My first approach to gather ideas was to search the internet for awards cases and cabinets. There were plenty of medal cases that were made of wood. They looked very nice (and expensive!).
I've seen a few of these medal cases in some bookstores and even hardware stores. They practically looked like thick picture frames. The frame had the typical glass cover but with recessed back so you can mount medals inside.
I wasn't too keen on mounting cases on walls and thought that the cases were limiting. I had a couple of trophies and several award certificates to think about too. A full cabinet with 4 shelves (I have 4 kids) would fit the bill, I thought.
Organizing Medals, Trophies and Certificates
I just have to think of a way to organize everything inside. Of course it would take a bit of floor space. At least the shelves will have ample space and accommodate very many items.
So I bought a 4-shelf cabinet with sliding glass doors. It has a lower cabinet with the regular swinging doors. The entire cabinet is made of some kind of light particle board.
It's a cheap knock-down model that's easily assembled. It isn't heavy-duty and I don't expect it to be. It will just be used as a display cabinet, after all.
Considerations for the Awards Display Cabinet Location
- "Quiet" place
The display cabinet should not obstruct nor get in anyone's way. It has glass sliding doors so should be located where there's no heavy activity like a play area. A wayward ball or elbow bump could be disastrous.
Therefore a relatively quiet corner would be ideal. Since the cabinet is like a tall box, here's a way to add an accent to soften the sharp angles and lines.
Unless you plan on putting some cabinet lights, be sure to locate the awards display cabinet in a well-lit area. A place near a window would be good.
The sliding glass doors, which should always be kept closed, will protect the contents from dust, wind and rain.
- Easily visible
The awards cabinet is meant to be displayed or showcased. The living room will be an ideal location. Visitors need not go or look far to see them. There's not much sense putting it in a bedroom or a hidden room.
- Furniture tack glides
Protect the base of cabinet with plastic tack glides. This is especially so if the floor is not carpeted. The plastic tack glides will raise the cabinet by a several millimeters and will protect it from liquid spills on the floor.
Materials to Use inside the Display Cabinet
- Picture Frame
Get the cheapest/slimmest frame you can buy. The frame is just meant to hold up the portrait picture. You might have space problems with picture frames with thick bulky borders.
You also don't need the hinged back stand that many picture frames have. When rested on these back stands, the picture tilts upwards. The backboard of the cabinet allows you to simply lean the picture frame against it.
- Corkboard (Display Board)
Get the biggest you can find that will fit into the shelves. Space is a premium, so maximize the shelf's height and width. the corkboard I used measures 11" x 15".
It's rather thin with a 1/2" thick frame made from light chinese pinewood. The pinewood frame keeps it sturdy so it won't bend and warp. It will stand and lean on the shelf's backboard.
- Mounting Pins
These are the pins used to tack the award items (medals, pictures, buttons etc.) to the corkboard display. Use pins that have flat heads like the sewing pins. Pins that are about 1/2" to 3/4" are good.
The regular sewing pins are probably too long. If you don't have the short ones, you can improvise as shown in the next section.
- Certificate plastic jackets or sleeves
These will hold up paper certificates. Reuse old ones if you have them. Lean them against the display cabinet's sideboards.
- Double-sided tape
If there's nothing else to hold certificates up, use pieces of double-sided tape.