Picture Frames, Picture Framing and Picture Framers' Blog

Welcome to our weblog about picture framers, picture frames and picture framing. It is published and maintained with the goal to share information, knowledge, tips, ideas and opinions about this industry. All posts are grouped in the sections listed below. For help with orders, please visit our Store Help and FAQS page, or use our Contact page.

Our five most popular shadow box frames questions

What are Shadow Box frames?  These frames are essentially the same as normal picture frames but with several different features.  Firstly the moulding, or frame, is much deeper at its side. For instance a normal moulding could be 4cms wide x 2cms high. With shadow box mouldings the proportions are reversed so that it would be 2cms wide x 4cms high, thus giving frames that ‘boxy’ look. As the frame is deeper, and since a window mat, glass and backing are quite thin, perhaps making up .5 cm of the 4cms the remaining 3.5cms can be used to place and hold objects. What these objects could be is only limited by one’s imagination, but basically you can put any small 3-D object with a height or thickness around 85% of the height of the moulding, as a very rough rule of thumb. Secondly there are usually removable spacers between the glass and the back ... of the frame which allow for easy access, placement and mounting of the desired objects. Thirdly, the rear of the frame is not permanently sealed as in custom picture frames, but openable, often by bending open and closing the fitted steel flexible tabs at the back of the frame. Why are Shadow Box frames so popular?  Their popularity is due to their construction which allows customers to put stuff, objects and things in them! With most picture frames and photo frames, you can only put 2-Dimensional thin pieces of sheets of paper or film inside. Certainly you cannot put, place or insert anything thicker than thin cardboard, if you’re lucky. But shadow box frames have  deeper side depths which create discrete spaces between the glass and the backing which allows to put reasonably think and 3-Dimensional objects inside them. The spaces are workable in so far that you can put reasonably thick object inside. For instance, our 3-Dimensional Box Frames have a depth of 1.5cms or 15mm.  Our Shadow Box Frames are even better and have a greater depth of 2.8cms or 28mm. What can be the uses for Shadow Box Frames? Ideas for  the use of shadow boxes are endless and may be restricted only by users’ constrained thinking and imaginations. Artists, inventors, photographers, customers, hobbyists, users and all sorts of people have been known all sorts of objects inside. Some of these are: caps, tiaras, combs, scissors, rings, art, medallions, sea shells, figurines, miniatures, pine cones, dried flowers, butterflies, molluscs, starfish, scrabble tiles, and fossils, just to name a few that come to mind quickly. How can I choose a Shadow Box Frame? There are several factors to consider when choosing a shadow box frame. Perhaps the most important one is  that  it’s difficult if not impossible to place and mount in them undessicated or untreated organic matter objects. Wedding cake and flowers for instance, lose moisture, shrivel, become friable and break off or apart with the passing of time. The mounting of such objects is specialized and may require specialized freeze drying or dessication processes before mounting or placement in shadow box frames. These procedures are best handled by experts and are beyond the scope of this post. That said, most solid, dry non-organic objects may be deemed candidates for shadow box mounting. And while the height and width of the object to be mounted are the dimensions that most readily come to mind, its thickness or height is also very important. You will need to make sure that the space or depth of the shadow box is sufficient to accommodate the height or thickness of the object being mounted. With most shadow boxes this is not too difficult to determine.  Either the product description, store information or supplier should provide the depth or space measurement available. Whatever the measurement, make sure there’s a bit of clearance since objects don’t look to good squashed against the glass.  For instance, if the object is 25mm high, you should considers a shadow box with a 28mm depth, thus giving the object about a 10% clearance.  Do you make custom Shadow Box frames?  We choose not to.  All of our shadow box frames derive from the selling of inexpensive, excellent value-for-money,  imported products.  We find that trying to sell locally made, custom shadow box frames invariably leads to customer price shock, debate, arguments  and, occasionally, to customer abuse because of the enormous price disparity between the two products.



I have a small Facebook business selling framed scrabble tiles. The shadow box frames and 3-D frames sold here are ideal for my customers because of the space these afford for my tiling. When the frames with the tiles are mounted with all the different tiles, these make nice presents. I sell them mostly to families.
Lorna A. - 19 Dec 2018 08:37 pm
My new small business sells framed beach shells and beachcombers' art to tourists here in Margaret River, WA. I started making my own shadow box frames at first as I couldn't find anything suitable around here but it was a slow and expensive task. Then by chance I came across this useful blog and realized that I can fit a lot for my art in the very reasonably priced, white 3-D shadow box frames sold here.
Wendy F. - 22 Nov 2018 08:26 pm

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