Instead of languishing in a dusty box to be seldom opened, I decided to create shadow boxes and display some of our wedding keepsakes as part of our home decor. They were very easy to assemble and personalise, and they look fantastic on our wall. Here is how mine were created along with some tips for customising your own displays.
Finding the right box is key to getting the look and style you want, so take the time to shop around and if all else fails, create your own or have them custom made. Pick a style that suits both your decor and your wedding/memorabilia, if possible. It took me ages to find a frame I liked and when I did the shop didn't have enough so I needed to buy them as a special order, but I'm so happy with them! Yay! If the backing isn't attractive or is the wrong colour, you can replace it with a painted board of similar thickness (frame style depending), repaint the existing backing, or cover it with fabric, paper, or similar in a style that better suits your project.
Since weddings are often styled in a coordinating theme or style, you already have a head start on creating a cohesive looking shadow box display. Carry that through in the objects you display and any visible attaching hardware. Our wedding was predominantly black, white, and silver (also coordinates well with our home decor - win win!), so I carried these colours into the clips, brads, and string and opted to keep our photo black and white so that everything stayed cohesive. Try to present you objects so that the use of space within the frames is similar. For example, I hung my spoons instead of just attaching them so that they didn't look undersized in the fame compared to my other displays. The pocket square and ring box were grouped in a single frame, while the birds were spaced in a flock. Lay things out and get a feeling for how the boxes will look together as a group before you start attaching things that can't readily be reversed.
The best way to secure items will depend on the frames as well as the objects, especially if you are putting precious mementos on display. Scrapbook adhesive squares (or double sided tape) are quick and simple, but only suitable for light-weight objects and may cause damage if removed. Pushpins or brads are also simple (although you may need to drill a hole through your backing), or you can use a similar technique to secure a bulldog clip through the backing for a removable display. Remember that anything made of paper that's not completely fixed may curl on it's free edges over time, so take spacial care with irreplaceable items or display copies. Heavy or bulky objects may need special TLC to secure them in the shadow boxes. Hook-and-loop (e.g. 3M strips) are a convenient option and also keep things semi-removable, but use them with care as they may still damage your frame or keepsake if you need to remove them in the future. If things are too precious to risk any form of direct attachment, sewing into position or suspending may work better for you. Personally, I've used all of these methods for different wall art of the years - it's all case-by case.
My personal shadow boxes display has six boxes and they contain:
- Wedding invitation and envelope including our homemade sticker seal, attached with a bulldog clip.
- Laser cut paper bird wineglass seating cards attached with scrapbook adhesive squares.
- Groom's pocket square attached with a bulldog clip and our ring box attached with a 3M strip. I keep the lucky sixpence that was taped into my shoes on our wedding day in the box. Not familiar with the lucky sixpence? The familiar wedding rhyme is actually "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe."
- Keepsake stamped wedding spoons suspended on bakers twine from heart-shaped brad, reinforced with small sections of 3M strip. The same bakers twine was used throughout our wedding decor.
- Sheet music of the song playing when I walked down the aisle, secured with a bulldog clip.
- A black and white wedding photo of the two of us secured with a bulldog clip.
I realised when photographing this post that I never shared anything from the handcrafted goodness bought and DIYed for our wedding here in the blog. It's been a while, but many of the fab vendors are still in the wedding/handmade business so here is a special shout-out for some of the items seen in our shadow boxes. The design for our wedding invitations was custom created by Lane Love Design, the wedding spoons were custom stamped by Sycamore Hill and the custom carved wooden ring box was created by LV Woodworks. Sections of the items show have been edited in images for personal privacy, so the pictures don't really do them full justice but they are all fabulous and were perfect parts of our wedding day. The lasercut bird placecards came from AliExpress and the sixpence from Ebay.