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Thinking Inside the Box: Custom Framing 3D Objects


Stop ten people on the street and ask them to list things that can be placed inside a custom frame, and chances are most will respond with a photograph, a painting, a certificate or a poster.

Any three-dimensional object of a reasonable size can be fit within a custom frame.

However, a couple of those people might produce a much longer list. Much, much longer. And they’re right. Because, as thecustom framing experts at FastFrame can tell you, basically any three-dimensional object of a reasonable size can be fit within a custom frame.

Why would you want to put a three-dimensional object inside a custom frame? Well, just to cite one example, let’s say you vacationed on an exotic beach this past summer and came home with terrific photographs of all the fun you had frolicking in the water and lounging on the sand.

But, you also came home with a collection of unusual seashells that you gathered while lazily ambling along the shoreline. Now, every time you look at them you’re reminded of those wonderful days at the beach, so you want to set them out for permanent display.

What’s the best way to commemorate your trip? Mount both in a custom frame hung prominently on your wall!

The Solution for Framing 3D Objects

There’s actually a special type of custom frame for 3D objects, and FastFrame specializes in it. This frame is called a “shadowbox”.

Shadowboxes are different from regular custom frames only with regard to the dimension of depth. Regular custom frames – say, those that measure 8 inches wide by 10 inches high – usually have a depth of under an inch.

In contrast, 8-by-10 inch shadowboxes commonly have a depth of 3 to 4 inches, sometimes more.

This depth makes it possible to mount small objects – seashells, for instance – within the borders of the frame.

But, don’t think seashells are the only items that can go inside these special frames! Common shadowbox treasures include sports memorabilia (such as jerseys, autographed balls, trophies, ticket stubs) and family keepsakes (jewelry, silverware, preserved bridal bouquets, children’s arts-and-crafts projects, antique cameras).

Another great thing about shadowboxes is they allow you to be very creative with regard to how you showcase the objects within them. For one, you’re not limited to displaying a single object.

Consider what one young mother did to preserve the memories of her baby’s birth: she purchased a shadowbox and proceeded to fill it with more than a half-dozen items, all of them associated with her blessed event.

Among those items were a wooden yardstick with the baby’s birth height written upon it in bright red ink; an alarm clock with the hands positioned to show the time of birth; the barcoded wristband worn by the newborn while in the pediatric ward; and baby’s hospital-issued swaddling. There also were two photographs: an ultrasound image and a picture of baby asleep in her hospital bassinet. Both photos were secured to the shadowbox backing with spring-fitted wooden clips, the kind that mothers long ago used for hanging freshly laundered cloth diapers on an outdoor drying line.

Life is Lived in Three Dimensions

Since the world exists in three dimensions and your life is lived in three dimensions, a frame like the shadowbox enables you to better reflect those realities. They should, for that reason, be thought of as an essential item for your wall or shelf.