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Shadow boxes are fairly easy to make...even if you are not an expert craftsman!

Shadow boxes are basically boxes with a glass front or top. You can make one easily by using craft wood and wood glue. For this you will also need a glass front. It can become expensive to have glass cut, so I suggest you pick up a picture frame at a yardsale or your local dollar store and use the piece of glass located in that. It's much simplier and much easier. However, you can also have a piece ordered and cut at most any local hardware store. (If you are not craft-oriented, you can pick up a shadow box at your local craft store for under $20.) If you would like a step-by-step guide for piecing your shadowbox together, check out a how-to book from your local library.

Assemble sides and insert glass. You can leave the wood unchanged or you can paint or stain it. Once painted, you can also decorate with stickers, transfers, or other artistic touches. Insert the glass front.

The next thing you need to do is decorate the back of your shadow box. This is the piece that actually makes your entire box. You can use your keepsakes, arranging them as you desire. A unique approach is to cover the back in cloth or decorative paper, then glue ribbon across the corners or down the center. To authenticate your project, use old handkerchiefs or pieces from patchwork quilts that have been in your family for generations! Also, for the ribbon, use the ribbons your grandmother wore when she was a child or that you wore yourself! Arrange your keepsakes over this, lightly glue in place and your keepsake shadow box is finished!

These are great projects for the whole family and they make wonderful gifts to friends and loved ones.