Monday, March 8, 2010

How-to: Display Figure Skating Medals

Reader Anonymous sent me a comment:

[...] I was wondering how you display Ice Girl's medals. My daughter has been skating for a few years now but I have yet to think of a good way to display her medals. What do you think? Thanks!

As you can see from the photo, this is how we display Ice Girl's medals.

I bought this wooden skate at a competition for an unbelievable price: $12. I wish I had bought two. The gal who made it had her husband cut the skate out of wood with his jigsaw. She sanded it, painted it, added wooden pegs to the front, and hooks on the back for wall hanging.

If you don't have a husband with a jigsaw, you can still accomplish this same thing pretty inexpensively. Craft stores carry ready-made boards with pegs on them. Paint, add hanging hardware, and display.

The whole project, including paint and hardware, should set you back maybe $10 - $12.

Update: A fabulous DIY renovation project from Advisory Board member, figure skating parent to an Olympian, and Life on the Edge blogger Allison Scott: One of the things that we used to do (though now it is totally impractical after 20+ years of medals) is to frame the top ones with the competition programs. Please note: If your skater stays in the sport for a long time and succeeds, you may be able to take each of those frames, cement them together and build an addition to your house – a little DIY recycling project that could help your bank account! 

What do you do with your skater's medals? How do you display the trophies? Please share your ideas in the comments!

As always, if you have a question for Ice Mom or the Advisory Board, please send it to me! If you have an idea for a post or would like to write a guest post, please let me know, too! E-mail me at

Ice Mom's Summer Camp Survey


Xan said...

Oops. Were we supposed to keep those?

Ice Mom said...

Xan, you're too funny!

Actually, we have two options:

1. Unmarked box in the basement, never to be seen again (a la the Ark of the Covenant from Indiana Jones).

2. A shrine with soft museum lighting.

Ice Mom

Denise said...

We use a 30" decorative white wooden curtain rod that rests in 2 wooden brackets. We've hung it behind our daughter's bedroom door (kind of like a towel rack). We hang medals and credentials from various skating events on the rod. All you need to do is lift one end of the rod out of the bracket to add additional items.

I'd like to hear what you're creative followers have done with ISI patches and USFS test pins (or club trading pins).

Kates said...

My dresser had a mirror with posts on the side, so if you want to be really classy, you can simply sling all the medals over those. At least until there are so many that the mirror starts to wobble.

As for pins, Denise, my mom made a pin book for me. You take maybe three or four layers of a thick cloth (felt works well) in a rectangular shape, sew them all together down the middle, and then fold along that seam, which is now the binding. Decorate the cover with some fabric paint, and then put all the pins inside. I imagine you could do something similar for patches.

Ice Mom said...

Hi, Denise.

The curtain rod sounds very smart - easy to install, not a lot of work.

As for the pins, Ice Girl really doesn't have them.

However, ages ago I had been a Rotary Youth Exchange student. We exchangees had blue RYE blazers that we stuck full of pins. Maybe skaters could do the same with their Zuca bag fronts?

Ice Mom

Ice Mom said...

Hi, Kates.

I think the fabric pin book is a great idea!

Ice Mom

Xan said...

Trying to come up with a mullet joke here...

Ice Mom said...

Oh, Xan! I'm telling you: I'm mighty unpopular in Russia.

Of course, the mullet is mighty unpopular here.

I guess hair, like jokes, doesn't play well cross-culturally.

Who knew I was such a horrible person? Imagine if I'd criticized Plushy for his poor sportsmanship and his mullet.

READERS: if you have no idea what Xan and I are talking about, check out the comments for Aaron's Axels, Loops, and Spins post about Johnny Weir. I'm wildly unpopular, hateful, mean-spirited, and I have no fashion sense.

Ice Mom (who has a (fake)curly mop, not a mullet)

PairsMom said...

My husband built a long (maybe 5 ft.) wooden shelf with pegs underneath that run the length of the shelf. We hang the medals on there and try to group together annual events that we attend. We also have credentials that are saved from big events, etc.

As for pins, big competition pins are on the club jacket/vest. I have seen other skaters use a lanyard around the neck thing that they attach pins too. Many skaters put their souvenir pins on their Zuca bag and some have quite a collection, really cute.

RedShamrock said...

A shrine, definately a shrine.

Kidding aside, useful information. Now what about those darn badges? Unlike IceMom I am sewing challenged despite owning a machine that has NEVER been out of the box.

Anonymous said...

I went to IKEA and bought some $5 small 5 hook coat hangers that hang on the wall. I had to buy about 6 of them to hang all the medals my daughter has accumumlated over 10 years of competition. Currently she has about 60 medals. I think her goal is to get 100 medals before she graduated from High School or stops skating. I'll let you know when she gets medal 100:)!

Anonymous said...

As far as skating patches and trading pins. You can by a scarf, sew the patches on the scarf and place the pins strategically around the patches.

Or you can buy a shadow box and use straight pins to stick the patches on the backing of the shadow box and stick the trading pins on the backing around the patches.

Lots of skaters have a clubwear jacket or sweater and they sew the patches on their clubwear jacket or sweater and also stick the pins on the jacket or sweater.

The only problem with that is that the skater will eventually grow out of the jacket or sweater and you have to resew the patches on the new jacket or sweater as the grow.

This is why I recommend a scarf because they are long and can grow the the skater. You can also get the scarf to match their clubwear colors. They can wear the scarf to school and show off to their friends or to competition. Becareful however that the scarf does not get too heavy for the skater too wear! From Season

Ice Mom said...

Hey, Red Shamrock.

Are you talking about those embroidery patches?

Buy a product called Heat n Bond Ultra Hold. It's a paper-backed iron-on adhesive that you can buy at a fabric store. Make sure you buy the Ultra Hold, not Lite.

