How To Make a Military Shadow Box?


Creating a military shadow box is more than just a craft project—it’s a heartfelt endeavor that allows us to preserve the memories and accomplishments of those who have served.

Each shadow box tells a unique story, a narrative of courage, sacrifice, and dedication to duty. As we assemble these displays, we not only honor the service member but also provide a tangible reminder of their contributions to our nation.

In this guide on how to make a military shadow box, we’ll delve into the process of creating a meaningful tribute to those who have worn the uniform. From selecting the right medals to arranging them with care, we’ll explore the steps involved in crafting a shadow box that captures the essence of a person’s service.

So let’s dive in and discover how we can support and raise up those who have typically served in the armed forces, one shadow box at a time.

Getting Started on Your Military Shadow Box

Before you start assembling your military shadow box, take some time to gather all the items you want to include. This could be a mix of medals, ribbons, patches, photographs, and other memorabilia that hold significance. As you sift through these treasures, each one tells a story of bravery, honor, and service.

As you gather your items, think about the story you want your shadow box to tell. Are you highlighting a specific tour of duty, commemorating a particular military branch, or celebrating a lifetime of service? Sorting through your memorabilia will help you organize your thoughts and plan the layout of your shadow box accordingly.

Designing a Military Shadow Box Display Case

Once you’ve gathered your items, it’s time to bring your vision to life. Start by selecting a shadow box frame that complements the style and decor of the space where it will be displayed. Whether you prefer a classic wooden frame or a sleek metal design, choose one that enhances the significance of your display.

Next, lay out your items on a flat surface and experiment with different arrangements. Consider the narrative you want to convey and the focal points you want to emphasize.

For example, you might choose to feature a service member’s highest honors front and center, surrounded by photographs and memorabilia that illustrate their journey through the armed forces.

As you design your shadow box, incorporate elements that reflect the unique identity of each military branch. From the proud eagle of the Air Force to the iconic anchor of the Navy, each emblem adds depth and authenticity to your display.

Tools Required to Build a Military Shadow Box

To build your military shadow box, you’ll need a few essential tools:

Shadow box frame: Choose a sturdy frame that complements the style of your display. Whether it’s made of wood or metal, ensure it provides enough depth to accommodate your items.

Tape measure: Precision is key when arranging your memorabilia. Use a tape measure to ensure accurate spacing and alignment within the shadow box.

Hammer and nails: If you’re assembling the shadow box yourself, you’ll need a hammer and nails to secure the frame and backing together. Alternatively, you can use screws if the frame requires them.

Adhesive: Use adhesive to affix medals, patches, and other items to the backing of the shadow box. Choose a strong adhesive that will withstand the test of time and keep your items securely in place.

Glass or acrylic cover: Depending on the design of your shadow box, you may need a glass or acrylic cover to protect your items from dust and damage. Ensure it fits snugly within the frame and is securely fastened in place.

With these tools at your disposal, you’ll be well-equipped to create a stunning military shadow box that honors the service and sacrifice of our armed forces.

Ask Medals of America

If you find yourself short on time or lacking the necessary tools and expertise, don’t fret—there’s a solution. Companies like Medals of America specialize in crafting custom military shadow boxes tailored to your specifications.

Whether you need replacement medals or assistance designing a display, they have the knowledge and resources to bring your vision to life.

By enlisting the help of professionals, you can ensure that your military shadow box is expertly crafted and ready to display in no time. Whether it’s a gift for a fellow service member or a cherished keepsake for family members, a custom shadow box from Medals of America is sure to capture the essence of service and sacrifice.


Crafting a military shadow box isn’t just about assembling medals and memorabilia—it’s about capturing the essence of a service member’s journey. Each uniform, photo, badge, and award tells a story of dedication, sacrifice, and bravery.

Whether you’re a veteran reflecting on your own service or honoring the accomplishments of a loved one, creating a military shadow box is a deeply personal and meaningful task.

As you meticulously arrange each item within the shadow box, you’re not just completing a project—you’re commemorating an entire career. Every insignia and ribbon represents a milestone achieved, a mission completed, and a duty fulfilled.

It’s a tangible tribute to the courage and commitment of our veterans, a testament to their unwavering service to our country.

So, as you put the finishing touches on your military shadow box, take a moment to reflect on the stories it holds. Each item is a reminder of the sacrifices made and the challenges overcome.

And as you display your shadow box with pride, know that it honors not only the individual achievements of a service member but also the collective sacrifices of all who have served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.


Can I include items other than medals in my military shadow box?

Absolutely! Military shadow boxes are versatile displays that can accommodate various memorabilia, including uniforms, photos, badges, and awards. Feel free to personalize your shadow box with items that capture the unique experiences and accomplishments of the service member.

How do I ensure that my military shadow box accurately reflects the service member’s career?

When designing your military shadow box, take time to research and gather all relevant items that highlight the service member’s achievements and milestones.

Consult with the veteran or their family members to ensure that the shadow box accurately represents their military career and honors their accomplishments.

Can I create multiple military shadow boxes to showcase different aspects of a service member’s career?

Absolutely! Creating multiple military shadow boxes allows you to showcase different phases or highlights of a service member’s career. You can create separate shadow boxes for specific deployments, promotions, or awards, providing a comprehensive overview of their military journey.

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