Tips for Creating a Shadow Box Dog Memorial

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Losing a pet can be difficult, and memorializing your dog eases the pain and helps you remember the good times you shared. Shadow boxes are framed containers that allow three-dimensional objects to be displayed, as well as photos and other flat items. Every dog is different, and a shadow box can be customized to highlight the things that made your dog special to you. Craft stores and online retailers sell shadow boxes or kits to create your own display, or a frame store may design and build a shadow box for you.


Photographs are standard parts of shadow box displays, and create a clear visual focus for your memories. Choose a photo that captures your dog's personality, such as a mid-air ball catch, or a memorable experience like your first camping trip together. Use matting in a coordinating color to highlight and enhance the picture. Protect your photos and special items with acid-free paper, matting and adhesives.



Display the entire collar as a circle, reminiscent of the circle of life, and use the leash as a decorative border around the entire layout. Alternately, position the collar flat as an accent at the top or bottom of the display, or as a divider between sections, if you have multiple items. Attach a coordinating dog tag, engraved with your dog's name and dates of birth and death, to the collar.

Favorite Toy

Launder stuffed toys before adding them to a shadow box. Cut balls or other symmetrical toys in half to fit the depth of the shadow box. Secure heavy items with wire or electrical ties. Use a photo of your dog with the toy to tie the display together.


Awards or Certificates

Highlight your dog's achievements by displaying certificates earned or awards won. Even something as simple as a certificate for completing an obedience class will remind you of the time you spent teaching and learning with your dog. Ribbons or rosettes are also well-suited to shadow box displays, as are small plaques. Coordinate matting or background paper to match the certificate or ribbon.

Paw Print

Include a pawprint in your dog's shadow box memorial for a personal touch. Items with pawprint impressions are available for purchase; some can be painted or engraved with your dog's name. For your own dog's paw prints, look for impression kits at craft stores, or make your own with plaster of Paris.


By Molly Sawyer

Michaels: Tell a Story in a Shadow Box
About the Author
Molly Sawyer has been writing online since 1998, covering topics such as dog care, breeding and genetics, financial and tax information, and holistic care for people and pets. Sawyer holds a Bachelor of Science in animal science from Michigan State University.