How to Build a Military Display Case for Your Medals

What You'll Need
Measuring Tape
Mitre Box
Finishing Hand Saw
Exact Knife
12 inch Ruler
Staple Gun
Fabric Glue
Wood Glue
Glue Gun
Paint Brush (x2)
Wood Stain
4-foot length of 1x2-inch Pine
8 1/2 x11 inch sheet of 1/4 -inch Plywood
8 1/2 x11 inch sheet of 1/2 -inch Corkboard
Straight Pins
Engraved Brass Plaque

If you are looking to build a military display case for your medals and memorabilia, you will want to create a showcase that gives affords them the respect and honour that they deserve. Medals awarded for service and valour are a source of pride for a soldier, their family and the entire nation. Keep this honour and pride in mind as you build your military display case.

Step 1 – Frame

Using the square and ruler, measure an 8½x11 inch rectangle on the ¼-inch plywood. Cut out the display case backing using your ruler and exact knife. Cut two 11 inch lengths of 1x2, using the miter box and finishing saw to make sure the ends are square. Lay the pieces of 1x2-inch pine flat (wide side down), and place the plywood on top. Make sure the plywood edges match up to the 1x2 , and staple the plywood to the pine.

Turn the frame over so the pieces of 1x2 are on top. Measure the sides of the frame between the lengths of 1x2. Cut 2 lengths of 1x2 to this measurement and slide them into place. Turn the display frame over again. Make sure the plywood and 1x2 edges match up and staple the plywood to the pine. Stain the 1x2 pine frame to a color of your choice and apply 2 coats of verathane. Allow the frame to dry overnight.

Step 2 – Cut Corkboard

Measure the inside length and width of your military medal display frame. Use your square, ruler and exact knife to cut a rectangle of ½ inch corkboard to this measurement. Cut the corkboard ¼-inch large to start, shaving an edge down until if fits snugly inside the frame.

Step 3 – Attach Material to Corkboard

Lay the velvet material face down and use the corkboard rectangle to measure the amount of material you need. Leave at least a 1 inch border of material around the corkboard. Cut the material to size. Attach the material by folding the border over the edges of the corkboard, fastening it into place with fabric glue. Put a heavy book on top of the glued material, letting it dry overnight.

Step 4 – Attach Corkboard to Frame

Dry fit the velvet covered corkboard into the frame before gluing it to a proper fit. The display board should fit snugly without bulging. Use the exact knife to unglue one side and trim if necessary. To attach the display board, spread wood glue on the plywood backing inside the frame. Place the corkboard inside one side of the frame and gently drop the opposite side. Press into place and put a heavy book on the corkboard, allowing the glue to dry overnight.

Step 5 – Mounting Medals and Plaque

Have a local engraver create a brass plaque for your display. Include information such as the soldier’s name, where and when the medals were awarded and why they were awarded. Lay out your medals and plaque on the display area, centering them as you desire. If the plaque does not have an adhesive backing, use a glue gun to attach it. Fold the top of your medal’s ribbon by using a straight pin to attach it to the corkboard hidden under the fold.