A military shadow box is a great way to honor a retirement as well as to highlight one’s military career. Following a few tips will help you to build a better shadow box.
Identify What’s Going Inside
Shadow boxes come in various shapes and sizes. It’s a good idea to identify all that you want to go inside before buying the box. This will ensure you get one that is sized to accommodate everything. You may want to include a photo, several challenge coins, as well as ranks and medals received. All of this takes up room – and the longer a person has been in the military, the more you will likely want to display inside of the box.
Lay everything out on a table based on how it would go into a box. Then, measure the perimeter of the layout. This will give you a better indication as to what size shadow box you should get. Remember, if you overlap too much, it will make it harder to identify everything inside.
Clean Everything Properly
Ribbons, coins, badges, and anything else going into a shadow box should be cleaned. Especially if you are taking them directly off of a uniform, it’s important to have them steamed and pressed. It will ensure that everything displays in a more beautiful way.
If you’re not sure how to clean something, ask for professional assistance. You don’t want to risk an old ribbon coming apart. Further, you don’t want to damage anything, especially if it’s not something that can be easily replaced.
Don’t Use Glue
The goal of a military shadow box is to display everything. You don’t want to use glue for fear of damaging the ribbons, coins, and anything else that goes inside. You can use pins and clips as a way of keeping everything in place. With glue, you run the risk of the die on the ribbons leaving as well as pulling the fabric apart over time. Additionally, the person receiving the box may want to remove things or update items periodically. This will be harder to do if everything is glued down.
In the end, a military shadow box is a great keepsake. Take the time to plan out the contents and take care of everything going inside so that it can be cherished for many years to come.