DIY Medal Rack

It's always exciting to get a new medal, but where do you put it? For my first couple race medals I just draped them on the frame of a mirror, partly out of laziness and partly out of disbelief that I'd really accumulate enough medals to warrant anything fancy. A few more medals later and my poor mirror was sagging under the weight, so I just stuffed the medals into a bin. But a bin is a sad place for medals to gather dust and feel neglected, so I started looking for a medal rack.

I wasn't thrilled with any of the commercial medal racks available. They were cute, but they just didn't fit me. I wanted something that fit my running style - something less "Diva" or "Disney" or "Rock 'n' Roll" and more independent and unique. So after a while I just decided to build my own race medal rack.

I sketched up a rough idea of what I wanted - a place to hang medals and bibs, and a way for me to track PRs - and went to the home improvement store to pick up a few goodies:

  • 1x 1"x12"x36" board
  • 2x decorative trim
  • 1x 1 qt chalk paint can
  • 1x 1 qt decorative paint (or some leftover paint if you've got some from other projects)
  • 1x 1" diameter dowel rod (36" long)
  • 2x eye hooks (larger than 1" diameter)

Once I had the supplies in hand I immediately started working on the project. McCrae pulled out his drill and bore some holes into the bottom of the board and screwed in the eye hooks.

Adding eye hooks for the medal rack

Next I put a couple layers of chalk paint on the 1"x12"x36" board and painted the trim a bright blue (I had this paint leftover from painting my Adirondack chairs).

Chalk paint
Chalk paint for race medal
Chalk paint

Confession: I actually started working on this project almost a year ago. I'm a bit crafty, but I'm certainly not timely. In my defense, first I had to wait for the paint to dry (boringggg) and then as soon as I finished making my medal rack we started shopping for a house, so there was no point in hanging it and punching more holes in the walls of the rental house if we were going to move in less than a month. But then the move happened, and the medal rack and the bin holding all the medals disappeared in boxes for a while, and this and that happened and next thing I know it's almost a year since I started working on the project!

I finally glued the trim to the board with wood glue, threaded the dowel rod with medals and hung the rod in the eye hooks - just in time to add the Rock 'n' Roll Raleigh medal! Finally it just needed some chalk with the finishing touches - a big encouraging "Run!" and a quick list of my PRs.

Medal rack
Medal rack
Medal rack

Overall I'm really happy with how the race medal rack turned out, though I'll have to see how the wooden dowel rod holds up with too many more medals. It's got a little bit of a bend in the middle, so I may have to add another eye hook or switch to a metal dowel rod, but so far I love it!

DIY Medal Rack
DIY Medal Rack
DIY Medal Rack

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