How to Make a Shadow Box for a Graduation Gown

A graduation shadow box helps you to preserve graduation memories.
A graduation shadow box helps you to preserve graduation memories. (Image: Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Making a shadow box for your child's graduation gown allows you to preserve this graduation treasure. Creating a memorable shadow box for the graduation gown requires that you bring together the graduation gown along with your child's other graduation related memorabilia. However, your display must still give the gown the starring role. The key to making this work is in how you position the gown within the box. This allows you to make a graduation display that helps you and your child remember her graduation day for years to come.

Things You'll Need

  • Shadow box
  • Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Glue gun
  • Graduation gown
  • Straight pins
  • Graduation sash
  • Decorative upholstery tacks
  • Graduation hat
  • Graduation memorabilia
  • Ring box

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Take apart the shadow box kit. Buy a kit that's large enough to hold a big object such as a gown with room left over.

Measure the felt fabric and cut it so that it fits the back of the shadow box. Choose a felt or wool material.

Line the back of the shadow box with fabric in your child's school colors and then glue the fabric into the box using a glue gun. Allow the glue to dry according to the instructions on the glue bottle.

Fold up the graduation gown in the same way that the shirts in a department store are folded before they're put on the display shelves. Fold the arms behind the back and fold the bottom of the gown up behind the back as well. Pin the arms and the bottom of the gown in place using straight pins.

Pin your child's graduation sash in the collar area. Place pins on the back of the sash only.

Place the graduation gown inside the shadow box. Position it off the the left-hand side. The gown should take up 2/3 of the box to become the focal point.

Pin the gown to the back of the box using tacks, hiding the tacks in the folds of the material and under the sash.

Position your child's graduation hat in front of the gown at the bottom. Allow the tassel to hang down.

Hang any special graduation cords that your child received for membership in an honor society, studying abroad or participating in any school committees. Use heavy fabric tacks with decorative heads to pin the cords to the back of the box. Hang these parallel to the gown on the right-hand side, making sure that the top of the cord lines up with the shoulder of the gown.

Glue graduation announcements, envelopes and graduation pictures in the box beside the cords. Position the announcements behind the pictures to provide a backdrop for them. Place at least one announcement in the front so that you can see it. Also pin your child's graduation name cards in the box.

Find a ring box with a plastic top and place your child's graduation ring inside it.

Position the ring box in front of the cap.

Put the shadow box back together.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you can find a shadow box kit and a matching frame, this is ideal. This set up allows you to frame the diploma alongside the graduation gown shadow box.

References

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