How to Make a Flag Shadow Box

What You'll Need
American flag
Picture or honored figure
Medals, awards, and rank insignia
Measuring tape
Pen or pencil and paper
Hammer and nails or wood glue
Hanging hardware
Red, blue or black paint

A flag shadow box is a great way to honor men and women in uniform for their service of duty to the country. You can display their medals and awards alongside with an American flag for a story of everything they accomplished. Whether you make the flag shadow box to honor a living friend or family member or to memorialize one who has passed away, it is not a difficult task.

Step #1: Gather Materials

First you will need to gather the materials you want to put in the flag shadow box. You will want an American flag, for sure. Other materials to gather include a picture of the one honored, their medals and awards, and their highest rank insignia.

Step #2: Fold the Flag

The flag must be folded by a certain method. Begin by folding it in half lengthwise, so that the bottom half of the flag covers the stars. Fold it a second time lengthwise so that the blue field of stars shows from above. Finally, beginning from the striped end, fold the flag triangularly over and over again until only the stars remain as a triangle.

Step #3: Estimate Measurements of Flag Shadow Box

Setup all the gathered items in the way you’d like them displayed to get an estimate of the size you’ll need to construct your box. Use a measuring tape to estimate.

Step #4: Make a Sketch

Using your estimates measurements, sketch a design of the flag using your measurements.

Step #5: Cut the Base and Frame

Cut a piece of plywood in the desired shape using the measurements you estimated. Make sure to add around ½ inch on each side to accommodate for the frame. Cut and mount a frame around your base using glue or nails.

Step #6: Install Hangers

Purchase and install hanging hardware to allow your flag shadow box to be hung in display.

Step #7: Stain and Paint the Flag Shadow Box

Once the flag shadow box is completed, you should stain the wood and then paint it. If the honored served in the Marines, paint it red. Otherwise, paint it blue for Navy or Air Force or black for Army.

Step #8: Place Flag and Other Items in Display

When placing the flag in place, it should be placed with the edge on the bottom and the tip facing skyward. Medals are put into place on the left side with the oldest medals placed first. Use the right side for other awards. Above the flag place a picture of the honored along with their last rank insignia. Cut pieces of Velcro to hold them in place.

American military tradition prefers that a flag shadow box honoring an American soldier be crafted by an American citizen, so by making your own flag shadow box instead of purchasing it ensures that this tradition is upheld.