Super Cheap and Easy Glory Display

Since it’s the weekend, I have a super cheap and easy project to share. For several years, I have wanted to get a hanger for my running medals. I don’t have that many medals, but I do have a few, and I would like to display them nicely. I see hangers at running expos and in magazines, and they generally costs upwards of $60, which is a little to pricey for me.

But a few months ago, I saw a post on House of Hepworths in which Allison used old doorknobs to create scarf hangers for her kids. When I read her post, a light bulb went on over my head. I thought, “I could make a hanger for my medals using old cabinets knobs!”. I kept the idea in the back of my mind, thinking if I ran across some cool knobs in a thrift shop, I could snap them up.

Months passed, and I hadn’t found any cool knobs. Then, one day I was clamoring around in my attic for some reason, and I found an old piece of scrap wood left over from some shelves that I had built for my daughter’s bedroom. It was a very nice piece of 1″ X 1/2″ finish wood, just over a foot long. As soon as I saw it, I thought how it was just the right size for my medal hanger plans (cost: $0). It was even already sanded!

I skipped downstairs with the piece of wood, and set it where I could get to it readily. Then, I pestered Steve until he took me to ReStore, where I found boxes and boxes of white cabinets knobs, just the right size for my purposes. In digging through the boxes, I found one knob that look kind of like a swirly cupcake. So Steve and I dug through all the boxes until we found three more to match. I am pretty sure that we got the only four they had in that style! The knobs where $1 each (cost: $4).

With the knobs finally in my possession, I was ready for action. So when I cut the wood for my garden bench project, I took the opportunity to drill the holes for the hangers, as well as paint the wood. I used some paint samples left over from when we were picking out a color for our house (cost: $0).

About a week later, we stopped by Home Depot to get hanging hooks for the project, since ReStore had not anything like that when we visited. I got a set of small Ook D-ring hangers and some 3M adhesive bumpers.

Here is how I assembled the whole thing, from start to finish. The tools that I needed were:

  • paint and paintbrush
  • drill and bit
  • ruler and pencil
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • hammer
  • small nails
  • level

First, I got my piece of 1″ X 1/2″ wood, already sanded and ready to go. As you can see, there were even holes in it along one edge, but that didn’t matter for my purposes.

hanger_wood

I lightly marked a line down the middle lengthwise, and across the width of the piece width, to determine the center. I measured the length, divided by 5 (in order to divide the piece lengthwise into five equal areas), and marked accordingly. The piece wasn’t a length that I could divide exactly by five very easily, so I fudged a little. At the intersection of each marked line and the lengthwise line, I drew a dot. This is where I would drill holes for the knobs.

hanger_wood_marked

I checked the screws that came with the knobs for size, then selected a drill bit. Using my handy Ryobi Right-Angle Drill (I can’t recommend this drill enough), I drilled holes at each of the four points that I had marked on the wood.

hanger_tools

I set the wood on some scrap pieces in the yard, and applied a coat of paint.

hanger_paint1

Once the first coat dried, I applied a second coat, and left it to dry for the rest of the afternoon.

hanger_paint2

When the wood was dry, I brought it inside and set it out of the way, so it could dry thoroughly. When I was ready to finish the project (i.e., had some time and energy), I gathered all my hardware – the knobs, hangers, and bumpers – and went to work. The only tool that I needed at this point was a Phillips-head screwdriver.

hanger_ready

Here is a closer picture of the Ook hangers and 3M bumpers that I chose. The hangers were small and lightweight, and the bumpers were self-adhering.

hanger_hardware

And here is a close up of the knobs that I found at ReStore.

hanger_knobs

Each knob was packaged with a screw. I decided which side of the painted wood that I wanted to be the front. I removed the screws from all the knob packages, and drove one screw about halfway through each of the holes that I had pre-drilled.

hanger_knob_screws

In the Ook package, there were three D-rings and screws. I attached one in the middle, and one about an inch from each end. The screws were pointed, so they bit into the wood (no reason to pre-drill).

hanger_ooks

Here is the back of the hanger with the D-rings attached and the knob screws set about halfway through the wood.

hanger_all_hardware

The package of 3M bumpers contained eight bumpers. I decided to use the entire package, since it was so small that I knew I would misplace any leftovers and never find them again. I put two at each end to start.

hanger_pads

And I staggered the other four in the middle.

hanger_pads2

Now, I was ready to attach the knobs. I turned the hanger on its side and drove the knob screws the rest of the way down, until they were seated firmly against the back of the wood. Then, I turned the wood front side up. As I had planned, the bumpers stuck out further that the screw heads, meaning that the wall (and more importantly at this point, my dining room table) would be protected. I attached each knob to the front by simply screwing it on.

hanger_complete

I already knew just where I wanted to hang my medals. So I grabbed my hammer and a few small nails and headed upstairs. I drove a small nail for the middle D-ring, then checked to make sure the hanger was level. Then, I drove nails for each end.

hanger_hang

Here is the final result. I can assure you that the hanger is level. I was holding the camera crooked.

hanger_final

All that was left to do was hang my medals on it! (see pic at the top of this post) From left to right, I have my medals for the Women’s Half Marathon, the Cherry Blossom 10-Mile, the Savannah Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon, an online monthly mileage challenge, and the local Girls on the Run 5K.

hanger_medals_closeup

The two that I am most proud of are my Cherry Blossom 10-Mile Medal from the race in D.C. and the Savannah Half Marathon. Those are the two best races experiences that I have ever had, and I trained so hard for both, and exceeded my own personal expectations.

hanger_medals_detail

And that’s how to cheaply and easily make your own Glory Display!

  • Total cost: $8
  • Total time: About two hours, not including the time for the paint to dry.

This was such a quick and easy project, I think I will make one for my daughter as well. You could easily make it even nicer using decorative paint techniques, decoupage, glitter, or whatever else you can think of!

I hope my little project and this post inspire you. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or email me.

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