Creative Ways to Display Your Military Ribbons

Juliet D'cruz

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Earning an award or decoration in the military is remarkable and praiseworthy. Not everyone qualifies for a medal. So, have pride because you deserve it. You risked your life, showed courage, and went beyond expectation. The question is, how do you show off your medals and ribbons to your loved ones? An eye-catching display can give you the opening needed to tell a captivating war story. 

Or maybe you are mourning the loss of a loved one who had served in the military? Having a distinctive way to display their medals and ribbons is not only respectful but can offer a sense of togetherness. The question is, how do you exhibit your medals and ribbons so that the design is innovative and meets a military standard? Many would recommend making a shadow box. 

What is a shadow box? 

A shadow box is an enclosed display case. It has a glass front to reveal an object or objects arranged in a thematic grouping. The grouping is often artistic and has a personal significance. The box has depth, which helps to create a dramatic effect. Create a neat visual result by combining and positioning items of various sizes. 

Shadow boxes can come with or without non-reflective glass. The glass front also prevents any harm befalling your heirlooms by keeping out moisture, dust, etc. Traditionally the frame is either a square or rectangle, but over time more modern designs have emerged. Regardless, a shadow box is a sophisticated, decorative centerpiece of any room. 

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How to display your ribbons in a shadow box

There are a plethora of ways to display your military ribbons in a shadow box. The first step is to craft your thin ribbons rack. Some sites can build it for you. Or you can assemble it yourself with items found at your local hardware store. Once you have your rack display pieced together, the next task is placing it in a designated space. 

Think about the story you want to tell with your shadow box. For a military-themed display, you have to consider displaying the uniform and flag as well. Always place the larger-scaled items first. The ribbon rack is small, meaning it can fit in almost any space. However, if you want a display that features only the ribbons, then include tinier items that can paint the visual you want to present. If you worked near the ocean, add tiny nicknacks that remind you of that time. 

Remember, you do not have to view a shadow box as a sad memorial but as a way to preserve a memory. You can display photos, trinkets and old letters. Like a museum, you want to control the narrative of the image. 

Pin the ribbon rack against the back. Doing this will give off the illusion that it’s floating in the air. You could also build a scene to feature it. Maybe your shadowbox resembles your hometown and transforms your rack into the centerpiece. 

 You can add postcards from the various places you have traveled. Maybe place a map in the corner? Use letter tiles to spell out a meaningful message. 

If you want to display all of your military memorabilia, then you have to take special care in mapping out your design. Always make sure your ribbons and medals are in the proper order. If your shadow box feels cluttered, consider arranging multiple as a set. 

You could have a shadow box dedicated to your uniform, medals, and ribbons to represent your professionalism in the military. Have a separate case for your deployment adventures. A third could depict your hopes, ambitions, and personal life in the military. You could have items that represented the friends you made along the way. Consider using this box to place those precious memories you never want to forget. 

Having multiple boxes will showcase you as an individual and as a member of the Armed Forces. 

How to build a shadow box

There are two options for obtaining a shadow box. You can build it, or you can pay for someone else to craft it. Shadow boxes have become more popular and frequently used for military personnel. Check out military display websites or even online crafting shops. 

If you want to build it yourself, you will need to construct your front panel. Treat it like a picture frame, and glue your glass into place. Carefully measure and cut wooden panels. Then securely assemble your shadow box.

Displaying military ribbons can be fun. There are ways to hold the value of traditionalism while showcasing your own experience. Make sure that when presenting your decorations and awards, that you are highlighting yourself as well.  

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