How to Make a Shadow Box for My Dog

man with his dog on the beach image by Ivonne Wierink from

Things You'll Need

  • Shadowbox
  • Decorative paper or fabric-covered foam
  • Acid-free adhesive
  • Photos of your dog
  • Cardstock
  • Paper cutter
  • Memorabilia from your dog
  • Adhesive-backed hook-and-eye buttons
  • Embellishments: ribbons, brads or buttons

Few relationships are as special as that between a human and a dog. Whether you want to display items from when your dog was a puppy or honor his favorite things or memorialize your best furry friend, a glass-front shadowbox is a great way to combine photos and keepsake items. Use your imagination to create an eye-catching 3-D display that can hang on a wall or stand on a table.

Create a background for your dog’s shadowbox. If the box is not lined to your satisfaction, use acid-free adhesive, such as scrapbooking tape, to attach decorative paper, a mat or a thin, fabric-covered foam board.

Mount your dog’s photos on cardstock mats. You might use a puppy photo and a current picture to show how your pal has changed. Cut the cardstock slightly larger than each photo so they serve as frames and use acid-free adhesive to attach the photos to the cardstock.

Design a layout for your shadowbox. Arrange the memorabilia around the photo to create an eye-pleasing arrangement. Memorabilia might include your dog’s first collar and name tag, treasures you picked up on walks together, a prize ribbon won for agility training or a paw print or impression.

Attach items to the background. Peel the backing off of hook-and-eye buttons and use them to attach items. These may be safer than glue or pushpins on precious memorabilia, and you can rearrange items later.

Add coordinating embellishments. If you want special dog-themed items, like paw print ribbons and bone-shaped brads or buttons, check with a scrapbooking or hobby retailer.

Add loose items, like favorite toys, sticks or leaves. Shadowboxes are typically built deep, allowing you to create a 3-D display. If your dog loves the beach, add sand and shells from your favorite spot.


  • Add your dog’s name to his shadowbox. Use decorative pens, stamps or your printer to design the name on cardstock, then mat it and work it into the layout. If your shadowbox is in memoriam, you may also want to add dates or a special saying.

    Use a trifold shadowbox to create three separate displays. For example, create themes around puppyhood, favorite things and a special trip together.


About the Author

Jennifer Keigh is a professional technology journalist and wireless forum community leader who specializes in mobile operating systems. She holds a B.A. in English from the University of Wisconsin.

Photo Credits

  • man with his dog on the beach image by Ivonne Wierink from