Striving Artists is a recognized expert in custom shadow boxes.

We prefer this framing method for displaying memorabilia, artifacts, clothing, sports jerseys, pet memorials, and other mementos. A shadow box is an elegant way to display your treasures, whether to be hung on a wall or put on a table top.

See examples of our work and read a fascinating story about shadow boxes on the bottom of this page.

Questions? Feel free to contact us at anytime.

American Flag flown over the United States Capitol

A memorial shadow box with Military Awards

Shadow box for Sports Jersey (the Galaxy soccer team) with custom designed mats 

Shadow box for Brighton Collectibles

Shaq O’Neal’s leather jacket

Shadow box of irregular shape with a pipes collection

Shadow box with a memorable corks collection

A cover held in place by magnets, so box could be opened to add another cork

What is a Custom Shadow Box and why we use it  in custom framing

Shadow boxes have a very fascinating history. In maritime folklore, there is a superstition about retiring sailors going ashore at the end of their service. It is considered bad luck if a sailor’s shadow touches land before he has stepped ashore.

Traditionally, the departing sailor’s shipmates would construct a decorative box, displaying all of his cherished collected items, awards, medals, the flags of both their country and their military service branch, etc. The possessions in the box were a symbolic representation of the sailor himself. Carrying this box, the sailor carried his own shadow in hand, so to speak. As long as he set foot ashore before setting down the box, the superstition was satisfied. This shadow box and all of the sailor’s service history contained inside, would then be presented to him in a ceremony. It is a beautiful tradition honoring the achievements of retiring naval servicemen.

Today, professional custom framers carry on and reinterpret this tradition, uniquely for each customer. The creative possibilities of custom shadow boxes are endless. Yet, the emotional effect a shadow box can have is ever present. This style of custom framing brings attention to the cherished items and highlights their significance. Often accompanied by photos, the framed objects directly relate to a person, an animal companion, or a life event they represent. The shadow box may tell a story of achievement, service, pride, nostalgia, honor, or celebration.


Uniqueness of custom shadow boxes

Striving Artists is a well-recognized expert in custom shadow boxes. We received multiple awards at Professional Picture Framing Competitions, including 1st place at the 2016 International Competition.

We developed many specialty design and build techniques ourselves, at our shop in Chatsworth. Designing custom shadow boxes to meet the unique needs of our customers and their memorabilia is a complicated and time consuming process. Yet, describing in words the entire process of making shadow box frames, from design to mounting and finishing, is virtually impossible.

Each custom shadow box has its own unique features. For example, a shadow box we built to display a 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games torch, easily opens from the front, allowing one of our Chatsworth customers to remove the torch when desired.

A Woodland Hills customer brought in a precious prayer book, with a sterling silver cover. He can also take out his treasure from the custom shadow box, this time from the back of the frame.

A couple from Northridge challenged us to build a shadow box to display their collection of wine bottle corks, symbolizing special occasions from their life together. We created an interactive shadow box, made with plexiglas elements, where the customer can add or remove corks at will.


Custom shadow box explained

Even being so unique, all custom-built shadow boxes have common components, such as a deep frame that can encase 3D objects. Due to the variety of items that may be placed in a shadow box and their relative sizes, mouldings for shadow boxes come in depths ranging from 1 inch up to 4 inches deep. For objects that are larger, shadow box frames can be extended in depth.

Another common component for shadowboxes is the backer and side panels. Backing and side panels are essential to create the internal box design. They are visual components, often wrapped in attractive custom fabrics. We work collaboratively with our customers to come up with colors and styles of these fabrics, to enhance element of age, time, or mood. The fabrics can be subtle or extravagant. Sometimes, in the case of vocational, sport, or military shadow boxes, the fabric might suggest the color or style of a uniform. It is possible to print fabrics with customer-chosen designs.

Lastly, we apply a mounting technique. Given the endless range of items that might be placed in a shadow box, we have developed many procedures to deal with different types of objects. For example, we may use various materials to create an illusion of an item being suspended or floating inside the shadow box. We use minimally invasive techniques to ensure that valued items are preserved in their received condition.


Oh, & We Blog Sometimes

(Actually, we’re bragging about art, framing, and anything related)
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"OMG!!! I've been framing with Striving Artists since 1993. All of my pieces are so amazing. I love working with J, Boris and Marina. They always guide me towards the most artistic and creative frames... But this most recent piece is above and beyond all my expectations! My Arthur Parton painting circa 1870 looks like I stole it out of the Louvre in Paris! Wow! If you want a one of a kind frame, you must go to Striving Artists! You won't be disappointed."

Jacqueline De Champlon

It has been great working with you ... you are very organized and professional and I appreciate that. I will take pictures of the art work in the rooms and send to you... You have been great, and I will certainly recommend your fine company to anyone! Please feel free to use me as a reference.

Jim McGuire, General Manager - Best Western Plus Grosvenor Hotel

"To Boris and Marina, you guys are the best. Thanks for all your services!"

Nelson De La NuezKing of Pop Art

"After more than 15 years of framing everything under the sun, I can honestly say that this place is awesome. Thank you for all of these years of great service, with many more frames to come. Hopefully we will have some wall space left!"

Mike Leeney, Calabasas

"Striving Artists' framing business went well over my expectations and then some! I am truly grateful and impressed with their professionalism and honesty. Thank you."

Steve C.Time Warner Cable

"Boris & Marina & J @ Striving Artists are fabulous. They have supported me over many years in many ways. Their work is oustanding quality & they always have a smile & time to talk & laugh."
Such individuals are rare in todays world. Lord, may they live & prosper. With Love Always.

Suzzanne Bennett, Fine Artist, West Hills


You, The People!

Artists and photographers Nelson De La Nuez, Richard J Oliver, Barron Postmus, Suzzanne Bennett, Sarah Stone, Janet Milhomme, Jack Lamarque and many others


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