First things first: I have been looking for a way to display my running medals. I love training for them, earning them and getting them… unfortunately they sit on a shelf for awhile, then eventually get moved into a bag under the stairs. For all my hard work, this seems a rather unfitting resting place. I did a Google search for medal holders, or racks, or some search along this lines and found this. I thought: “What a wonderful solution for not only medals, but race bibs.”I hold onto all of my race bibs and they sit in a shoe box. As you can see, I like holding onto things, but display them poorly.

I thought the idea was fairly simple and being a fan of HGTV (yep, I typed that), I figured I would try and make my own. A little DIY project that I thought I might appreciate on a personal level in the long run (pun totally intended). But to be upfront and honest, doing it myself: 1) Cost more than ordering it and 2) took a lot of trial and error to finish. Again, here is the link for my inspiration if you would like to save yourself some time and money.

But if you want to get all Tim “The Toolman” Taylor and build one yourself, here is how I made my rendition.

I purchased two pre-cut boards from a local craft store that cost me around $14.99/ea.

They have embossed edges, which was a nice touch (roughly 19 inches wide by 9 inches tall). I then purchased some gray spray paint for $3.99 and covered both sides.


Once that was done, I purchased some stencils (around $4.99) and planned on using some leftover white paint I already had in the house. I decided to use “RACES” for the bibs, but it could really say anything.

I taped up the stencils where I wanted them and applied the white paint.

As you can see: FAIL. The paint just didn’t work. This was some old paint, so it might have been too “watery” and just leaked through. I wiped down what I could while it was still wet, then simply covered the mistake up with another layer of gray spray paint. I essentially hit the “reset” button.

Since I was having success with the gray spray paint, I went back to the hardware store and bought some white spray paint ($3.99) and re-taped my letters.

As you can see, much better. (There was some white between the E and the S that leaked through, but I spray painted a Q-tip with gray and simply covered it up. (Easy-breezy.)

Next step was attaching the hanging hook for the back.

As for the front, I looked at my race bibs and there were 2 sizes. Big (NYCM, Rock n Roll Marathon size) and small (everything else). So I penciled in where the hooks needed to go and twisted the screws in. This was also the solution for the bibs on Etsy.

UPDATED with Measurements:

The top hooks are 6.75″ apart and the bottom hooks are just under 8″ (close to 7 and 7/8″)
The size of the wood is roughly 11 inches wide by 13 inches tall

Once that was done, the bib project was finished.

I then repeated the same steps for the medal holder. I decided to go with RUNNING since my race distances vary, so I couldn’t write MARATHONS. There are plenty of options that could be used, but I wanted to keep it simple.

After spray-painting both sides (above). I taped my letters.

As you can see, they only supplied one “N” in the box, so I had to create place holders. Spray it, then add the missing “N” where needed.

Then I measured where I wanted the hooks and screwed them into the board. I decided to go with various positions to have some medals hang at different lengths. Here is a sample of the front and back hooks for both. Packs of 4 cost me under $2. Make sure that the length of the screw isn’t longer than the depth of your board.

I placed nine hooks, since I have a decent amount of medals, it needed to be able to hold quite a few at different lengths. I placed them about 3.5″ apart from one another.

And that is pretty much it. Since it will hold a lot of medals, I placed 2 brackets on the back for support. I’m sure it would have been fine with one, but better safe than sorry.

Here is the final product. I only placed one medal on each hook for the photo, but I’m planning on each hook holding multiple medals.

As you can see, everything seems to have worked out. After a few missteps and multiple trips to the hardware store, they are up. I’m very happy with them and even though it cost me more in materials then it would have to simply have placed the order off Etsy, I’m glad it is something I was able to accomplish without injuring myself or cutting out the electricity in the neighborhood.

Here they are living happily together on the wall. Let me know what you think….

What do you hang your medals or bibs on?