How to Decorate Medals at Home

Decorating medals at home is not only a fun and engaging activity, but it also provides an opportunity to unleash your creativity and personalize your achievements. Whether you have won medals in sports events, academic competitions, or any other significant accomplishments, adding customized decorations can elevate their value and make them even more special.

This article will guide you through the step-by-step process of decorating medals at home, from gathering the necessary supplies to adding personalized touches and accessorizing with ribbons and lanyards. Get ready to embark on a journey of artistic expression as we explore various techniques and tips to create beautifully decorated medals that commemorate your achievements in a unique way.

Why should you consider decorating your medals at home? The answer is simple – customization. By taking the time to decorate your medals, you can transform them into one-of-a-kind pieces that reflect your personality and hold more sentimental value. Decorating medals allows you to showcase your creativity while celebrating your accomplishments. It’s an opportunity to put a personal touch on something that represents your hard work, dedication, and success.

Not only is decorating medals an enjoyable project, but it also offers endless possibilities for unleashing your artistic talents. From exploring different paint techniques and color options to adding names, dates, or symbols that hold significance to you, each decoration choice allows you to express yourself in a unique way.

Moreover, accessorizing with ribbons, lanyards, and DIY embellishments can further enhance the overall design of the medal. With this article as your guide, you’ll gain inspiration for creating stunningly decorated medals that truly stand out.

So gather your supplies and get ready to embark on this exciting journey. In the next sections of this article, we will delve into detailed guides on gathering supplies for medal decoration and preparing the surface for decorating. We will also explore various paint techniques and colors that can be applied to achieve different effects on your medals.

Additionally, we’ll provide ideas for personalizing medals with names, dates, and symbols that hold meaning to you. Let your imagination soar as we dive into the world of decorating medals at home and celebrate your achievements in a beautifully creative way.

Gathering the Supplies

When it comes to decorating medals at home, having the right supplies is essential. This section will provide a detailed guide on what you’ll need for medal decoration, ensuring that you are well-prepared to embark on this fun and creative project.

  1. Paints: Acrylic paints are a popular choice for decorating medals as they offer a wide range of colors and adhere well to various surfaces. Make sure to have a variety of colors on hand to create different effects and designs.
  2. Brushes: Invest in a set of fine brushes that are suitable for painting detailed designs. Different brush sizes will allow you to work with precision and achieve the desired level of detail in your medal decorations.
  3. Primer: Applying a primer before painting is crucial as it creates a smooth surface for the paint to adhere to. Look for primers specifically designed for metal surfaces to ensure proper adhesion.
  4. Sandpaper: Use fine-grit sandpaper to gently sand the surface of your medals before applying the primer. This step will help remove any imperfections and create an even base for painting.
  5. Stencils: Stencils can be used to create uniform designs or add intricate patterns with ease. They come in various shapes and sizes, allowing you to experiment with different patterns and styles.
  6. Masking tape: If you want clean lines or sections in your design, masking tape can be used to create defined edges and protect certain areas from paint splatters or smudges.
  7. Sealant: Once you’ve finished decorating your medals, consider applying a sealant or varnish to protect the paintwork from fading or chipping over time. Choose one that is compatible with the type of paint you used.
  8. Protective gear: Don’t forget about protecting yourself. Wear gloves, an apron, or old clothing while working with paints and other materials to avoid any accidental spills or stains.

By gathering these supplies beforehand, you’ll be well-equipped to bring your creative vision to life and decorate your medals in a way that reflects your personal style and achievements.

Preparing the Medals

Before you embark on the exciting task of decorating your medals at home, it is important to properly prepare the surface to ensure the best results. This section will guide you through essential steps to take in order to achieve a clean and smooth surface for decorating.

The first step in preparing your medals is to clean them thoroughly. Depending on the material of your medals, you can use different cleaning methods. For metal medals, a simple mixture of warm water and dish soap can be used to remove any dirt or grime.

Gently scrub the medals with a soft cloth or sponge and rinse thoroughly. For fabric or ribbon-based medals, you can spot clean them using mild detergent or even have them dry cleaned if necessary.

After cleaning, it is crucial to dry the medals completely before proceeding with decoration. Any moisture left on the surface may affect how paint adheres or cause other decoration materials to not stick properly. You can air dry them by laying them flat on a clean towel and allowing them to sit undisturbed until completely dry.

Once your medals are dry, you may need to prepare the surface further depending on their condition. For metal medals, sanding can help create an even texture that will make painting and adhesion easier. Use fine-grit sandpaper and gently rub it over the surface of the medal in circular motions until you achieve a smooth feel.

