Shadow boxes have long been a way to safely store and display precious items. They got their start in the old sailing ship days when it was considered bad luck for a retiring ship captain’s shadow to touch land before he or she did. Their items would be packed in fine wooden boxes and kept on board as a “shadow” of their owners, and then shipped home at a later time. Today, shadow boxes add a touch of personal elegance, and come in models you can hang on the wall or proudly display on a shelf or bookcase. Here are three things to consider when choosing a shadow box.

Comes with Stick Pins

A handsome textured backboard in this product contrasts nicely with pictures and artwork. Love-KANKEI

Shadow boxes differ one from another in the mechanisms used to hold your treasures. If you want to arrange two-dimensional items like photos, movie tickets, and small notes, opt for a back-loading shadow box. If you want to save and display three-dimensional objects such as a collection of wine corks or seashells, you’ll want a top-loading shadow box that makes it easy to add these items time and time again.

Budget Bet

This product can be displayed horizontally or vertically. Americanflat

Like a frame for photographs or artwork, shadow boxes come with either standard or non-reflective glass. If you want to display the shadow box near a window or strong light source, non-reflective glass might be the better choice. And if you want to show off a family heirloom or historic photography, you should consider archival-quality glass that will protect the object from fading over time.

For Bigger Items

An oversized, elegant frame, this product will easily display t-shirts and athletic uniforms. Snap Sports

Shadow boxes are a super way to display larger pieces such as a kid’s sports jersey. You can find specially designed models sized for jersey tops, and outfitted with UV glass to keep fabrics from yellowing over time.