Introduction: How to Frame a 3D Object

Ever had something other than a picture you wanted to frame? This Instructable will assist you in that endeavor.

Step 1: Define the Scope of the Project

The first step is to gather what you want to frame. This will give you an idea on the size of the items you are going to fabricate. I am a knife collector and I had amassed a group of 'Lion Head' hunting knives made in Germany in the 1950ies and 60ies that I wanted to frame.

Step 2: Plan the Frame and Gather the Material

Once you have ALL the items you want to display, you must deside on just how big you want to make the frame and obtain the amount of material needed. The frame is made up of two components, a 'picture frame on steroides' called a Shadow Box and an Insert that holds the items to be displayed. Being a woodworker, I decided I would make my project out of wood. I arranged the display items in a visually pleasing manner and measured just how big the Insert needed to be. I then cut a piece of 1/4 inch plywood remembering that I would need 1/2 inch extra to go under the Shadow Box's overhang. I then built the Shadow Box. Although I have the power tools to work wood, this project can be made using only hand tools.

Step 3: Cuting the Insert

Once both Components are built, it is time to mount the Display items. Arrainging them on the Insert, I traced around them and cut their outlines out in a Jigsaw, however I could have just as easily used a Copeing Saw . At this point, what happens next will depend on what you are going to mount. If all the items in your display are 1/4 inch thick or less, all you would need to do is glue a second 1/4 inch piece of plywood to the back of the Insert, finish it in a pleasing manner and glue it into the Shadow Box. If the items are thicker, you will have to use thicker material and hollow it out as needed. I recomend only going the thickness of Dimentional Lumber, 3/4 inch at a time. The Lion Head Plaque I used is set in only a 1/4 inch but the knives are set in over 1/2 inch so I needed to glue two different thickness of wood to the back of the Insert in the proper locations. I used a Dermel with a Router Attachment to hollow out but, some hand wood carving tools would have worked as well.

Step 4: Putting It Together

Once the Insert and Shadow Box are complete, I put the Insert into the Shadow Box. Using a few small blocks of wood, one on each side, and some Contact Cement, I mounted the Insert to the Shadow Box. Again, what happens here depends on how and what you are displaying. My display was open, and I was going to add the display pieces later. If you were going to close the display with a front of glass or plastic, you would have to have your display pieces in their places at this point.

Step 5: Final Things

To make the knives stand out a little, I painted the inside of the cut outs with flat black paint. I then mounted the Lion Head Plaque using its wall mount and wood screw and put the knives in their holes.

Step 6: Last

To hold the knives in their holes and to protect the blades from people touching them, I made a cover out of plastic and screwed it to the Insert

Step 7: Thing Thought of Later

Because I was mounting 3 hunting knives and a cast iron plaque, I needed to use wood for the 'holes' however, if what you are mounting is light weight, you could apply Expanding Foam to the back of the Insert. This would be easier to hollow out than wood.