How to Mount Insects in a Shadow Box

bee with shadow on white background

The reason why many people mount insects in a shadow box is for scientific study and project work for students. People collect, display, and preserve samples of insects for many other purposes including decoration. At the time of mounting, the insects are fresh, and the wings and antennae need to be moved into position.

Step 1 - Measuring the Shadow Box

Measure the shadow box. A small shadow box would be about four to six inches and a large one would be 16 by 20 inches. The shadow box size must be determined by deciding how many insects need to be exhibited on the foam board inside the shadow box.

Step 2 - Cutting the Foam Board

Cut a section of colored felt. It must be at least 1 inch wider than both sides of the foam board. Cover it from one side of the foam board and stick it to the back of the foam board using warm glue. Neatly fold the corners, and cut out extra felt on sides. Next, glue the felt-covered foam board on the interior of the shadow box.

exacto knife cutting foam board

Step 3 - Pinning

In the shadow box, use straight pins to mount up the insects on the felt covered foam board. Lay out the insects in an organized way. Once you're happy with the organizing, move on to the final step. You can also add descriptions of the insect by placing descriptive tags using warm glue.

Step 4 - Glass Piece

Use a piece of glass to cover the shadow box. The work can be hung on the wall or kept on a table or cabinet.