Mounting Medals and Ribbons for Display

This is a continuation of my article on ideas for an awards display cabinet. This article discusses how you can easily mount medals and ribbon awards on a display board (corkboard).

The mounting pins to be used on the corkboard are 1/2" to 3/4" long. These are shorter than the regularly bought sewing pins.

If you already have short pins with the flat heads, then skip the following section. Otherwise, follow the steps below to make your own mounting pins for medals, ribbons and other items.

  • Sewing pins - ordinary sewing pins which normally come in 1" lengths
  • Vise-grips - to hold the pins when bending or forming them
  • Pliers with Wire Cutting Tool - to cut the pins to the desired length (1/2" to 3/4").
  • Small bottle or receptacle - to contain the cut mounting pins.

  1. Insert a pin 1/2" deep into the jaws of a vise-grip. The sharp pointed end should be inside the vise-grip and the 1/2" mark flushed at the lip of the vise-grip. Close the vise-grip and lock so it securely holds the pin as shown below.

  2. Bend the pin sharply at 90 degrees at the lip of the vise-grip as shown below.

  3. Cut the pin around 1/8" from the 90 degree bend with a pliers cutting tool. When cutting, the cut pin may pop out suddenly so practice safety precautions such as wearing goggles or gloves as necessary.

  4. The finished pin now looks like a long "L", with the pointed end at the long side. The cut corner now becomes the "head" of the mounting pin. This bent corner also serves as a hook.

In the procedures above, you can actually bend several (3 to 4) pins at the same time. For safety purposes, store all the finished mounting pins in your small bottle or receptacle.

Also, the pins in the bottle will be ready for use should you need to stop and resume the project later.

How to Mount Medals for Display

Ahh.. the glitter of bronze, silver and gold. There are many ways to mount medals. But since this is a corkboard, the easiest way is to pin or tack them.

  1. Fold the medal ribbon in a short straight line as shown below. The medal ribbon can be folded or mounted in various ways (like in a V-shape) but the short straight line is the simplest. Folding them this way also saves space on the display board.

  2. Position (without mounting) the folded medals on the display board so you'll know if all items will fit in the awards display board. Vary the folds of the medal ribbons to adjust the length of the ribbon.

  3. Medals may not have inscriptions on them so if you plan on putting a paper tab with a brief description of what a medal is for, allow space for this.

  4. Position other items like ribbon awards, pictures, buttons, etc. on the board that you want included. This is for you to know which goes where. To avoid a cluttered look, join similar items together on the awards display board. So join medals together, pictures together and so on. Keep an eye on good color combination.

  5. You're now ready to mount the medals on the awards board. With the aid of a pair of pliers, push the pin to pierce the folded ribbon to tack it to the board. The more folds the ribbon has, the more pressure you need to apply.

  6. Do NOT apply too much pressure on the display board or you might damage it unnecessarily. Pierce the medal's ribbon first with the pin, THEN tack the pin together with the medal on the board.

  7. For medals with a bar or clasp, use the mounting pin's hook for hanging the bar or clasp's safety pin.

  8. Do not hesitate to use several pins. Some medal ribbons are too thick, twisted or frayed that you may need to tack more pins to keep them neatly mounted. The pins' heads are hardly noticeable outside the cabinet.

See the continuation of this article on recognition and achievement awards display.

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