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How to Design a Sports Shadow Box

Include sports items that have significant value to you.
softball,sports image by Neil Denize from Fotolia.com

Put together a shadow box that holds some of your most prized sports possessions. Whether it's official memorabilia or your own memories, a sports shadow box will show off your collection in a decorative way. Design your shadow box in a way that allows each element to be seen without overpowering other elements. There should be a clear theme, athlete, team or event that the shadow box celebrates. The shadow box design can be as large and grand as something you'd find in a sport's hall of fame, or as small and simple as you'd like.

Include sports items that have significant value to you.
softball,sports image by Neil Denize from Fotolia.com

Things You'll Need:

  • Craft Knife (Optional)
  • Sports Jersey Or Hat
  • Picture Or Poster
  • Poster Board Or Mat (Optional)
  • Ball Or Other Sports Equipment
  • Epoxy Glue Or Fasteners
  • Shadow Box Frame
  • Pencil (Optional)

Gather the items you want to display in your shadow box. This can include a poster of your favorite athlete or team, a signed jersey, your baseball hat, a signed team ball, autographed sneakers, medals, trophies, tickets to an event, or any other memorabilia you wish to include. Two- and three-dimensional objects will create depth and interest within the shadow box.

Purchase or make a shadow box that's large enough for your biggest item. If you're including a jersey and bat, for example, the shadow box would need to be at least 24 inches wide, 36 inches long and four inches deep.

Arrange the items loosely in the shadow box until you get a design you're happy with. The largest item, such as a large picture or jersey, should go against the back of the shadow box. Other items should be arranged around the large item, such as medals, hats or balls. Try to group at least three things in the shadow box that are related to each other. The theme could be a professional game you went to or your child's first season playing in a league. Use the entire shadow box to display items, not just the bottom corners.

If you want to use a mat, create one out of poster board or use a typical mat. Mark the areas you want cut out for items to show through, such as pictures and medals, lightly with a pencil. Carefully cut out the poster board with a sharp craft knife. Custom mats can be purchased from most framing stores if you don't like your results. A mat is not necessary for a sports-themed shadow box.

Secure the items inside the shadow box with epoxy glue, small nails or ties. If you want a background, but don't have a picture or jersey you want to include, consider sports-themed scrapbook paper or plain poster board in a color that complements your items. Secure one piece at a time, beginning with the items that will be in the back.

If you used glue, allow the glue to dry for at least one full day before hanging or displaying your new sports shadow box.


Create a shadow box for every major sporting event you attend or for every year your child is on a team. Include special items such as the ball your child hit a home run with or a ball his whole team signed because he was "player of the game."


  • Avoid overcrowding the shadow box. If you have a lot of memorabilia to display, consider making matching shadow boxes or a series of shadow boxes so that each item is easily visible.
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