DIY Firefighter Shadow Box

by | Everyday, Fire Family Life

A big thank you to one of our fire wives, Christina Vlietstra, for putting together these How-To instructions for a Firefighter Shadow Box.  These make great gifts for any occasion, but Father’s Day is coming up and this is a perfect idea.

PicMonkey Collage



1. Gather items you would like to include in the shadow box. For example, badges, helmet shields, pictures, last name badge or whatever you prefer!

2. Once you have decided how many items, you must choose the right box. They are avail on Amazon, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Wal-Mart, Target, Joann Fabric, or any big store chain. You want to make sure the shadow box will be deep enough, so no less than 1 inch and no more than 2 if you are including a shield. Also, make sure you purchase a fabric-lined box, so you can use pins to attach items.


3. You will need color tipped seamstress pins (so if you ever want to remove the badge you can.) and also 3M Velcro strips, or permanent mounting strips for the shields.

4. Once you have your items ready to be fastened, take the back of your shadow box and lay it our on the table. Place all of your items as you wish them to be in the box. Take this opportunity to move things around and try different ways of displaying them to see which fits your style best.


5. Starting at the center works best. Affix the name badge or whatever your main focal point is with the color appropriate pins, or use the permanent mounting strips if you choose the badge in the middle. I used color coordinating pins so they would blend in. once the center is completed, work your way outward and attach the reaming items.


6. Once you are satisfied with your work let it set for about an hour. While you wait, you can clean the inside of the glass on the shadow box frame. When time has expired, carefully place the glass frame of the box over the back. Hold on tightly and then flip it over so you can tighten the metal tabs. It should be a tight fit, in the box, so the badges shouldn’t shift.

A few helpful hints…

When pinning the badges, make sure to do so on the top and bottom of each badge so the stay in place.
Make sure you put enough support on the badges, as they are heavy, so they don’t shift over time.
If you use a different method than fabric lined backs and straight pins, be sure your adhesive is strong enough to hold or use mounting strips/mounting tape.


Here are a few links for supplies


Shadow Boxes

Mounting Tape

Firefighter Patches

Firefighter Pins



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Jessie -

Just a small town girl married to a firefighter since 2008, but she's so much more than a Fire Wife. She's been a member of the FirefighterWife family since 2012 and knows marriage takes a lot of work, even when it's in the best seasons.


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