Guest blogger post: Do-It-Yourself race bib and medal display

This post was submitted by Run Oregon guest blogger Robin York. Feel free to Submit a Guest Post in the “Contact Us” tab if you want to get involved.

Okay, granted I’m fairly new to running consistently (since Jan 2013) and don’t have THAT many bibs…. my pile was starting to get hefty since I’m keeping the ones earned by my two kiddos at various kids’ dashes and toddler trots.  Yeah.  I’m a pack rat.My bib and medal display was starting to get packed with my family’s mementos too so I decided to make one for each of my kiddos.  It is quite cost-effective (but as a “pack rat” I may have had most of these supplies on hand anyway…) and very quick to make.  It took a couple of hours.Here is the quick rundown of various supplies and tools needed:

  • wooden board 1 ft x 2 ft.  $3.65 (it was actually a 2 ft x 2 ft cut in half to make 2 sets for $7.30)
  • Mod Podge glue $ 9.44 (My bottle lasts me about 5 years!)
  • 13 wooden cabinet knobs $13 (these are $1 a piece but with enough patience and creativity, you can find some knobs at the habitat for humanity resale store and have a fun collage style of various knobs.)
  • 12×12 scrapbook paper about $0.60 each and I used 2 sheets for each display.
  • 3/4 inch “cup hooks” in a package of 100 for $4.  This works out to about 4 cents each and 4 per display.
  • Craft paint $2 (But you will have a lot left over for other projects.  You aren’t using $2 worth of paint here.)
  • Clear Coat Spray Sealer (for knobs.  This is optional and you’ll have plenty leftover for other projects.) $7
  • Picture Hanger Fasteners $3
  • Ruler
  • Exacto Blade
  • Drill
  • Writing Utensil (pen, pencil or marker)

Step One:  I paint my wooden knobs a complimentary color of the scrap paper that will be used as the decorative backing on the wood panel.  While those are drying, paint the edges of the wood with the same color.Once the knobs are dry (about 10 minutes), I sprayed them (in a well ventilated area) with a clear coat sealer so that the paint would not scratch easily.  It also makes them look more “finished”.  While those dry (about 20 minutes), check on the paint around the wood panel.  If that is dry, we are done with paint and ready to get out the glue.


Step Two:  Apply a very thin coat of Mod Podge to half of the board.  Very carefully press the scrap paper on and I like to stack lots of heavy book on the paper to keep it from wrinkling.  In all honesty, if it bubbles or wrinkles, it’s no big deal.  You’ll have it all covered with bibs and medals in no time.  While that side is drying do the same thing to the other half so that the front is covered with paper.  The glue should dry in about 30 minutes.

Step Three:
 When all is dry, you can flip the board over so that the image is down on a cutting mat, and carefully trim away any paper hanging over the edges.  Be very careful to use a sharp blade so that the paper does not tear away from the board as you cut.Flip the board back over and when you are done admiring your handy work… it’s time to arrange your 4 “cup hooks” (for the bibs) and the 13 (or so) knobs for the medals.If you are making this without bibs on hand you should know that bibs (generally) come in two sizes.  The regular ‘ol size and the random huge ones.  No seriously.   I find that the smaller bibs have holes about 6 3/4 in. apart and the large bibs are about 7 3/4 apart.

Place the set of hooks for the smaller bibs ABOVE the set for the larger bibs.  This will be much easier for you to flip through your bibs and easier for storage.Next, arrange the knobs the way you like them and mark them with a dot with a writing utensil.  Now it’s time for the big, plug-in tools.

Step Four:  Drill the holes for the “cup hooks” with a “pilot hole” or a small hole and work your way up slowly with a drill bit until it is just smaller that the cup hooks themselves.  Doing it this way will help prevent the wood from splitting and being torn.  If the paper tears, don’t sweat it.  Again it’ll likely be covered up by bibs knobs or medals (but I haven’t had this issue yet with the various displays I’ve made).  When drilling the holes for the knobs, drill all the way through to the back.  This is so that you can attach the knobs with the screws (that should have also come with your knob).

Step Five:  After screwing everything in to the front, secure the “Picture Hanger Fasteners” to the back.  Mine are nailed in with tiny gold nails.  Once that is set, you can now look for the perfect place to display your race mementos.  Might I suggest you also use a stud finder and put it up in a secure spot?  It might get pretty heavy.

If you have a stencil, nice hand writing or scrapbook stickers of letters, you could put your favorite mantra across the top.  I’m going to wait until my kiddos can choose their own, but I was kicking around “It Runs In The Family” or something like that.

How do you display your race memorabilia?  Do you keep your bibs?

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