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Too many three-dimensional keepsakes get stuck in boxes, under beds, and in basements, and we only get to see them once in a while—maybe when decluttering or moving. But items such as beloved baby clothes or toys, awards, nature’s keepsakes, family heirlooms, jewelry, or other favorite mementos that can’t fit in frames can be tastefully incorporated into home decor thanks to shadow boxes.


You may have (or your parents may have) a tiny item of clothing from when you were a baby—a darling sweater, a favorite onesie, or even the outfit you wore when they brought you home from the hospital. Or, maybe you have kept one of the above from your own child’s infancy. It may not make sense to keep clothing you don’t have a use for anymore, but sometimes, parents can’t help but keep a few beloved items that bring back memories of a precious time.

Instead of stowing these items away in a basement, these items can be worked into your decor with shadow boxes. We saved the onesie that we used to tell my family we were pregnant to put into a shadow box that is now the centerpiece of the gallery wall in my daughter’s nursery. Every day when I see it, I’m reminded of the joyous day when we shared the good news with our family—the smiles, the shock, the happy tears. Someday, I’ll give this shadow box and precious keepsake to my daughter, and maybe she can find a use for it in her own home.

Clearly, baby keepsakes—either your own from infancy or your own child’s—work well in a nursery, but shadow boxes and clothing aren’t limited to baby items. Do you have an old jersey of your own, a parent’s, or even one that belonged to a beloved sports star that just collects dust in a box? Framing it in a large shadow box can make it the perfect centerpiece for a child’s bedroom or play area, a workout room, a basement, or a game room.


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