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Show Off Ornaments with a Shadow Box

A simple wooden frame can give you a unique way to showcase your favorite holiday knick-knacks.

Show Off Ornaments with a Shadow Box


  1. Sand away any rough areas or old paint on the wood frame.
  2. Clear the sanding dust with a damp cloth.
  3. When the wood is smooth, apply pre-stain conditioner to help the stain penetrate the wood more evenly. Allow 5-15 minutes for the conditioner to penetrate, then wipe the surface with a lint-free rag.
  4. Stir the stain well (don’t shake the can). Pretest the color in a hidden spot.
  5. Apply the stain in the direction of the wood grain using a natural bristle brush.
  6. Allow stain to completely dry.
  7. While wearing rubber gloves, use a lint-free rag to wipe in the direction of the wood grain, removing excess stain and blending the lighter/darker areas.
  8. Depending on the wood type, you may need to apply several coats to get an even appearance. We stained our shadow boxes with three coats.
  9. Apply a thin coat of polyurethane topcoat in the direction of the wood grain.
  10. Allow to dry.
  11. Attach your favorite holiday ornament inside the frame with string or a wire.

These frames can stay up all year – just change out the ornaments for each holiday, starting with Valentine’s Day.

Download Project Instructions