Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Medal Finisher

So, my youngest sister has made a personal goal to run either a half or (eventually) a full marathon in each of the 50 states.  While she has run quite a few half marathons in our home state of Pennsyltucky, her only other states are Tennessee and soon-to-be Ohio.  She needs to get on that goal ! From doing each half marathon (and always kicking butt) she receives a participation medal.  Along with the medal, she has her bib as well.  What to do with these memorabilia from each race?  You could scrapbook the bibs with some photos, and throw the medals in a keepsake box, but why not display them?  I've noticed on my sister's Pinterest page (Oh, thank you Pinterest) that she has pinned a few bib/medal holders like this one:

I decided to give it the ol' DIY try and make my sister one of these for her birthday.  This was a trial and error project, with lots of trial and lots of errors.  Bare with me while I try to explain.

Tools Needed:
  • Paint brush
  • Drill
Materials Needed:
  • Paint color of choice
  • Alphabet stickers (color of choice)
  • Mod Podge
  • Sand paper
  • Mug and/or cup hooks
  • Rectangular plaque
  • Some sort of frame hanger (I had these lying around)


The bad and the ugly

I first purchased a French corner wood plaque from Michael's craft store.  The size was 11x14 inches- a perfect size for words and hooks.  I painted it with craft paint I had around the house.  Then, I used my Cricit (I seriously love that thing !) to cut out the word "Runner" with sticker paper.  I stuck the stickers on the painted plaque and then, the first error hit.  As I went to paint over it with Mod Podge to give it a nice shiny seal and finish, the letters got soggy and started to peel up AND the Mod Podge was going on clumpy (I guess that's what you get when it is 12 years old).  So I hurried and peeled off the letters and smoothed out the Mod Podge.  I had to paint over it again to help smooth it out.  It worked!  Then I figured, I'd use a clear sealing spray paint and then put new sticker letters on it.  My spray paint came put clumpy as well !!  That was it.  I gave up and decided to start over.  No salvaging it now.

How bad was it?  So bad that I didn't even bother taking a picture.  I've saved your eyes from the horribleness of it all. 

The good

I went back to Michael's (coupon in hand, of course!), and sadly, they were out of the French corner plaque, so I just got a regular rectangular one.  It's just a little less fancy, but the size is still perfect.  I mixed up my paints again and painted it a pretty blue/teal color. 


Once it was dry, I sanded the edges to "frame" the plaque.  I think the sanded edges gives it a nice look, especially on the French corner plaque version that didn't turn out so well. 
  
(Picture from first attempt with French Corner)
After the edges were sanded and the paint was dry, I took white letter stickers and placed them near the top.  I eye-balled the letters to make them centered.  A ruler could help with this.


Once I smoothed on the letters as best as I could, I took my NEW Mod Podge and gave it a nice clear coat.  No clumps this time!  For the hooks, I used cup hooks for the bib part and the mug hooks for the medals.  I took one of my smaller bibs as a guide for where the holes should be.  I took a pencil and marked the holes. 


Then I used a drill to start a tiny hole for me to screw in the cup hook.


Not every bib will be exactly the same size, so you may end up needing to hole punch some of the bibs to hang properly.

After that, I made seven holes for the mug hooks.  I decided to stagger the hooks to give it a different look, but you could make the hooks in a straight line as well.  Once the holes were started, I just pushed and twisted the hooks until they were tight.  


To make it hang on the wall, I used a ruler to draw a straight line for my saw-toothed frame hangers.  I nailed both in and voila.  Done !


I tested it out with some of my medals and bibs and it looks AWESOME !



My sister loved the gift and it is currently hanging on her bedroom wall...already pretty much filled up.  Go Em !

What other ways do you display sports memorabilia? Shadow box? Shelves?

Now you can Do It Yourself, Too !

~Stephanie