18 January 2013

How To Make An Oversized Shadowbox Frame

A week ago I showed a bunch of pictures of this finished wedding veil display, and now I'm finally back to give the details on making the shadowbox frame. 

For the first wedding veil display I made {which you can find here} I just used a cheap poster frame to frame the veil and the For Like Ever lettering. As you know, that frame got broken by one of my two year olds. 

But to be honest, that frame had problems even before it was broken. It didn't have enough depth to handle the comb on the bottom of the veil, so the front of the "glass" {which was actually just thin plastic} was bowed out over the comb. After a while it started cracking under the pressure. 
So I've actually had plans to eventually make a new frame for this veil. The breaking of the old frame just speeded up the process. 

Like most of the bigger DIY's that happen around here, I have Rob to thank for making it happen! He deserves a best husband award for listening to what I want and then figuring out how to give me exactly that. As was the case with this new frame. 

I wanted a really large shadowbox frame- even bigger than the old frame had been- and I wanted it to be thin and simple, with enough depth between the backing and the glass to easily fit the comb on the veil. 

Rob got these trim pieces to use for the frame- here's what they look like from the front:

The front is wider than the back, which makes this little overhang that was perfect for a piece of plexiglass to sit inside. 

Rob cut the corners at 45 degree angles

And then used a nail gun to attach them all.

 I used Elmer's wood filler over the nails and at the corners where the pieces of wood met up, then sanded and painted the frame white.

Here is what Rob got to use as the backing of the frame:

Here's a picture of the sticker on the back of this board, so you know what exactly it is:

He cut it so it was the same size as the frame, NOT the size it would need to be to drop in right behind the plexiglass and rest on that little overhang on the inside of the frame. That way there would be a nice open space the depth of the sides of the frame for my veil to hang out in. 

Here's a couple pictures to illustrate that:

See how the backing lines up right at the edge of the frame?

{I totally could paint that white by the way, but it's not really noticeable so I haven't bothered to.}

That makes it so theres the whole thickness of the frame's depth inside, so there's plenty of room for my veil. If Rob had cut the backing so that it dropped into the inside of the frame and rested on top of the plexiglass like a normal frame, we would have lost all that space. 

Hopefully I explained that part okay. 

Anyway, back to the backing-

I took a swatch of our ottoman fabric to Joann Fabrics to find a gray fabric that would look good with the ottoman. 

I found this grey duck cloth that I cut to fit the frame backing and used a spray adhesive to attach. 

Once I had the backing ready it was time to make the letters for the For Like Ever.

For my first For Like Ever poster I had just printed out the letters and used them as-is. This time I wanted them to be a little more special. 

So I got this hammered gold scrapbook paper from Joann Fabrics.

I printed out the letters for the wording,

 cut them out, and laid them out on the gold paper to see how many I could fit on a sheet.

Then once I had that figured out I flipped the gold paper over to the back and glued the cut letters face down to the back of the gold paper. 

That way when I cut out the letters from the gold paper, they looked like this from the front:


I took my cut letters down to the basement where the backing for the frame was and using a tape measure and the plexiglass as a straight edge, I got the wording lined up and glued it down with clear-drying craft glue.

I love the different textures going on with the metallic-looking letters and the fabric.

I set the frame on top just so I'd know how much room I had for my veil, then I laid that out and got it arranged the way I wanted it.

I used a bunch of these Elmer's Glue Spots to hold my veil in place.

They were perfect because they're really strong, so they hold everything in place really well, but I can easily pull them off if I ever decide I want to remove the veil for some reason. 

Once everything was adhered to the backing, it was time to put the frame together. 

Rob used liquid nails on the inside of the frame to hold the plexiglass really securely-

Oh and speaking of the plexiglass, here's the type we got, from Lowes. I can't find the receipt for the exact price, but it was around $20 for this 30in x 36in size.

We let the glue dry overnight just to make sure it was really secure in the frame, then we laid it face down on the basement floor, laid the backing facedown over it, and then Rob put several screws around the edges of the backing going into the frame. This way it's held together really well, but if something goes amiss inside the frame and we need to open it up to rearrange things, its easy to take the back off. 

And here we have it- my beautiful new wedding veil display!

The first one I made was really special to me since it held the veil I wore almost ten years ago when I married Rob. This new one though has even more meaning since Rob and I made it together. I told him we'll have it in our house for as long as we live. For like, ever. 

*To see more photos, and how this new frame compares to the old one, go here


  1. Brooke you and Rob have it down right! Great post and great instructions!!!
    It's really wonderful having husbands who go along with our crazy notions! :)

  2. I love it! The gold paper, the veil and the how to is great!

  3. Brooke!!! I was just thinking about you today... It has been so long since we have emailed. I am so glad you posted this project so I have an excuse to say hello :) I am loving this new frame by the way. The hammered gold paper is SO cool! I have never seen anything like that! I hope you are doing well, we need to catch up sometime :) Love ya! - Holly

  4. So cool!! It looks great in your living room and the idea of using your veil is adorable!
    Happy Tuesday.