For fabric or ribbon-based medals, ironing may be necessary to remove wrinkles or creases that could interfere with decoration. Set your iron to a low heat setting and place a thin cloth over the medal before lightly pressing down and moving in smooth strokes.

By following these essential steps of cleaning and preparing your medals, you are ensuring a clean canvas for your creativity to shine through during decoration process. Taking these extra measures will not only enhance the final result but also ensure that your decorations adhere well and last longer on the medals. So, be patient and diligent in preparing your medals, and get ready to create something truly special.

Paint and Color Options

When it comes to decorating medals, paint and color options play a crucial role in creating eye-catching designs. The right combination of colors can make your medals stand out and reflect your personal style or the significance of the achievement they represent. In this section, we will explore various techniques and effects that you can use to enhance your medal decorations.

  1. Solid Colors: This is the most basic and popular option for painting medals. You can choose a single color to cover the entire medal or create contrasting sections by using tape or stencils. Acrylic paints are commonly used as they dry quickly and adhere well to metal surfaces.
  2. Metallic Finishes: If you want your medals to have a shiny, metallic look, consider using metallic acrylic paints or spray paints specifically designed for metals. Gold, silver, and bronze tones are often favored for their association with achievement and prestige.
  3. Gradient and Ombre: Creating gradients or ombre effects on your medals adds depth and visual interest. Start by applying a base color, then blend in lighter or darker shades gradually using a sponge or a brush with soft strokes. This technique works particularly well if you want to incorporate multiple colors into your design.
  4. Textured Effects: Give your medals a unique look by adding texture through techniques like stippling, splattering, or dry brushing. Stippling involves dabbing small dots of paint to create a textured surface, while splattering creates an artistic effect by flicking paint onto the medal’s surface. Dry brushing involves lightly dragging a dry brush over raised areas of the medal to highlight them.
  5. Patina Finish: If you prefer an antique or weathered look on your medals, consider applying patina solutions such as liver of sulfur or vinegar mixtures after painting. These solutions can react with metal surfaces to create beautiful greenish-blue hues that add character and vintage charm.
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Remember to always let the paint dry completely between coats or before applying any additional effects. Experiment with different techniques and color combinations to find the perfect look for your medals. The possibilities are endless, and the end result will be a personalized and visually appealing decoration that you can be proud of.

Adding Personal Touches

When it comes to decorating medals at home, adding personal touches is a great way to make them even more special. Whether you are commemorating a personal achievement or creating custom medals for an event, incorporating names, dates, and symbols can make the design truly unique. Here are some ideas and inspiration to help you get started:

  1. Engraving: One of the most popular ways to add personalization is by engraving the medals with names, dates, or meaningful quotes. You can use a laser engraving machine or take them to a professional engraver for precise results. This not only adds a personal touch but also ensures that the details stand the test of time.
  2. Stickers or Decals: For a more budget-friendly option, you can use stickers or decals with names and dates to customize your medals. These can be easily applied onto the surface of the medal and come in various designs and fonts. Make sure to choose ones that adhere well and are waterproof for durability.
  3. Metal Stampings: If you prefer a more rustic look, metal stampings can be used to imprint letters, numbers, or symbols onto your medals. This technique requires metal stamps and a hammer to create indented markings on the medal’s surface. It allows for creative arrangements of initials or birthdates while adding an artisanal touch.
Personalization TechniqueDescription
EngravingUsing laser engraving or professional services to etch names, dates, or quotes onto the medal.
Stickers or DecalsApplying adhesive stickers or decals with personalized details onto the surface of the medal.
Metal StampingsUsing metal stamps and a hammer to create indented markings of initials, numbers, or symbols.

These are just a few ideas to inspire you in adding personal touches to your decorated medals. You can mix and match these techniques or even combine them with other creative methods. The goal is to make your medals a reflection of your individuality and commemorate the achievement in a meaningful way. Remember to carefully plan and sketch out your design before proceeding, ensuring that you achieve the desired outcome. Happy customization.

Accessorizing with Ribbons and Lanyards

Ribbons and lanyards are a great way to enhance the overall design of your decorated medals. They not only add a touch of color and texture to the medal but can also serve as a way to display and wear them. In this section, we will explore creative ways to accessorize your medals with ribbons and lanyards.

One popular option is to attach a ribbon or lanyard to the top of the medal, creating a loop that can be used to hang the medal from a hook or display stand. This makes it easy to showcase your decorated medals on a wall or in a trophy case.

