*Last Updated: April 2024

The 5 Best Shadow Boxes | Plus DIY & Display Pics

In this post, we ranked five of the best-selling shadow boxes.

We also included some DIY pics and display examples- scroll down to check them out!

In every home, you will find memories displayed. On walls, in picture frames or just setting about, this insight into our lives gives a home the feeling of life and joy.

The shopfoxandbear Instagrammer showcases an especially gorgeous design if you’re interested in making your own:

A DIY Example


It is always refreshing to see these memories displayed in a creative way.

Creating a unique, conversation piece is something that many people think about when storing their memories. This is where shadow boxes come in.

In shadow boxes, you can create a fun, three-dimensional space that includes items you otherwise would not store in a traditional frame. There is no better way to preserve your joyful moments than with this living scrapbook.


Best Purchase Options

SaleBestseller No. 1
Califortree 8x10 Shadow Box Frame with Linen Back - Real Glass, Push Pins Included, Sturdy Rustic Memory Display Case, Distressed White
3,108 Reviews
Califortree 8x10 Shadow Box Frame with Linen Back - Real Glass, Push Pins Included, Sturdy Rustic Memory Display Case, Distressed White
  • Front-Opening Magnetic Door: Magnetic doors open and close easily, allowing you to revise your project at any moment—an excellent method to exhibit artwork reflecting your ever-shifting ideas
SaleBestseller No. 2
Califortree 8x8 Shadow Box Frame with Soft Linen Back - Push Pins Included, Memory Box Display Case for Flower, Tickets and 3D Items, Black
  • Durable Construction: Crafted from high quality MDF wood, featuring shatterproof safe plexiglass, perfectly preserves and vividly showcases your work
Bestseller No. 3
Americanflat 12x16 Shadow Box Frame in Black with Soft Linen Back - Large Shadow Box Frame with Engineered Wood and Plexiglass Cover for Wall or Tabletop Display
  • Protect and Showcase: Our deep shadow box frame offers display flexibility, it has a 1.5" depth, giving ample space and protection for your memorabilia, while its 2.5" overall depth makes it perfect for tabletop display.
Bestseller No. 4
4 Pack 8 x 8in Shadow Box Picture Frame 3D Frames Shadow Box Square Shadow Boxes Display Cases with Adhesive Tape for Baby Items Wedding Memories Crafts Awards Medals Tickets and Photos(White)
  • Premium Material: The shadow box frames are made of sturdy and environmentally friendly MDF wood. And clear shatterproof acrylic front to help isolate dust, perfectly protect and clearly display your memorabilia.
SaleBestseller No. 5
Shadow Box Frame Display Cases 8x10 - Deep Shadowbox Picture Frame with Galss 3D Display Wood Shadow Box Frame with Line Board (8x10-black 1Pack)
  • 【Wooden Shadow box with tempered glass】Shadow box frame is made of environmentally friendly wood which is delicate and textured, ensuring durability and resistance to deformation. The front is made of hard tempered glass, providing excellent transparency and protection for the items displayed inside. And glass with a thickness of 2mm is not easy to crack or break

What Is A Shadow Box?

According to Homedit, a shadow box is a glass front case that contains one or more objects of personal significance.

They can be used to display items such as photos or even as a way to repurpose items around your house. They are used by collectors and laypeople alike for unique decor. While they do not necessarily have to be mounted on the wall, this is usually the case.


Unlike traditional frames, these frames are used to display three-dimensional objects rather than flat items such as pictures (though, pictures are often used as part of the display piece!).

For instance, these frames can be used by collectors to display insects, toys, or memorabilia, while the layperson might display stones they found on a beach during a vacation or tickets to a concert.

Shadow boxes are easy to make and display. They can be purchased in a multitude of shapes and sizes, as well as styles.

For instance, if you have a beach themed decor, they have wooden frames that are weathered to look like driftwood or, if your decor is more industrial, you can purchase frames that are metal.

The backdrops are easy to manipulate and replace to fit the theme that you are seeking. Overall, they are your best option if you are looking for unique display pieces in your home.

Buying Guide

When buying a shadow box, it is important to go in knowing exactly what you are looking for. Buying a frame requires that you take a few things into consideration.

