DIY finisher’s medal display

Before triathlon took over my life, I was a lot more crafty. Having traded my Mod Podge in for C02 cartridges and painter’s easel for a power meter (not literally of course!), it’s been hard to find the time and inclination to flex those creative muscles. Until I embarked on this month’s little 30-day challenge, that is.

Moving into our new place in the spring reawakened the nesting impulse once again, in the form of cooking, new DIY projects, and plant accumulation. (Note: Coconut palms and money trees are low-maintenance plants for busy triathletes.) You may remember the photo of me spray painting our ugly chandelier in compression tights? I think it turned out pretty well, for this amateur.

DIY triathlon medal display hanger or rack

My second project involved turning in a folder stuffed with race bibs and a bag full of medals into something worth displaying. I wasn’t sure what the end product would look like, but I was willing to try.

DIY triathlon medal display hanger or rack

With a little Etsy inspiration (and a decided aversion to using Bible verses or inspirational quotes), a shelf from an old IKEA bookcase, and a brand-new tub of Mod Podge, I got to work. A drill, some cheap hooks from Home Depot, and a little help from Mark and my favorite framers, a few weeks later (Mod Podge takes a while to dry) I had my work of art. Said framer and artsy friend Rob assured me that it’s not ugly (he might have even used the words “really cool!”) and given all the hours of training and work that symbolically went into it, I’m happy with it too.

DIY triathlon medal display hanger or rack

The only advice I have if you’re wanting to make one of these is something I didn’t realize: The bibs on the bottom will get covered by medals, so if you have favorites (in my case the black “2013” bib number from my first Ironman), put them near the top. Also, use less important bibs to form the first layer covering all the wood. Add your favorites last so they show up on top: in my case my first triathlon in Cazenovia New York, my first International race in Abu Dhabi, my marathon PR in Carlsbad, and that first Ironman (sigh) one year ago in Mont-Tremblant.

Put your work of art somewhere that will remind you of your achievements, and inspire you to go out and get more.

DIY triathlon medal display hanger or rack

The finished product.

DIY triathlon medal display hanger or rack

DIY triathlon medal display hanger or rack

9 thoughts on “DIY finisher’s medal display

  1. Caitlin
    August 17, 2013 at 5:54 am

    That turned out so good!! I’ve always loved the idea of these but I look at them, esp. the plain ones with little sayings and think, “I can totally make that myself!” I also like what Meghann from Meals and Miles has done with her race #’s, by having little books made with race photos and then a blank page next to the photo for her to insert her race #.

  2. Rob Markoff
    August 17, 2013 at 7:49 am

    Proud of you (for the medals AND for your creativity!) Looks heavy, how’d you hang it :)?

  3. August 18, 2013 at 10:20 am

    I love it! I’m totally making one of these this weekend!

  4. Yvonne
    August 31, 2013 at 1:45 am

    Love the creativity! I have my medals hung up but haven’t figured out my race bibs yet. Looks fantastic! I got excited seeing your Big Sur medal I ran that one last year and the Vineman is on my radar for 2015! I have only just entered the world of triathlons! Great job!

  5. September 12, 2013 at 12:36 am

    Great Display! Great way to involve your bibs in the display too. I would be afraid I would mess that up and my bibs would become soggy and not stick well! Nice job!

    1. Jen
      September 13, 2013 at 11:26 pm

      Hi Merenda! You could do it easily. Mod Podge is a miracle.

  6. Wisnu Prihatyo
    June 15, 2015 at 2:02 pm

    Hi, I just finished my DIY medal hanger project and of course it inspired from your great idea. Thanks a lot! :) If you don’t mind, you can check here https://instagram.com/p/35bJI8ALCO/