When choosing a ribbon or lanyard, consider the color scheme and theme of your design. You can opt for a solid color that complements the colors used in your decoration, or you can choose one with patterns or designs that match the overall theme of the medal.

Another creative way to use ribbons and lanyards is by incorporating them into the design itself. For example, you can create a border around the edge of the medal using a thin ribbon. This adds an extra layer of dimension to your decoration and can help tie together different elements of your design. Alternatively, you can use colorful ribbons to create bows or rosettes that can be attached to the top corner of the medal.

To further personalize your medals, consider adding charms or pendants to the ribbons or lanyards. These small embellishments can represent achievements, hobbies, or personal interests. For example, if you’re decorating a running medal, you could attach a small shoe charm or pendant symbolizing your love for running.

Ribbon TypeDescription
Grosgrain RibbonDurable and textured ribbon with a ribbed appearance. Available in various colors and widths.
Satin RibbonSmooth and shiny ribbon with a luxurious feel. Perfect for adding a touch of elegance to your medals.
Nylon LanyardDurable and lightweight lanyard, often used for sports events or as promotional items. Can be printed with custom designs or logos.
Paracord LanyardMade from strong parachute cord material, these lanyards are not only functional but also add a rugged look to your medals.

By accessorizing your decorated medals with ribbons and lanyards, you can truly elevate their overall design and create a unique and personalized piece of art. Experiment with different color combinations, textures, and embellishments to find the perfect combination that reflects your style and achievements. Have fun exploring the possibilities and let your creativity shine.

DIY Embellishments

Embellishing your medals with DIY decorations is a fantastic way to make them truly stand out and reflect your personal style. By adding beads, sequins, and other embellishments, you can create unique and eye-catching designs that will impress everyone who sees them. In this section, we will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to make your medals shine with these delightful accents.

Before you begin embellishing your medals, gather all the necessary supplies. You will need a variety of beads, sequins, rhinestones, or any other small decorative elements that catch your eye. Make sure to choose colors and shapes that complement the design and theme of your medal. Additionally, grab some strong adhesive, like glue or double-sided tape, to securely attach these embellishments.

Once you have gathered all the supplies, it’s time to get started. Start by laying out your medal on a clean workspace. Carefully plan where you want to place each embellishment. It can be helpful to sketch out your design beforehand on paper or use a digital design tool for even more precise planning.

Next, apply a small amount of adhesive onto the back of each bead or sequin using a toothpick or tiny brush. Gently press it onto the desired spot on the medal and hold it in place for a few seconds to ensure proper adhesion. Repeat this process for each embellishment until you are satisfied with the overall look.

Remember to take breaks during the process to step back and assess how the decorations are coming together. This allows you to make any necessary adjustments before committing fully.

By following these simple step-by-step instructions, you can transform your plain medals into stunning works of art using beads, sequins, or any other DIY embellishments of your choice. Let your creativity guide you in selecting colors and patterns that perfectly match your personal style or commemorate special achievements.

Display and Presentation

Once you have finished decorating your medals, the next step is to find ways to showcase them in an aesthetic manner. Displaying your decorated medals can not only highlight their beauty but also serve as a reminder of your accomplishments or special moments. Here are some tips to help you create an eye-catching display for your decorated medals.

Choosing the Right Display Method

There are various ways to display your decorated medals, and the choice depends on personal preference and the number of medals you have. One popular option is using a shadow box or a display case with compartments to arrange and showcase multiple medals. This allows you to create a visually appealing arrangement while protecting the medals from dust or damage.

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Another creative way to display your decorated medals is by hanging them on a decorative hook or rod. This method works particularly well if you have limited space or want to rotate the displayed medals regularly. You can attach small hooks or clips along the rod and then hang each medal individually, giving each one its own place to shine.

Crafting a Theme

Consider creating a theme for displaying your decorated medals that complements their design or reflects their significance. For example, if the medals commemorate athletic achievements, you could incorporate sports-themed elements into the display, such as miniature sports equipment or images related to specific sports like soccer balls or basketball hoops.

If you prefer a more cohesive look, organizing the decorations based on color schemes can also be visually appealing. Arrange the medals in groups with similar color palettes to create an aesthetic impact that draws attention and creates harmony within the display.

Showcasing Personal Stories

A great way to make your medal display more meaningful is by adding elements that tell a personal story associated with each medal. Consider including photographs, event tickets, certificates, or small memorabilia related to the achievement next to the medal. This not only adds visual interest to the display but also provides context and a deeper connection to the accomplishments or special moments that the medal represents.

