Shadow box frames are a good way to showcase three-dimensional memorabilia, such as a t-shirt, while protecting it from damage. Shadow boxes can be purchased ready-made or you can have one made to your specifications. To protect your collectibles from fading, the frames can be made with glass treated specifically to block UV-rays. Shadow boxes are deeper than regular frames so your t-shirt will not touch the glass. This keeps moisture from collecting and damaging the clothing.
Cut a piece of cardboard to the size of the frame backing. Cut a piece of felt or other cloth of your choice so the fabric is an inch larger than the backing on all four sides. Fold the cloth overage over the edges of the backing and glue the cloth to the backing. If your shadow box came with a cloth backing you can skip this step.
Iron your t-shirt to remove all wrinkles. Place the shirt in the center of the cloth-covered cardboard backing. Fold the sleeves and arrange the t-shirt into the position you want to display.
Affix your shirt to the backing using either steel framing pins or a needle and thread. Make small stitches or insert a pin along the seam every few inches. Your stitches or pins should go through the shirt, cloth and backing to prevent the garment from slipping. Tie the threads or bend the pins in place on the back of the cardboard where it will not be seen. Tape down the threads or pins on the back of the cardboard.
- Cardboard backing
- Steel framing pins
- Invisible thread
If you wish to remove your t-shirt, carefully snip the threads or straighten the pins on the back of the cardboard to remove them.