A common retirement gift for members of the Navy is a shadow box to display their collectibles and awards, and one way to dress up a common version is to add a padded liner in a Navy shadow box. Most Navy shadow boxes are made of wood, but can come in various shapes and sizes. Some popular shadow boxes are the Enlisted Chevron Box, which has the shape of a sailor rank; the Ship’s Wheel Display Box, which is the traditional symbol for sailors; and the Sea Chest Display Box, which can also double as a coffee table once filled. Most of these will come with a standard backing where you can display medals and other keepsakes, but if you want to make it special and more luxurious you can add a padded liner.
Step 1 – Remove Back of the Shadow Box
Remove the backboard piece of the shadow box and lay it flat on a work surface. Set the remainder of the shadow box aside somewhere safe until you are ready to put it all back together.
Step 2 – Cut Liner Fabric to Size
Spread out your liner fabric on your work surface. Place the backboard on top, and cut your liner fabric, leaving wide edges around each side of the back piece. It will have to fit over the padding of the batting or foam and still have excess at the edge to be secured to the back of the backboard with.
It is important to select a type of fabric that will look good with medals and collectibles, such as crushed velvet. It is not advised to pick a busy print as your fabric, or something sheer that medals can catch on and snag. Color is also important to consider when choosing your fabric. The official colors of the Navy are blue and gold, so these would make good color choices.
Step 3 – Add Batting to Back Piece
Coat the back piece with spray adhesive. Lay batting or foam down on the surface of the backboard of the shadow box, arranging it evenly across the total surface. Add as much batting or foam as you would like to achieve your desired thickness level. Allow the spray adhesive to dry overnight.
Step 4 – Attach Liner Fabric
Cover the front of the back piece (the side with the batting) with your piece of liner fabric, keeping the fabric centered on the backboard . Turn over the back piece and fold over the excess liner fabric. Staple the excess fabric to the back of the backboard, making sure the fabric is taut across the front.
Step 4 – Reattach Backboard
Reattach the backboard piece of the shadow box to the sides, bottom and top. This completes your addition of a padded liner to the Navy shadow box.