By following these tips, you can create a display for your decorated medals that not only showcases their beauty but also adds a personal touch and significance. Remember to choose a display method that suits your preferences and take into consideration the overall aesthetics of your home or the environment where you plan to showcase your medals. With a carefully curated display, you can celebrate your creativity and achievements in a visually stunning way.

Maintenance and Longevity

Preserving the decorations and extending the lifespan of your decorated medals is an important aspect to consider after completing your project. With proper maintenance, you can ensure that your medals remain in pristine condition for years to come. Here are some key tips and advice on how to preserve the decorations and extend the longevity of your medals:

Handle with Care

One of the most important things you can do to preserve the decorations on your medals is to handle them with care. Avoid touching the decorated areas as much as possible, as oils from your fingers can potentially damage or tarnish the decorations over time. Instead, hold the medal by its edges or use gloves when handling them.

Keep Away from Moisture

Moisture can be detrimental to your decorated medals, causing the decorations to fade, peel off or corrode. It is important to store your medals in a dry environment, away from humid areas such as bathrooms or basements. Consider investing in airtight containers or storage boxes with desiccants to absorb any moisture and keep your medals dry.

Protect from UV Exposure

Another factor that can affect the longevity of your decorated medals is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Over time, prolonged exposure to sunlight or other sources of UV rays can cause fading or discoloration of both the original medal and its decorations. To protect against this, store your medals in a location shielded from direct sunlight or use UV protective coatings on any exposed surfaces.

Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

To maintain the beauty of your decorated medals, it is important to clean them regularly. Use a soft cloth or a non-abrasive brush along with mild soap and water solution to gently remove any dirt or dust buildup on both sides of the medal. Make sure not to scrub too hard as it may damage delicate decorations.

In addition to regular cleaning, inspect your decorated medals periodically for any signs of damage or wear. If you notice any loose decorations, fading, or discoloration, take immediate action to repair or replace them to prevent further deterioration.

By following these tips and advice, you can preserve the decorations and extend the lifespan of your beautifully decorated medals. With proper maintenance, your medals will continue to be a cherished reminder of your creativity and achievements for years to come.


Decorating medals at home is not only a fun and creative project, but it also allows you to showcase your personal style and achievements in a unique way. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can transform plain medals into beautiful works of art that reflect your individuality.

Throughout this guide, we have provided detailed instructions on gathering supplies, preparing the medals, exploring different paint and color options, adding personal touches, accessorizing with ribbons and lanyards, using DIY embellishments, and displaying your decorated medals in an aesthetic manner. These steps will ensure that your medals stand out and truly represent your accomplishments.

The process of decorating medals at home is not only about the end result; it is also about celebrating your creativity and achievements. Whether you are creating medals for a sports team, academic honors, or personal milestones, taking the time to decorate them adds an extra layer of pride and joy to these accomplishments.

In conclusion, take pride in the effort you put into decorating your medals at home. Celebrate both your creativity and achievements by showcasing beautifully decorated medals that reflect your individual style. By following the steps outlined in this article and infusing your own personal touches into the design process, you can create unique pieces of art that hold immense sentimental value. So go ahead and start decorating those medals – let your creativity shine.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I decorate my medals at home?

Decorating medals at home can be a fun and creative activity. One simple way to decorate them is by using paint or enamel to add colors or patterns to the medal itself. You could also consider attaching decorative ribbons to the medals, complementing the colors and design of the medal.

Another option is using adhesive gems or stickers to add some sparkle or personalization. Additionally, you can create a customized display case for your medals, adding elements like photographs, quotes, or small mementos that symbolize your achievements.

What’s the best way to display medals?

When it comes to displaying your medals, there are several effective options depending on your preferences and available space. One popular choice is to hang them on a specialized medal hanger or rack. These hangers often have multiple bars allowing you to neatly organize and showcase each medal individually.

Alternatively, you can use shadow boxes with soft fabric lining where the medals can be carefully arranged side by side in an elegant composition. Some people choose to display their medals on bulletin boards, corkboards, or framed display boards where the ribbons and medals can be easily attached using pins or hooks.

What is the innovative way to display medals?

An innovative way to display medals is by incorporating them into functional objects or decorative pieces within your home. For example, you could transform a wooden coat rack into a unique medal display by attaching hooks specifically designed for hanging the ribbons or adding small shelves for placing the medals themselves.

Another idea is turning an old picture frame into a stylish collage display for your medals; remove the glass from the frame and attach sturdy cords or strings across it – hang your medals from there using paperclips or small clothespins. This way, not only will you showcase your achievements but also create an eye-catching piece of art for any room in your house!

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