Framing Your Favorite Things

Alicia W
by Alicia W
8 Materials
1 Day
We all have favorite things around our home that we love to see every day. They remind us of a special person or a favorite place.
What better way to honor those things then to make a unique space for them to be displayed.
This project started with this old frame found in the basement of a relative. You can find frames at thrift stores, antique malls or yard sales.
Give the frame a good cleaning with mild soap and water. Remove any hangers and wire.
To display your items, you will be building a box on the back of the frame.
I used 1"x2" wood so the frame wouldn't stand too far away from the wall.
Measure around the opening of the frame.

Using a miter saw, cut your pieces of wood.
To attach the pieces of wood, use wood glue on the ends of each piece.
Use trim screws to attach the pieces together.
(For similar wood projects, check out our DIY woodworking section).
Apply wood glue around the opening of the frame (on the back side).
Place the box around the opening and attach the box to the frame using trim screws.
Lay another piece of 1"x2" across the box to determine the length of your shelves.
Cut the shelves to the desired length.
Fit the shelves into the box, taping gently with a hammer if necessary.
Level the shelves.
Attach the shelves using trim screws.
Unsure how to attach the shelves? Watch the video below for all the answers.
For the back of the shelves, place a thin piece of plywood over the box and mark the size.
Cut the plywood to shape and paint.
With the frame still upside down, paint the shelves.
Flip the frame over and paint the front.
Flip the frame over and paint the front.
If you have intricate molding, use a stencil brush to ensure that the paint goes into every nook and cranny.
Apply two coats of paint.
After the paint has dried, apply wax to seal the wood. If you are using a tinted wax, use a dry brush technique which means load your brush with wax, and then brush the excess onto a paper plate until your brush is almost dry. This ensure that you won't be adding too much wax to the frame. If more is needed, continue to dry brush until you have the effect you desire.
To see how to dry brush, watch the video below.
If you are using a clear wax, brush it on as needed.
After the wax has dried, apply a bead of glue around the box edge and affix the back/plywood onto the box. Screw the back/plywood fast using trim screws.
Add hangers onto the back/plywood.
The is the final product!
Resources for this project:
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Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 41 questions
  • Judie Judie on Jul 18, 2021

    How did you replace the missing fancy molding on the front of the frame? Can you buy it? If so, where?

  • Rj Kimmons Rj Kimmons on Jul 18, 2021

    How to use and easy way change a bifold closet door into a French door?

  • Susan Susan on Feb 27, 2022

    Why go through all this work? Buy a shadow box frame, decorate the front edges with flowers, colored pebbles, leaves. Make it your own

Join the conversation
3 of 267 comments
  • CukaFig CukaFig on Feb 28, 2022

    It’s beautiful , love it! reminds me of one we had growing up in the 60s . Ours had a mirror in the background and had similar shelves , it was gold in color. My mom had her porcelain birds in it … Boy you took me back to beautiful some memories. 😀

    • Anne Anne on Feb 28, 2022

      I have a very similar memory of my Mom’s shadow box. Thought of it immediately when I read this project

  • Imp Imp on Feb 28, 2022

    Beautiful. A work of art.