These are pretty simple to put together. The funnest part is finding the faux medals in the form of old necklace pendants, earrings, keychains and other odd junk. The ribbon portion is made with 1 1/2" wide scraps of grosgrain ribbon (mostly from old hatbands and dress ties my daughter discards). I colored a few ribbons (like the 2nd one in the bottom row) with permanent marker just to give them a bit of variety. To attach the medals to the ribbon, I made my jump rings from scrap wire or salvaged them old jewelry. A marker barrel works well for wrapping the jump rings on.
And now for the backs, which I'm most proud of. The photo just above is a comparison of the back of an old marching band medal I purchased at the flea market (left) and my homemade version (right). So professional looking, right? ;) I took care to make my ribbons sturdier like these band medals. I'll tell you why...
Another pic of the backs. Originally, I was just going to just glue the ribbon down over the pin backs, but I prefer to avoid using glue whenever I can. I've seen some medals on Etsy.com and other site where they just hot glued the pin backs on. From my own experience, I KNOW that won't hold up long. So, I'll share the secret with you, in case you want to make some.
I used the leftover aluminum from the bottle used on my monocle here to secure the ribbon to the pin backs, but any thin copper, brass, tin metal scraps could work. The bottle is a really thick aluminum (not the type used in the ordinary beverage cans). To tell you how thick it is, I have to use pliers to bend a sharp corner on it.
- I cut 2 pieces of the aluminum just short (8th of an inch) of the width of the ribbon. One is about 7/16th" long and the other 3/4".
- I used a vise to bend the edges on the 3/4" piece into a bracket, "]", shape so that the length is now at 1/2".
- Then, I punched holes in the smaller piece with a nail punch and inserted the pin back into it.
- To attach the ribbon, I wrap the edges of the ribbon over the wider piece of aluminum. The smaller piece sorta snaps or slides into the wider one with the ribbon trapped under it.
- I use some pliers to smash the edges of the wider piece down over the smaller one til it's nice and tight.
So, all in all, these were made with all "upcycled" parts. Didn't have to purchase anything. LOVE projects like that. Don't you? These would be great to make if you belong to a steampunk airship or other group that wants to identify themselves. Medals can be made of just about anything you can imagine. I plan to make some more until I either run out of aluminum or jewelry parts. I also plan to make a sash to wear some of these on for the Steampunk Invasion at Scarborough Ren Faire the last weekend of April. Though, I'm sure many of these medals will have to stay home. :)
I still plan to post more about the progress on the "bustle bar" here in the near future. Just have to get some good pics. I'll try to get some while at Scarby. So, stay tuned for more costuming posts.