Five years ago when Junior and I came home with a handful of our first ribbons, I stretched a fishing line across the long empty wall of the room, and tied it around small nails. It worked okay until there were too many ribbons to put on it (NOT a bad problem to have!) and it started to sag badly 'cause fishing line is meant to S-T-R-E-T-C-H so as to not break when you're fighting big fishies.
Ages ago I found a great blog post by Julia at Been There Dunne That about hanging ribbons using gimp and upholstery tacks. BRILLIANT. It's been on my to-do list for ages and I finally remembered to pick up the supplies on my most recent trip to the fabric store.
MONEY: The Gimp and Tacks were the only expense and with tax was about $13 because I had 40%off coupons for both items, otherwise it would have been about $20. I forgot to measure the wall space so I overestimated and bought 10 yards of gimp, only using about 6 yards total for the three rows. I chose a color as close to my wall as I could get but you can, of course, choose any color you want. Perhaps your barn colors? Or fancy gold? I purchased 3/8" gimp, but I recommend the 1/2" instead. I chose brushed silver tacks, but there were many other color choices.
TIME: I have to admit I didn't time myself, but I think it only took about an hour and a half including gathering my supplies, moving the sofa out of the way, taking the fishing line down, and re-sorting the pile of ribbons, taking photos along the way, and the time I spent changing my mind about which ribbons went where.
You will need:
- 1/2" Gimp braid
- The length of your display - the less stretch the better.
- Upholstery Tacks
- Enough for one on each end of the gimp and one every 12-14" or so.
- Measuring Tape
- Hammer (though they're pretty easy to push into drywall with just your hands) What's going on with that hammer, you ask? Aside from the fact that it's MUCH older than I am? It's wrapped in leather so as not to scuff the tacks, but it probably wasn't necessary, it was just still on there from putting together an Elfa cart.
- Level - I don't actually own a level, but if I had one I would have used it.
Step 1: Decide how far apart you want your rows and mark your end tack locations with a tiny pencil mark. I measured first from the ceiling down to keep the rows level. The vast majority of my ribbons are 14.5" long so I put my rows 14.5" apart. If you prefer, you could make the rows much closer, tucking the tails under the row below so that only the rosettes are showing on the upper rows.
|Two variations of compact displays.|
Step 3: Pull the gimp over to your other end mark and make it snug against the wall, wrap where you will cut it with clear tape, cut through the tape, fold it under and tack the two layers onto the pencil mark. The snugger it is, the fewer tacks you'll need to put in to prevent sagging, but don't pull so tight that you pull out the other tack, of course! The 1/2" gimp will probably sag much less than the 3/8" I used.
Step 4: Add a tack every 12-14", keeping the gimp level. Keeping the tacks in the same spacing row to row will look best. The more tacks, the less sag.
Step 5: Repeat Steps 2-4 for each row.
Step 6: Add your ribbons in whatever arrangement you prefer. After a few trial versions I decided on the tri-colors in the top/center and radiated out from there, giving a bit more room to the higher placings and packing all the 4th-6th ribbons into the bottom row, overlapping outwards. I'm saving the excess to add a 4th row if I start showing again. It's hard to be reminded that Junior will never bring home another ribbon, but I'm so proud of each little victory we had, whether it was a blue in a big class, or a DFL in a class where he made some small improvement in consistency or manners. Some of our best rides went un-pinned, and some pretty crappy rides placed high in smaller classes...like when I was the only one in a class. Just the luck of the draw. Some ribbons, like the 4th in Trail at our final show are so special because they were personal victories. Each one is a memory.