I’ve been on a de-cluttering rampage this year! I’ve gone through my wardrobe and gotten rid of clothes that don’t fit well and clothes that I don’t love. I’ve sorted through my book and DVD collection; keeping only cherished books and movies we’ll definitely watch over and over. My parents have emptied their attic and my sister and I have sorted through childhood treasures to be trashed, recycled, sold at a garage sale, donated or kept.
Along the way I have unearthed a large collection of old trophies and medals from my elementary years playing soccer, junior high basketball camp and junior high and high school Science Olympiad competitions. I had too many to keep, but I but I didn’t want to get rid of them all. I came up with two craft projects to repurpose these medals into objects I would see often, but that wouldn’t be cumbersome to move or take up too much space: key chains and magnets.
Before embarking on these projects, I set aside my favorite medals. I also put all of my medals and ribbons together and photographed them. A photo takes up so little space on my computer, and is an easy way to remember my accomplishments. Then I selected my favorite medals to DIY with. The rest I mailed to Bling for Bravery, an organization that takes medals from marathons and triathlons, which are repurposed into medals for children fighting cancer. I contacted the organization before mailing my medals to see if they would take my academic, non-athletic medals, and they were happy to have them.
How to Make Medal Key Chains and Magnets
To make your own medal key chains you will need:
- Old medals, the smaller the better!
- An existing keychain or a metal ring (if making a single keychain and not attaching to an existing one)
- Staple remover
They key chains are simple enough to make that they don’t really need DIY instructions. I simply cut off the fabric ribbon and used a staple remover to pry open my keychain so I could slide the small metal ring, which held the fabric ribbon onto the keychain. Super simple! I had four medals of a smaller size so I made four key chains and gave them as gifts to my sister and husband, who were also in Science Olympiad with me – it’s how my husband and I met!
To make your own medal magnets you will need:
- Old medals, larger ones work well!
- A nail
- A strong adhesive, preferably one that is meant for use on metal. I used Permates Steel Weld
- Strong magnets
- Something to protect your work surface (I used a piece of cardboard from my recycling bin)
The magnets take a little bit more work, but not much. I removed the fabric ribbon from the medals I wanted to turn into magnets. I also used a nail to bend open the small metal rings in order to remove them. I then scratched up the back of each medal with the nail. A rough surface makes it easier for the adhesive to stick. Follow your adhesives instructions, some, like the one I used, require two different liquids to be mixed before applying. Use the adhesive to attach a magnet to the back of each medal, set aside for the adhesive to cure.
That’s it! These very simple DIY projects are an easy way to keep a treasured prize from school or a sporting event without storing them in a box for years (and possibly forgetting about them!).
- Repurposed Trophies: Cupcake Stands from Just Something I Made
- Trophy Bottle Stoppers from Decor Adventures
- Vintage Trophy Coat Rack from Design Sponge
- Repurposing Trophies from Coastal Kelder
- What To Do with Old Medals and Patches from Coastal Kelder
- Wind Chime made with Race Medals from The Run Commuter
- Race Medals as Ornaments from fit bottomed girls
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