Military Gear & Army Surplus Gear Blog

How To Make A Military Shadow Box – Retirement Shadow Boxes

How To Make A Military Shadow Box – Retirement Shadow Boxes

hello everybody this is Ryan Scalf with military memories and more today we're gonna bring you a video that's gonna demonstrate some of the basic steps we utilize in designing our military shadow box the first thing that you want to do is make sure that you have all the items that are gonna be used inside the shadow box available and then start creating a layout as to how it's gonna be presented within the frame what you see here is we've started with metals and then kind of centered the whole project by putting a photograph of the soldier up at the top Center and then worked our way down through the through the project to keep it even bad once you have the layout established to how you want it to look for the final display you then will take all the measurements for each individual window and what we have is a computerized mat cutter that we load all those window measurements into to create each individual window and then we again in turn Mock the layout that we have you see here with env software this is what our layout that you saw on the table looks like within our software once we have all the window information and coordinate terms of sizes loaded into the software we then use our mat cutter and make the physical cuts on each layer of our mat board for this particular layout we've chose a double mat it's going to be a top mat of black followed by a gold Florentine bottom mat and this here is exactly what you saw on the computer screen and this is what it looks like once it's cut and assembled all right so now that we've actually cut out the mat board the next step that you want to do is to check and verify that everything is gonna met mesh up correctly within each window so just to kind of show you what this looks like once we have everything laid on top of here looks like it's gonna fit out and work out pretty good and the next phase here is finding out the depth that you would need to have set for each item to be able to be set back away from the glass Pro okay so now we're at the stage where we're gonna try and check to see if we can get the right depth set for all the windows to be spaced away from all of our metals the objects that are gonna be in here away from the glass and in general you want to kind of look of course for whichever one's going to be set up the highest and in most cases if you have a ribbon rack included into the low pay F military shadowbox like this generally that's going to be the highest point of the display itself so what I've already kind of done is pre-cut some strips of it's probably about 3/16 almost quarter inch foam core and I'm gonna place them up underneath the mat on the edges in the center just real quickly to make sure that I got enough support here to where when I lay back the mat down now I can see how deep these window openings will be and that is like I've expected the perfect height to where we're gonna be yet so the next phase here is is start creating our support frame with the quarter inch foam core all around our edges is where you start out first so what I will intern do here is take these strips of foam core glue them together and then get them put it up out onto the edge side here and then secure that down as that looks right there and then I would move on over to the next corner here and one thing that you do want to keep in mind is that you want to try and keep enough width on your foam core strips to be able to be supportive but you also want them set back far enough to where they aren't exposed off in the sides and on the down views of your displays to where they can see that foam core edging it doesn't look real clean alright now we've got all the strip's along the edging off completely fastened down and I've allowed it time to dry usually between 5 and 10 minutes with this glue it dries pretty quickly from here what you want to do is lay the mat boarding back on top of your display here you see I've already kind of got some support going on but what you want to do from here is kind of find some your why areas that you can mask some of your strips picture this strip being mounted behind the mat board itself and that way it'll take up that slack right there like which I can show you here if I lift this up and place a couple of pieces up in there see that now that's fully supported so that when I put glass and have this all fully mounted within the frame it's gonna support everything once it's completely put together and of course you do that you want to try and find as many points as possible to be able to make this be as strong and sturdy as you can again you want to make sure that they're thin enough to be able to be hidden back behind but also wide enough to be able to be strong and supportive so there's kind of a happy medium there you just need to find it after you do a few of them you'll figure out pretty much what the basic standards widths are I'd say anywhere from about three quarters to one inch is about the general size strips that we use a majority of our frame displays so from here what we'll do is take the mat board off and start building those support areas within the center here which you can kind of see where I'm going to start working in you okay now we've got all of our strips into place we've gave it plenty of time to dry the next phase would be to secure the amount of the actual mat board to these strips with the same glue that we used to fasten these down to our backing we're gonna do the same thing I'd run beads across all these edges the center pieces and then I'll take my mat board lay that on top of here make sure all my corners are nice and square and then I have these pre-cut blocks that I will set throughout the layout to give it a little bit of weight and hold the mat board down on to those blocks and then give that plenty of time to dry this glue you try and give it probably a good five ten minutes and it'll already be secured enough to where you can move on to the next phase which is putting your metals in and starting to fasten everything down alright well that concludes the demonstration on some of the basic steps that we use in designing and building our military shadow boxes we will discuss metal mounting and frame mounting in further videos so stay tuned you can reach us at 3 0 9 2 8 9 0 0 9 9 or you can check out our website military memories in more calm thank you

Reader Comments

  1. Thank you, this taught me alot, my father was in WWII I got a flag box with a plce fora picture and his medals, ect. But growing up I remember him at the american legion, VFW and high up in the 40/8…

  2. Group patch is upside down and need an actual Airborne tab with it though…hopefully that was fixed. Other than that awesome

  3. Great video and very informative; thank you Lynn, i have learnt so much from watching your posts.
    I notice that there are a lot of questions about what glue you used. I am a British soldier who is serving in Germany (although not for much longer as we are pulling out). Having completed a framing course at night school whilst serving here, (stops me drinking every night in the Mess) the instructor used silicone, it seemed to work and did no damage to the medals which are clearly the important part of the presentation, most other things can be replaced, medals on the other hand are very personal.

    Lynn, take care and thank you for the great posts.

  4. Did SSG Allen kick you ass for mounting the Special Forces Unit Patch and HALO badge upside down?  I can't believe you guys got that so wrong………

  5. I made my own shadow box when I retired after 25 years in the Navy, but it doesn't look anything near as good as what you do there!  I really like the individual "window" idea for the different sets of medals and stuff.  It adds a very classy touch to the box.  Very well done!

  6. We have came up with our own method for building shadow boxes that keep the projects very light.  The nice thing is the strength is not compromised.  Military shadow box displays are our specialty, but we love framing everything from sports to needlework.

  7. The Special forces patch was UPSIDE DOWN! I seriously cannot believe that it was glued in like that. The Freefall parachutist wings were also upside down…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *