items safe and secure to gift your child later in life.


Remember that vacation you took to Europe? Unfortunately, it didn’t last forever, but creating a shadow box containing tickets and postcards you gathered along the way is fun to include in your box. Remember the good times of travel by crafting them into a collage!

While creating the perfect shadow box can feel overwhelming it’s important to have fun and most importantly be creative! Of course, to start you’ll need a box. Stop by Frames Unlimited Charleston so we can help you pick out the perfect shadow box for you to gift a loved one in the new year!