How to position military medals properly in a shadow box

Updated April 17, 2017

A shadow box is the most ideal way of displaying military medals and awards to honour the commitments and sacrifices of soldiers, both fallen and current. The shadow box display will preserve the memory of a decorated soldier for many years to come. Positioning military medals in a shadow box is simple enough, but there are a few traditionally accepted ways of ordering medals in a display.

Remove the retaining pins from the display board on your shadow box so that you can later attach the medals.

Cut a piece of dark felt to place over the display board in the shadow box. This is necessary only if your shadow box does not have a felt background already.

Sew the medals to the felt piece with a needle and thread. This will prevent them from shifting. A hot glue gun is also an option, but is not recommended as it may damage the backs of the medals.

Display the medals in the arrangement you wish, noting that all military medals are traditionally displayed in order of precedence with the highest honours in the top left. For a uniform look, put all like awards together---stars with stars, patches with patches, etc.

Position a military photograph of the soldier in uniform near the centre of the board. This will make your military medal display more personal and accessible to anyone who sees it; the focal point will be the soldier's face.

Things You'll Need

  • Shadow box
  • Scissors
  • Dark-coloured felt
  • Needle and thread
  • Hot glue gun
  • Medals
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