How to Build a Shadow Box
Tom Silva and Kevin O’Connor put together a custom case for displaying heirloom collectibles and curios
Precious objects from our past have an unfortunate habit of ending up squirreled away in the attic or basement, neglected and forgotten. With a glass-fronted shadow box, however, those collectibles can have a worthy display space, safe from dust and dirty, clumsy fingers.
Here’s a simple box that Tom and Kevin fashioned, fittingly, from pieces of an old salvaged fir door. Doors like this were often made from beautiful knot-free wood with a tight, straight grain. When oiled it turns a warm honey hue. Yet Tom also made sure to leave behind unmistakable clues about this wood’s origins: See the spots where the hinges were attached?
Shown: TOH general contractor Tom Silva and TOH host Kevin O’Connor proudly present their latest project, a glass-fronted shadow box. Filled with valued objects, such as those below, it keeps the keepsakes safe and makes them easy to admire.
In the following steps, we’ll show you how to cut down an old door and assemble this project. Plus, you’ll find useful tips for plugging holes and cutting glass. Then, with any luck, you may uncover the right salvaged door at the right price, and after a few hours in your shop, you’ll have a vintage shadow box of your own.