  1. Shape: First of all, you need to determine the size and shape of the frame that you will need. These frames come in sizes varying from small to extremely large. Determining what you want to put into your display is an important first step to understanding the size you will need.
  2. Glass/Plastic: You will also want to determine whether you would like your frame to feature a glass front or a plastic front. While glass has a clearer finish, it is heavy and easily damaged; plastic will be lighter and will withstand more damage, so, consider this if you have children or pets.
  3. Frame Depth: Another thing that you should take into account is the depth of the frame you prefer. Frames can be shallow, similar to a picture frame, or they can be extremely deep. This goes back to what things you will be displaying. Shallow frames work well with items such as pictures while deep frames can display more physical items.

Going into this project while having a plan in mind will help you to buy the best box for your project.

Creating a Shadow Box

Creating shadow boxes is an easy way to create expensive looking decor. Many websites, such as RealSimple or DIY Network walk you through a variety of ways to create your display piece.

Dollar Tree DIY LED Shadow Box

The first thing that you need to do is pick a theme for the frame. Some of the most popular themes are military displays and displays of children’s achievements.

All boxes come with blank backdrops to mount your items onto. These backdrops can be covered in thin fabric or scrapbooking paper using glue to create a more engaging display.

After this, arrange your items on your backdrop within the frame to determine the best placement for your memories.

Before mounting your display to the wall, make sure that you have secured the front of the frame. This will keep your items in place so that they do not spill from your frame.

DIY Shadow Boxes

Before deep frames were more easily accessible, shadow boxes were (and are) a great DIY project. The internet has a variety of sites like Bob Vila’s that will help you to make a frame from scratch. This is a great thing to do for unique projects, such as displaying toys from your childhood.

DIY boxes are an easy project that can be completed in a more cost-effective manner than buying larger frames.

If you are looking to purchase a larger frame or a free-standing frame, DIY may be a more wallet-friendly option for your budget.

One caution regarding this project is that these instructions often require power tools and some mechanical knowledge. It requires a lot of work and attention to detail. If you are someone who excels in this area, this can often be a better route for you than buying a large frame. If this is the route for you, grab your tools and find a tutorial that fits your needs.

Display Ideas

While there is no set theme for a shadow box or even one correct way to create one, there are a few more common displays that you will see.


The most prevalent display is a military display. This can honor someone who has served in the military or someone who has fallen in the line of duty.


This includes displays for first responders. These displays can feature medals, uniform shirts, pictures, and dog tags.

For Kids

Along the same lines, many scout parents have utilized the same structure for their children’s achievements to be on display. Another common display you will see are displays honoring weddings. This can include preserved wedding dresses, bouquets, garters, pictures, or even letters from your guest book.

It’s a great way to honor your special day and keep the memory of that day fresh for your family and friends when they come into your home.

When determining what you will put into your shadow box, remember that everyone creates their own shadow box display in their own way. You do not have to be Pinterest perfect or an exact replica of something you saw in a model home. Honor whatever memories you hold most dear.

Etsy Options

Etsy has some cool options if you want to explore some more unique, custom designs:

Etsy ProductsEtsy Product Rating# Of Etsy Ratings
Engraved Shadow Box with Fine Cigars Design - A Unique Custom Gift for Men & Women - Proudly Display Your Cigar Bands Anywhere5 out of 5 stars(6,214)
Rustic shadow box, shadow box5 out of 5 stars(976)
Crafter Depot Shadow Box - 8" x 10", Memory Box, Display Box, Shadow Box Frame, Keepsake Box, Gift Box, Blank Shadow Box, Blank Display Box5 out of 5 stars(675)
Personalized Thin Blue Line Flag Shadow Box - Law Enforcement Gift - Police Gift - Father's Day - Birthday Gift5 out of 5 stars(691)
Hand Made - Rustic Shadow Box , Display Photos - Memorabilia - Your Favorite Vacation Items - Shadow Box Display Case5 out of 5 stars(44)
Crafter Depot Shadow Box - 8" x 10", Memory Box, Display Box, Shadow Box Frame, Keepsake Box, Gift Box, Blank Shadow Box, Blank Display Box5 out of 5 stars(675)
Customizable Adventure fund shadow box piggy savings bank5 out of 5 stars(8)
The Top 5 Team

We are a team of product researchers that specializes in assembling comprehensive buying guides. Our team has a variety of backgrounds, with a mixture of soft and hard sciences represented. Check out our About page to read more about our reviews and editorial process.