Here's what you do: Open the package and unfold or unroll the Heat n Bond fusible web. Place your badge on the paper side and trace around it with a pencil. Cut out the tracing.

Turn your iron on medium (the package says low, but I use medium) and no steam. Lay down an old pillowcase or old piece of some fabric down on your ironing board. Place your badge on top, wrong side up. Place the Heat n Bond on top of the badge, paper side up. Fold the fabric from the bottom over the whole thing (prevents the iron from getting glue on it).

Press. What I mean by press is: don't move the iron. Let it sit on top of the fabric/badge/glue sandwich for a good 15 seconds. Carefully unwrap the sandwich and test to see if the Heat n Bond is secure against the badge. If not, repeat.

Let it cool and remove the paper back from the Heat n Bond. Place the badge on whatever fabric you want to use it on. Press (same as above, with the scrap fabric on top). Press from the back side now.

If it ever falls off, repeat!

Good luck, Red Shamrock!

Ice Mom

Anonymous said...

I forgot to sign my first post. I'm the person how bough the IKEA coat hooks and waiting to let you know when my daughter get's her medal 100 :)!!!! Season

Ice Mom said...

Hey, Anony!

You are smart: scarf.

You now, we have these fleece travel blankets that I made for Ice Girl and me. On vacations in the van, Ice Dad likes the temperature set to meat locker. Ice Girl and I hide under blankets for the trip.

At every stop, we look for sew-on patches as souvenirs. I buy two. One I sew to my blanket, the other to Ice Girl's.

If you have bought a fancy blanket for the rink, this is something you could do, too.

Ice Mom

Ice Mom said...

Oh, awesome, Season! Yes, definately let us know when she reaches 100! Sixty is great, but 100 is a huge achievement!

Anonymous said...

Hey ice mom, I'm scarf lady and 60 medals and counting mom, Season Williams. I like your blanket idea too!!!!:)

Ice Mom said...

Ah, yes! I missed your name at the end of your comment, Scarf Lady Season!

The scarf is very smart - kids never outgrow those.

Blankets aren't a bad idea, but I have to wash my rink blanket all the time. It's probably not suited for pins.

Thanks, Season!

BTW, I don't even count I.G.'s medals. I'm lucky they're not under the van seats or on the floor of her room. Any tips on getting a kid to pick the junk off her floor? I'm willing to try anything.

Anonymous said...

For my pins and badges i use a cork board that i pin my pins into (and keep the backs in a baggie just in case) and thumb tack my badges/patches into.
And for my medals i have yet to collect so many that pinning them into a bullitin board dosn't work
Love the blog

Ice Mom said...

Hey, sk84life!

I like the cork board idea - it must great on your wall.

Ice Mom

Skittl1321 said...

My display is kind of odd (even more so when you consider I'm 28).

At my first synchro competition in town, my husband and his friends from work came. They thought that all sporting events needed signs- so they brought a big poster "D" and a cut out fence. Whenever we'd skate near the side of the rink they'd cheer and hold up the D-fense signs.

(Thankfully, my synchro team has a sense of humor...)

I thought it was hilarious, so the fence now holds all my medals, set onto the posts with pushpins.

On the back of each medal, I've written in fine point sharpie the event, my placement, and how many entries were in the event. (Probably more important to an adult- many are 1st of of 1)

Ice Mom said...

Hi, Skittl!

Oh, that's too funny. D-fence for your synchro team. That's something my idiot husband would do.

I'm very glad you're using the fence to display your medals - memories upon memories.

Ice Mom

PrettyBowtie said...

I may be new to skating, but after 15 years of dancing I have 300+ medals and over 30 trophies. I also have test patches and calisthenic badges.

I have a wallmounted unit my carpenter grandfather built- it's similar to a tv cabinet- 3 shelves, a large corkboard box in the middle and 3 shelves on the other. Surrounded by competition photos it's the feature of my bedroom wall. I also have photos from nationals/states framed with "important" medals, such as when the Vic state team won nationals, or when I won graceful girl. It's wonderful and inspiring to have the memories there.

At calisthenics it has been tradition for the last 10 or so years to have a club scarf for early morning comps, and to protect our uniforms from stage make-up. They have the club logo and colours and are specifically made to fit the 15 test patches, your bronze/silver/gold level badges, as well as all the club badges you trade (it's tradition to trade badges between clubs).

Ice Mom said...

Hi, Pretty Bowtie.

I think a display like yours would be very affirming. You're lucky to have someone to build it for you!

Ice Mom

Anonymous said...

Sorry Ice Mom I can't get my own daughter to pick up the stuff off her bedroom floor.

As far as the medals go I always take the medals from my daughter and put them in my purse after every competition and before we leave the rink. That way they do not get lost or left at the rink. We ice mom's have so much to keep track of at the competition, the last thing I want to hear is my daugther crying because we came home and her medal got lost or left behind.

Another great idea to display trading pins is to pin them to the ribbons attached to the medals that your skater receives from each competition. This way you can keep track of which competitions your skater received the new trading pins. Season Williams

Ice Mom said...

Season is one smart cookie:

Another great idea to display trading pins is to pin them to the ribbons attached to the medals that your skater receives from each competition. This way you can keep track of which competitions your skater received the new trading pins.

Ice Girl has some pins on her Zuca bag, but I like this idea better.

Thanks, Season!

Ice Mom

Mark and Jenny said...

On the floor in my daughter's room! I'm not very creative :-)

Ice Mom said...

Hey, Mark and Jenny!

I think it's a miracle that Ice Girl's medals are hung on the wall and not thrown on the floor.

Well, some might be on the floor. Not sure. Must conduct and archaeological dig.

Ice Mom