what can you do with old sports trophies
Ever since our wedding 20 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 way to repurpose trophies and 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.
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?
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.
repurpose trophies in a medals and trophies collage
What you need:
- thrifted frame (or you could use a large taxidermy display case HERE or a large shadow box frame HERE. The shadow box already has the fabric attached to the back and eliminates you having to staple it to the back)
- red, white and blue craft acrylic paint or any other color (I chose this color combo to match his small medal ribbons)
- primer (HERE)
- antiquing glaze
- staple gun
- glue gun
- I went to our local Salvation Army and found a homemade frame for a $1. It had a wooden back, no glass and a thick fabric cover. Perfect for my project but like I mentioned above you could use a display case (HERE) or a shadow box frame (HERE) for this project as well.
- I removed the plywood back and stapled my scrap fabric to it with my staple gun.
- I first sanded and then primed the frame with my favorite spray paint primer.
The idea to paint the frame in red, white and blue came from the fact that my husband liked the old red white and blue ribbon that is left on the one old medal.
I taped the primed frame and added the red white and blue stripes (You can click HERE to see how I paint really crisp strips and it sure works on a frame too). When I looked at the glossy results I decided to antique glaze the frame to make it look a little older to match the vintage look of the entire display. (My little 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!)
- Next I had my husband remove all the plaques from his trophies that he wanted to keep with a chisel (or you can use a flathead screwdriver). He cleaned them up a little but I wanted him to keep the patina on the plaques.
Then I removed the old torn ribbons from the medals.
- I put it all together by laying out a collage of the plaques and medals on the fabric covered back.
- Then I attached them with hot glue and the medals with needles, so they could be turned around (please see below photo). You can bend and turn the needles the way you want to make them slide into the fabric.
This small frame uses a lot less space then the 2 filled crates and we are both happy with the results.
more creative ideas for old trophies
My son prefers not taking his medals and trophies apart but he also has a world flag and soccer patch display. Click HERE to read more.
You might also enjoy seeing how I hung up my husband’s Sports Illustrated collection (click HERE):