Shadow Boxes for Object Framing

Shadow box framing for objects, such as these pictured here, serve as a unique and creative way to preserve the importance of these objects and the memories they hold.

object framing

Object Framing

Bring us your odd-sized objects, and we can design an elegant presentation that suits your needs. Options include plexi boxes or shadow boxes in a multitude of designs. Feel free to stop by with your object for some framing and presentation ideas.

object framing

object framing


Framing an object

Often times people have objects that they would wish to display mounted on the wall as a piece of art.  By framing an item in a deep frame, creating a shadow box, a three dimensional piece can be hung on the wall as if it were a picture or painting.  Framing an object within a shadow box ensures that the piece remains clean and protected behind glass.

This Korean scroll has been inset within a 1 ¼ inch deep shadow box.  The silky off-white tone of the back matting helps to brighten the details of the piece while emphasizing the deep olive and red shades.  The antique silver gilding of the frame compliments the earthy tints within the piece while maintaining a sleek and contemporary effect.  As this scroll is made of paper, it will now remain free of stains and tears while it is presented as a work of art.

multiple float

Floating Multiple Pieces in a Frame

Framing more than one piece in a frame is a popular way of presenting smaller art.  This works best for a series or pieces that are related to each other.  But window matting, when the mat cusps over the edges of the art, doesn’t always suit the art to be framed.  Floating the art above the back mat creates a unique and overall clean presentation.

These bright and contemporary Japanese prints have been cropped so the ink comes right to the edge of the paper.  We floated these pieces, side by side in the same frame above a white back mat, to allow the works to be completely exposed and play off each other.  The ½ inch shadow box within this frame paired with the raise of the art creates dimension within the frame while bringing the art forward in a unique and contemporary style.  This custom, hand-crafted wood frame has a gold unlaying finish that is exposed by the scraping of the top silver finish.  These two metallic tones work to highlight the gold and silver hues in the prints.  The brightness of the matting and frame helps to amplify the brilliant red and vermillion colors of the works.  All these elements together form a polished and vivid final presentation.


Framing with shadowboxes

Not all framing methods need to use the window mat effect, or when the mat opening frames a piece within the frame.  When framing an object or something that has mass and texture, depth is needed to support the piece and keep it away from the surface of the glass.  This is a shadowbox, as the depth within the frame creates a dramatic effect that forms a shadow inside the frame.  This method is not only used when framing objects.  An alternative to using the window mat style when matting a piece is called floating the work.

This gives the art a raise above the back matting, drawing the piece forward to the viewers eye.  This raise can be slight or severe depending on how deep the client wants the shadowbox to be and how much dimension is wanted inside the frame.  The effect of receding and then raising the piece back up to meet the viewer can be an interesting and unique method.  Not only does this style create depth, but it also allows the edges of the work to be exposed.  This is ideal for art on handcrafted paper or art that extends to the edge of the surface material.

shirt dress framing

Mini Shirt Dress

One of our clients brought in this adorable and delicate indian influenced dress. We decided to pursue a clean and modern look using a super white hand finished frame. The dress was also slightly stuffed to add dimension.

depth with frames

Add depth to any frame

With the wide variety of commercial frame profiles we offer it is easy find the perfect frame design for any piece.  But sometimes the frame is not deep enough to create the unique effect the client is looking for.

This client brought a slender and simple print to be framed, liking the style of the ¼ inch raise of the art within a ½ inch shadowbox in the frame.  The frame that he was most drawn to had an inside depth of only ½ inch.  But our craftsmen were able to deepen the frame by adding a ½ inch built back, matching the white washed wood of the commercial profile beautifully.  This ensured the frame would expertly suit the client’s specifications.

The client wanted the broad off white border of the back mat to greater expose the dramatic raise of the piece.  The shadowbox in the frame allows the piece to effectively float within the frame.

depth with frames

lego portrait

Custom Framing – Lego Portrait

For a recent custom framing project here at Paris Frameworks, we framed a lego portrait of a client’s child.  We floated the piece using a matching gray mat underneath, with deep, ¾” spacers to protect the portrait from the glass and create a shadow-box effect.  Finally, a black glossy lacquer finished frame was chosen.  What a fun and creative way to showcase this client’s lego portrait.

