Race medals are festive, fun and fantastic. And don't forget meaningful.
Ask anyone who trained hard and finished a race — their finisher medal is more than a participation award. It's a symbol of making a plan, sticking to it, and accomplishing a goal!
That's why I think you may be interested in a new way to display your precious medals.
Check out how Joe at Handcrafted Coasters turned my inaugural St. Pete Run Fest medal into a useful piece of art!
Disclaimer: I received a custom Handcrafted Coaster to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about being a BibRave Pro, and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews
Before and After
I chose to have my St. Pete Run Fest Half Marathon medal made into a coaster because it's from the inaugural running of a favorite local race.
The medal is colorful and fun. I think it will be perfect in a set of coasters with other local races. (I'm looking at you Best Damn Race, St Pete Beach Classic and Gasparilla!)
Let's look at what happens when you order from Handcrafted Coasters.
Sending Your Medal to Handcrafted Coasters
2. After you complete your online order, Handcrafted Coasters sends you a pre-addressed padded envelope. It includes tissue paper to wrap your medal for extra protection during shipping.
Remove the lanyard from your medal before shipping. If you forget, Handcrafted Coasters will remove it and return it with your completed coaster.
You pay the postage to send in your medal because the cost depends on the weight, size and carrier. It cost me about $5 via USPS to send my medal to Joe. (They send it back for free.)
What Happens Next?
What happens when your medal arrives at Joe's workshop? Joe gets to work.
He prepares your wood choice by cutting and planing rough wood. Then he sands it, cuts it to coaster size, and sands it again. These coasters truly are HAND CRAFTED!
Routing the Wood
Joe carefully measures every aspect of your medal. He inputs the measurements into software that works with his woodworking equipment.
Next, Joe carves your medal into the wood you selected.
Fine-tuning the Fit
Joe places the medal into the cut out wood and double and triple checks the fit. When he's happy with it, he moves on to the next step.
Once the medal is inlaid in the wood it's time to seal it in with a protective coating of epoxy.
The epoxy permanently seals your medal in the wood, making it water and heat resistant. Heat resistance level isn't suitable for very high temperatures. For example, you can use it for coffee, tea and soup; but don't use it as hot dish trivet.
The back of each coaster is sprayed with lacquer for durability and strength. Cork pads are added to protect any surface you place your coaster on.
The photo below shows an assortment of medals after the epoxy pour. Check out mine, second from the right on the bottom row.
Removing Air Bubbles from the Epoxy
Joe uses a torch to coax the air bubbles out of the epoxy to create a clear, smooth finish.
All process photos credit: Hand Crafted Coasters. All other photos credit: This Old Runner
Cheers to Your Finished Coaster
After your coaster is cured, it's returned to you. I received my coaster 3-4 weeks after sending in my medal.
Handcrafted Coasters returns your coaster in a secure envelope or box at no charge. Domestic shipping is free.
Pull it out of the package and enjoy your new drink pedestal! I'll be back to show you how I use my new treasure!
Ready to Upgrade Your Medals?
Click on over to Handcrafted Coasters to turn your medal into a coaster, or set of coasters. Hurry up to take advantage of the online sale on coaster SETS.
Gift Cards Available
If you have a special athlete in your life, this makes an absolutely wonderful gift! Now's the time to plan for a unique Mother's Day, Father's Day, birthday or Anniversary gift.
Gift cards are delivered by email and contain instructions to redeem them at checkout. Gift cards have no additional processing fees.
If you have another idea to mark your achievement, email email@example.com to discuss your ideas. Check out the website to see his variety of work.
Check Out More Handcrafted Coasters
Want to see more examples of a Handcrafted Coaster?
Check out Blue Grass BAMR's write up on her gorgeous Urban Bourban Half Marathon medal turned coaster. It's a beauty!
See She Runs By The Seashore's review of her beautiful Rehoboth Beach Half Marathon medal. Turning it into a coaster is the perfect way to preserve it.
Admire what happened when She Runs By Faith had her CIM (California International Marathon) medal transformed into a coaster. It's a beautiful keepsake now.
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MY GOAL RACE!