Thursday, May 24, 2012

What to do with old trophies and awards?

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Ever since our wedding 14 years ago I was faced with the problem about what to do with my husbands huge collection of sports paraphernalia. (I know a lot of women have this problem!) He had been collecting all kinds of stuff, from his own athletic accomplishments to baseball/football cards and Sports Illustrated magazines. He was under the impression that we would display everything in the man cave. This actually made me laugh at first and then I wanted to cry! There's just no way. If I would display everything that him and I love, our house would look like we could be on the show Hoarders. Everybody has to purge and that way we were able to come to a compromise.

I have found several solutions for all his things and in this post I will show you my latest project to display his athletic accomplishments from early childhood to college.
He had 2 crates full of trophies, medals and plaques stored in his mother's attic. She was sick of keeping his stuff and told him to take them. (Sigh out loud!) He actually thought we'd display them!!!!! He is so attached to his sports past.

Neuweiler crates with old trophies

Well, guess what I got excited about when I saw the trophies? Yup, the crates! They are the best thing about this pile! Aren't they cool? At least he agrees with me on that! I still haven't decided what to do with them.

I have seen some projects out there where people spray painted old trophies a glossy white but that doesn't solve the issue of using up too much space. And the trophies weren't nice shapes either. I had to come up with something that would display medals and trophies in a small space.

What I came up with isn't in anyway a revolutionary new idea, but it solved the problem and he is happy with it.
I didn't want a shadow box but I knew I wanted to hang the stuff on the wall.

I went to the local Salvation Army and found this "not so nice" homemade frame for a $1. It had a wooden back, no glass and a thick fabric cover.

old salvation army frame

I had my husband remove all the plaques from his trophies that he wanted to keep. He cleaned them up a little but I wanted him to keep the patina on the plaques.
Then I removed the old torn red, white and blue neck ribbons from the medals.

After that I made sure that all the stuff would fit inside the frame. I'm so glad it did!

Then I went to work on the frame and background.

I first sanded and then primed the frame with spray paint.
I had a scrap of black and white striped fabric left that I covered the background with. For that I used a staple gun. When I laid this combination together, I noticed that the striped fabric was definitely not the best choice.

old white frame with old trophies and medallions

So I came up with the idea to paint the frame in red, white and blue since my husband liked the removed neck ribbons. I bought a grey piece of scrap fabric. I wanted duck cloth since it is a thick and heavy fabric that I hoped was able to hold the heavy metals and plaques.

I taped the primed frame and added the red white and blue stripes. When I looked at the glossy results I decided to glaze the frame to make it look a little older to match the vintage metal plaques and medals. (My 5 year old daughter wasn't too happy with the black glaze. She wanted to know why I'm ruining the pretty colors and making them look dirty. Haha!)

Valspar antiquing glaze on glossy frame

I removed the striped fabric and recovered it in the grey fabric with the staple gun again.

adding grey fabric to background with staple gun

I put it all together, laid out a collage of the plaques and medals and then I attached the them with hot glue and the medals with needles, so they could be turned around.

attaching plaques and medals with hot glue

This small frame uses a lot less space then the 2 filled crates and we are both happy with the results.

repurposing old medals and plaques in a collage
(I hung the collage in our living room to take this photo because the staircase
leading to the basement is too dark and that's where it will be hanging in the future)

putting vintage metals and plaques on display in an old painted frame

You want to know the funny thing? My husband still has the old trophies sitting in the garage now and can't get himself to put them out for the trash. They aren't even in shape enough to donate! Seriously! It's time to let go now.

I also have to post what I did with his other collections, like the Sports Illustrated magazines and his baseball/football cards. And another post to prove that every woman can build her man a bar. So come back soon.

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  1. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this great idea !

  2. And thank you for stopping by my blog!

  3. Your blogs are totally worth giving time and energy.
    crystal trophies

  4. I like this idea! You can also take the little guys on the top of the trophies, remove them and make wine/bottle stoppers!!! :)

  5. so I love the idea but the real reason I am posting is that I am from Bethlehem and the 'crate' is from Allentown I thought that was pritty amazing being all of the links I could have clicked....also you are german yes? living in the friend is American living in Germany and she has a blog....Life and Death in Franconian Village by Laura Libricz..just little the big, yet very small world we live in. Oh and on the trophys I have 3 just barley adult kids with lots of trophys so I shall be busy.

    1. Thanks Betsy!
      I know it's a small world ;) and it just so happens that I'm also from Franconia! Not kidding! I checked out your friends blog and she lives around Nürnberg right? That's about an hour away from where I am from. She wrote her first historical fiction novel and I love historical fiction! How exciting! I think I may just read it when I'm finished with my current historical fiction book which also plays in Franconia!
      Talk to you soon!

    2. This is gettin really are from Franconia, yes she lives in Mailach. Yes check out her book, you will enjoy it.
      I got the okay from my children to rmove theur names and make a trophy frame. I will then try and donate the trophys to a local organization.

  6. What about donating the trophies to your local rec department or Boys and Girls club for them to reuse? They could add their own name plates. Love this idea!!!!

    1. I did check into that but my husbands trophies weren't in good shape at all.

  7. Wow - you turned the ugly things into an amazing and interesting decoration! Love it!

  8. oh!great! idea is super friendly, knowledgeable, and they're able to do a lot of different plaques, trophies, awards. Here is a sample “About Me” page that answers these questions. I love this post, lots of great info!Thank for sharing..
    Trophies and medals

  9. Perfect. Funny that he can't let go of the "bodies".

  10. Wow great idea for medals! This is moving to the top off my project list this weekend!

  11. Wow great idea for medals! This is moving to the top off my project list this weekend!

  12. Great idea! I have a ton of gymnastics trophies and scouting awards and I think I am going to do this for myself.

    1. Hi Sophie, good luck with your project!

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  14. Just came across this- love the idea! Did you ever post what you did with the baseball cards and Sports Illustrated magazines???

    1. I have been wanting to but we've had issues with our basement and I didn't want to take pictures in the mess. But I will hopefully get to it this fall when I'm going to redo the basement a little.

    2. Ok great- I will look forward to the ideas! Stumbled upon your blog today looking for ideas for mine and my hubby's old trophies, medals, etc! And now I have been all over your blog posts- love them!!!

    3. Thank you so much! That made my day, because it's been one of those frustrating ones ;)

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  16. Very wise words. I implore I can be the religious mom, my offspring needs to grow up having so that others can see God from side to side her and not the planet.

  17. Great information and well written.Even a complete newbie like me understood it.
    Keep up the good work.very useful information. I will look forward to find out more.Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this great idea !custom awards

  18. Thank you, thank you, we were debating this exact thing last summer.

  19. My fiancé and I were just talking about what to do with trophies and this looks great!

    How did your husband get the plaques with the names on them? They look tough to get off and we're hoping it's something we can manage!

    1. I guess I should clarify a bit, how did he get the plaques off? If you could clarify on that process a bit that would be fantastic! Thank you for sharing this awesome idea!!

  20. Hi, we just used a screw driver or speckling knife to get under the plaques on the trophies and pried them off. Since most of them are only glued on and the glue was old, it was really easy. Some of them were screwed on and we just screwed them off.
    Hope that helps and let me know if you have any more questions.

    1. Ok, great! That shouldn't be too bad (hopefully ha). Thank you so much!


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