Custom Framing – Custom Spacers

In framing, a spacer’s primary function is to separate the artwork from the glazing of its frame in order to avoid buckling of the art and mold, among other things.  For a recent custom framing project, Paris Frameworks created custom painted spacers to match the fiery red colors of an aboriginal inspired painting on canvas (see close-up photo).  Deep 1” custom spacers were used to create a dramatic, shadowbox-like effect and allow the spacers to stand out against the artwork.  Using custom painted spacers is another creative approach to enhancing your artwork here at Paris Frameworks.

custom spacers

custom spacers

Object Framing – License Plates

We recently framed two NY State License plates for a client in a custom shadow box frame.

Our client came in with two tattered license plates which had a great amount of sentimental value.  First we floated them onto a simpatico blue linen that worked well with the blue tones in the plates themselves. Next we determined spacing: 1″ in between the plates and 1-¼” all around. Also we had to account for a deep spacer to accommodate the bent plate’s dimension, making sure to leave at least ½” air space above the highest point.

Mounting was our next step, and it was critical because the plates, being bent, were not even.  To work around this, we attached each plate to a recessed 1/8″ archival mat board platform.  This allowed the plates to have an even surface to work with and then mount onto the blue fabric panel.

The frame we chose is a simple hand-finished cap frame in ash wood with a driftwood stain. This stain is complimentary to the grey/beige background of the plate.

The overall simpatico look of these components has a natural presence that makes these bent and tattered plates look like objects ready for the museum.

license plates

license plates

deep shadowbox

deep shadowbox

Deep Shadow Box in White

Pictured here is a unique wire sculpture portrait in a custom white shadow box in maple wood.

This sculpture has dimension so we gave it a deep spacer to accommodate its height.  Because of the deep spacer and support strainer in the back, the frame, although small, became 5″ deep on the outside.  The face we chose to keep thin: 11/16″.

We chose a linen background to soften the feel of the metal. We also chose to go with white linen so that the dark wire would pop forward.  We gave about 1-½” air space all around and about ½” air space above the piece so it has plenty of room to breathe.

This dramatic piece now has an equally dramatic presentation that softens as well as compliments the piece nicely.

framed tiles

Eight Artistic Tiles

Pictured here is a unique framing job involving eight artistic tiles.

We came up with a floater frame design with a ½” panel with the same finish.  The tiles were laid out the way the client wanted to see them.  We gave them ¾” air space in between and 1″ all around.

Next I had our guys do some custom routing in the panel an 1/8″ deep to accommodate the size of each tile individually.  The tile itself is ¼” thick, so if the tiles are sunk by 1/8″ they are still coming out by another 1/8″ and secured safely in place with some archival reversible adhesive. If the clients wants to remove them later on, they have the option.

The end result is stunning, and the client was very pleased with the presentation. They now look gallery ready.

object framing

Custom Object Framing

We worked with a client who had a special object: a shell encaustic piece. We decided to go with a Tall Flat Slant frame made of maple wood with a white wash finish. Because it is an object, we mounted it to a wood panel and attached it with aluminum “L” hooks patinated to a simpatico dull grey tone. They spoke well to the metal within the piece so the hooks disappeared. We picked out a soft violet tone from the Benjamin Moore color book that worked well with the pinkish quality of the white washed maple frame and the multi-tonal art piece itself.  We next chose to float the piece by 3/4″ from the furthest points.  The overall piece is small and stunning: definitely gallery worthy.




Recently our client came into the shop with a piece bought at Frieze Art Fair entitled, “Receipts,” which featured different receipts from around the world.

This piece has a bold contemporary feel, and we wanted the framing to have the same feeling.  We designed a tall cap frame with a white face and white wash ash wood sides. We chose ash specifically, as opposed to maple, because it has a strong linear wood grain that speaks well to the lines in the piece itself.

We floated the piece 1-½” all around on a simpatico white float board, and we also gave it a ¼” lift from underneath to make it more of an object.

ceramic tiles

Lubna Chowdhary’s Ceramic Tiles

Lubna Chowdhary ( is a London-based artist who works internationally. She creates richly-colored, modular compositions on tiles through a wide variety of precisely controlled ceramic techniques. Chowdhary’s artwork has been featured in interior and exterior architectural spaces. Her recent commissions include BBC, Conran and Partners, and Bellway Homes. Working in collaboration with architects, designers and art consultants, her project proposals are developed to fit the needs of the brief. Her work is available for purchase through her website.

We had the pleasure of framing several collections of her tiles, grouping them and arranging them to create two new compositions. We used handmade floater frames for both groupings of tiles. One had a light teak finish and the other had a dark teak finish. It was a challenge to get all the tiles to appear to be flush with each other since they had varying thicknesses. Together, the tiles unify to create an image, but the floater frame preserves their 3-dimensionality and reminds us that they are individuals as well as parts of a whole.