Install Nintendo 3DS Gameboy Consoles in a Shadowbox

About: Learning on the fly and finding solutions for my issues

Intro: Install Nintendo 3DS Gameboy Consoles in a Shadowbox

Hey gang, here I am talking about video games and shadowboxes. This is the third installment and this time we will talk about how to install your Nintendo 3DS family console in a shadowbox. If you haven't check my Instructables please go check it out and learn how to install the Gameboy generation consoles:

- Let's Make a Gameboy Shadowbox
- Shadowbox Your Gameboy Advance Up to Gameboy Micro Using Magnets

I was amazed that I couldn't find anything related to this project in a way that would allow me to follow a set of instructions. How hard could it be, right?

OK, back to business. I decided to frame all my consoles: Gameboy, DS, 3DS, PSP, etc., but there are some basic premises that I want to achieve:

  • be simple;

  • easy to implement;

  • doesn't damage the console in any way;

  • not be permanent;

  • inexpensive;

For the Gameboy family, I was able to get away using magnets, the cartridge and the battery slot were big enough to accommodate magnets. For the NDS and 3DS family that is not the case, the cartridge is too small to achieve the same result as the Gameboy family.

This Instructables present my idea of how to achieve that fulfilling all the requirements.

Step 1: Parts

Besides the usual tools: screwdriver, drill, ruler, etc. (not pictured here), and the shadowbox frame itself (16"x20") I used the following:

  • 1/4" Screen Clips;
  • Nylon Spacers 1/2" X 3/8" OD - .171" ID;
  • #8-32 1-1/4" brass screws;
  • #8-32 Nylon lock nuts;
  • #8 Flat whashers.
These will be used to create the arms that will support the consoles.

Step 2: Proof of Concept

I started using a peg board to check the feasibility of this project, you can see that the spacers act as support and the "ears" function as a sort of a lock. Another thing is that the "ears" would be hidden under the top screen, keeping the appearance to the minimum.

You can also see that I used the spacers to adjust the height, making sure it would be neither too tight nor too loose. And, of course, I am using Nylon spacers so to not scratch the console.

Step 3: Planning

This is a quick step.

Using software like Corel, Illustrator, Photoshop, etc., or even paper, build a mock-up of the space available on the shadowbox and the space that each device will take, this will help you visualize how to better arrange the consoles.

This will be your reference point before you start drilling.

Step 4: Getting the Screen Clips Ready

You might have noticed that the clips I am using have a little "wing" on it. Here, using a wire cutter, I just removed that little piece.

The assembly is simple:

Screw < clip < spacer < washer (if needed) < washer on the back of the frame < nut

Sorry, I don't have any pictures showing the assembly but you can see the other pictures, for reference.

Step 5: Placement

With my drawing in hands, I started placing the consoles on the board and started marking the position of each post, and then I started checking the clearances, adding some spacers at the bottom, making sure that the height was just right.

After I had all post in place it was time to remove everything and start assembling inside the shadowbox.

Step 6: Assembly

Now it's time to put everything together.

One lesson learned here was that when I was installing the padding I realized that I didn't account for the extra space needed because of the padding thickness, I had to redo that job all over again. Not fun at all but necessary :)

After that, all that was needed was to hang on the wall.

Step 7: Final Product

I liked the final results and I hope you find this Instructables useful.
Please like, save as favorite, share with friends, etc. :) If you have questions please let me know.

Now let's go to and build the shadowbox for the DS family. I will post some pictures here since it will use the same approach.

Step 8: Miscellaneous

- If you are going to hang heavy stuff on a shadow box, consider upgrade the back of the shadowbox, at least on mine, the back was really thin and didn't give me enough confidence. I used an MDF board for replacement.

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