Shadow Box Frame vs. Deep Box Frame? [What’s the Difference]

Last updated on October 10, 2023

In a nutshell, a deep box frame is a type of deeper shadow box. We will explain the differences in this article. Read on!

A shadow box is a type of framing that uses wood or metal frames to hold pictures. The picture itself is usually mounted on foam board, which can be painted over if desired. The frame is built to cast a shadow around the displayed item (such as a picture) and add depth to it. This makes for an attractive display but also means nothing is protecting your framed image from dust and dirt. They’re available as single-panel units or multi-paneled units. Multi-panel frames can have two or more panes of glass separated by air spaces.

The deep box frame is similar to a shadow box except it is much deeper and usually has a simpler design. It protects against dust and moisture while still allowing plenty of natural light into the space where the photograph will hang.

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Deep Box Frame

deep box frame

What are deep box picture frames? These come in various sizes, from small square boxes with dimensions ranging between 4″ x 6″ to large rectangular boxes measuring 12″x18″. The depth of the box is usually about 1/2 inch, but some larger models have depths as much as 2 inches.

Some smaller versions may only measure 5-6 inches tall, while others reach 10+ inches. Most box styles feature an opening on one side for easy access to your artwork. These openings range from 3/4” wide to almost full widths depending upon the size of the frame.

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Shadow Box

regular shadow box

Shadows boxes are cool! They make your pictures look more interesting. If you have been looking at building a wooden shadowbox frame, this article will help you understand why it’s better than using an ordinary picture frame. It may seem simple, but many things need to be considered before starting with any project.

The first step in making a shadowbox frame is choosing which type of wood you would prefer to use. There are two main types of woods used by most people when constructing their own shadowboxes: pine and cedar. Both these woods work well as long as you follow some basic guidelines.

If you choose to go down the route of buying ready-made shadow boxes from online stores or local craft shops, you should always check the quality of the materials used. Some cheap products might not last very long, so you could end up spending money unnecessarily. Always buy high-quality items because you’ll get a much longer life out of them.

Many times they include decorative trim around the edges of the opening. You can find both standard and custom-sized box frames in just about every shape imaginable, including round, oval, rectangle, trapezoid, hexagon, octagonal, diamond, heart-shaped, etc. 

The best part about the shadow box frames is that they offer great value for the price. In fact, they often cost less than half what traditional picture frames do. And since they don’t require professional installation services, you won’t pay extra labor costs. So whether you want something unique or save money, box-style picture frames are perfect choices.

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How to Choose the Frame for Your Pictures and Display Items

There are several factors to consider when deciding which kind of frame to purchase. First off, if you plan on hanging your artworks inside your home, you probably wouldn’t want anything too heavy-duty. If you live in a cold climate, you’d also want to avoid purchasing a frame with metal parts exposed to harsh weather conditions.

Also, keep in mind how big your collection is going to grow over time. Will you eventually add another piece of artwork to your collection? Or maybe you’re planning on adding more pictures later on. Whatever the case may be, make sure you take all those considerations into account when selecting the right frame for your needs.

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Shadow Boxes vs Deep Boxes

A Shadow Box is basically a shallow box where the sides slope inward, creating a sort of cave effect. This makes it easier to slide your artwork through the opening without having to remove the entire frame. It’s ideal for displaying smaller pieces like photographs, paintings, drawings, prints, posters, postcards, greeting cards, etc. Because these frames tend to be lightweight, they work well for framing photos and other lightweight objects. They typically weigh no more than 15 pounds per unit.

 A Deep Box is similar to a shadow box, except instead of sloping inward toward each other, the sides of the frame extend outward away from each other, forming a deeper cavity. A deep box works better for heavier framed items such as canvases, mirrors, sculptures, ceramics, glassware, clocks, jewelry, antiques, furniture, etc. Since these units are generally made out of wood, they are very sturdy and durable. However, because they are so bulky, they aren’t recommended for use with lighter framed items. Typically, deep boxes weigh anywhere from 20 – 30 lbs per unit.

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Which One Should You Buy?

 If you need a simple solution for storing and displaying your favorite family snapshots, then a shadow box would likely suit your needs perfectly. But if you’ve got a lot of different kinds of artwork stored at home, you might benefit from choosing a deep box. Either way, remember that there are many options available when shopping for picture frames online. Just choose whichever type of frame suits your personal tastes and budget best!

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What size should I get?

The standard sizes for most shadow boxes range from 12″ x 18″ to 24″ x 36″. You can find them in both square and rectangular shapes. For example, some manufacturers will sell their products in two identical frames, while others will only provide one single frame. Some companies even go beyond this basic setup and include additional accessories like mat boards, easels, cabinets, hooks, hangers, or wall mounts. So before making any purchases, always check what else comes along with the product.

What is a deep box frame?

A deep box frame is essentially an oversized version of a shadow box. These frames come in various sizes ranging from 16 inches wide by 32 inches tall to 8 inches wide by 48 inches high. Most deep boxes have a depth of about 3/4 inch, whereas shadow boxes usually measure around 1/2 inch thick. While deep boxes offer greater stability due to their larger dimensions, they are not necessarily stronger than their counterparts.

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