Framing war medals yourself is a wonderful way to honor the family member who fought so bravely as to earn them. While any number of professional services can frame medals, doing so yourself makes it more personal. Certain challenges exist in framing any sort of memorabilia, but the challenges in mounting and framing war medals are easily met with careful measurements, some precise cutting, and attention to detail that your loved one is sure to appreciate.
Use a pencil, paper and ruler to mock up a framing design for your medals. Use the frame to guide you, and pretend as though the paper is the finished mountboard with medals on it. Draw each one in its place. This will act as a template for the real mountboard.
Determine slots on the template where you will cut through the mountboard and thread the ribbons for each medal. Use the ruler to make sure your lines are straight.
Line up the tracing paper with the mountboard. Carefully cut out the slots for the medal ribbons. Clean up any loose fibers as you go.
Mount a piece or two of foam core on the back of the mountboard. Make sure the entire assembly and mat will fit inside the frame you have chosen. Trim the thickness of the foam core as necessary to make everything fit snugly.
Place the mat on top of the mountboard, in the place it will be for framing. Thread the ribbons for the medals through the matboard and secure them. You can use dressmaker pins if you do not want to use adhesive on the ribbons.
Adjust the ribbons and medals as necessary. When everything is aligned the way you want, mount the entire assembly with the glass inside the frame.
Items you will need
- Xacto knife
- Foam core
- Mat, cut to border size for frame
- Tracing paper
- Dressmaker pins
- If the war medals need any sort of polishing or cleaning, it is advisable to do that before going through the mounting process.
- Make sure the blade on the Xacto knife is very sharp. Dull blades cause dull, rough edges that can detract from the aesthetics of your war medal display. They can also more easily slip and cause injury.
- You may wish to have more than one mountboard on hand. That way, if you make a mistake cutting the first one, you have a backup without the need to run to the store.
- Campaign Medals image by Peter Jarvis from Fotolia.com