Shadowbox Desk

Shadowbox Desk

Repurpose a used desk and give it a shadowbox display feature.

5 col

Used desk
Precut, 1x2-inch pieces of wood with mitered corners cut to length of the desktop for all 4 sides
Wood glue
Hot glue gun & hot glue sticks
Black felt
1/4 inch piece of acrylic glass cut to size of desktop
(4) Self-stick rubber pads for glass to sit on
1/2” wood screws
Drill gun
Screw gun
Decorative molding with mitered corners cut to length of the desktop (for top part)
Standard molding with mitered corners cut to length of the desktop (for bottom part)
Piano hinge
Small metal chain
Tin snips
(2) 1/4” wood screws


1. Dry fit the 4 pre-cut pieces of wood on top of the desk, creating a high-top frame. Remove pre-cut pieces of wood and apply wood glue.

2. Drill and screw all 4 pieces of pre-cut wood to the table on all ends. Use 3 screws per side in the center and on the edges

3. Place the acrylic glass over the top of the high-top frame, and peel the plastic from the edges only. Use the standard molding to create a frame around the acrylic glass

Tip: Remove only the edges of the plastic and leave the rest to protect the acrylic glass


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4. Apply the silicon adhesive to the standard molding pieces and place them on each edge underneath the acrylic glass, with the mitered corners meeting

5. Now apply silicon adhesive to the back of the decorative molding pieces, and place them over the edges of the acrylic glass with the mitered corners meeting

6. Use a nail gun to reinforce the structure (about a ¼” from the edge). Nail every 6”

7. Place the acrylic glass frame flush with the high top frame on the table and screw in the piano hinge on every hole. Use ½” wood screws. Start in the middle, then move to the ends. Once these are done, fill in the rest

8. Place self stick rubber pads one each corner between the acrylic glass frame and the high-top frame

9. Lining the interior with fabric: Apply hot glue to the entire surface of the desktop. Place black felt on top and smooth it out. Trim the excess

10. Attaching the chain: Facing to front part of the desk, open the frame to a 90-degree angle. Place one end of the chain on the left top corner of the acrylic glass frame and stretch it to the lower left corner (closer to you) and cut out remaining chain. Using a screw gun, attach the chain to the inside of the corner using one ¼” wood screw per end

Remove protective plastic from acrylic glass

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