As someone with a forever growing pile of race bling I’m always looking for new ways to display my medals. One of the best things about starting Medal Watch is that occasionally I’ll get an email from a new display company offering something new or different and I literally become the medal equivalent of a train spotter finding out that a new engine thing is coming to a station near me (Is that what train spotters do? Maybe I should have choose another analogy. Oh well.) Anyways, a new company called Frame My Medal contacted me recently and I got really excited because they offered to send me some of their products to review. I will state right now that I did get these products for free but as always I’ll try to remain as honest and unbiased as possible. At the end of the review I’ll also be telling you details of how to get 10% off your very own Frame My Medal frame and you can even win yourself one in our very first Name That Medal competition. So, on with the review. I apologise in advance for the quality of my photos (Using an old phone at the moment).
Frame My Medal came about in 2015. The company is owned by a very nice man named Nick Bartlett and his story goes as follows (It’s so interesting that we may have to get him on Behind the Medal soon to tell us more):
Frame My Medal was set up in 2015, after running a few 10K races and seeing the medals hanging on a coat hanger in the spare bedroom.
I thought there has got to be a better way to display these after all the hard work I put into earning them.
Building on the success of Frame My Disc, I set about designing some new frames… the rest they say is history.
Sure, people have been framing medals for years…. but not like this
I was sent two styles of frames, the black wood and the silver metal, along with inserts for the single medal and four medal displays. You can find both products on their website at http://www.framemymedal.co.uk/products.html.
The black frame measures 325x325mm with a display area of 240x240mm. The insert for the race bib is 195x140mm so it works better with smaller race bibs (Like the ones from BTR) and the area for the medal is 80x70mm (The exact size of the 2015 Tour of Merseyside medal almost exactly).
The silver metal frame also has a display area of 240x240mm but the frame itself is thinner. It measures 290x290mm in total. Each circle display has a diameter of 90mm.
Both frames are very good quality. They’re very well made, robust (my other half knocked the black frame on the floor cos he is dumb and you can’t even tell. I didn’t let him anywhere near the silver competition prize, that was only out of the bubble wrap for five minutes) and look great, The pins holding the back of the frame in allow for a lot of depth to get those ribbons behind the back insert. The frames are also pretty light weight too. They use a strong thick plastic rather than glass which makes them less heavy but also stops the medal from being able to damage the frame. I don’t think this takes anything from the look of the display. The plastic comes covered with a protective layer to keep it clean (I only used one lot of plastic for both displays so the competition winner will get theirs still sealed. More details below) and scratch free.
The single medal display allows for a race bib and a medal as well as having a space for you to add some paper or card with the relevant race details written/printed on it. The four medal display adds three more medal spaces instead of letting you display your race bib but still has a place for you to add race or display details. All frame options require a bit of DIY in terms of getting your display right but this is reflected in the price of £25 which includes postage and packaging. Professionally framed medals can cost up to hundreds of pounds so if you take the time and get and get it right your saving yourself quite a bit of money, it’s pretty easy to do and it still looks pretty professional. It’s all about the inserts.
~It’s all about the insert~
Frame My Medal is actually an add on to what started out 8 years ago as Frame My Disc. From what I can tell from my research (which was basically just reading everything on their site) the key element of Frame My Disc is the insert that keeps everything in place without the need to stick things down permanently. I think that the same can be said for the medal frames, that it is the inserts that make the product quite clever. The insert for the single medal display held my race bib, medal and card with my name without my having to stick anything down. It was pretty easy to get everything in place and it all stayed where it was meant to once I closed up the frame. There’s even a video on the website to help you.
Video courtesy of Frame My Medal.
The four medal display was slightly more complicated and took a bit of work to get everything right (Partly because one the medals I was using didn’t quite fit in the holes). Small slits in the centre of the insert backing allow ribbons from the bottom row of medals to go through to the back of the frame which I think is pretty genius.
Each from comes with both black and cream inserts and the backing is cream on one side and black on the other. This is also pretty clever because it gives you four different options of how you display your medal (cream/cream, black/back, cream/black and black/cream). It makes the frames a lot more versatile because you can change the setup to best show off whatever you are trying to display. Some look really classy against the cream whereas the black makes some medals and bibs really pop and I also like combining the two colours.
~The Website & Service~
The site is very straight forward and easy to use. There’s basically two products with a choice of three different style inserts (Remember that you get all insert colour combinations) or the six medal frame (Not part of this review) so it’s very easy to find what you want, add it to your basket and order. The site could do with a few more specifics about the products (frame size, materials, etc) but it is a work in progress and a few of the pages are down to be improved. I think it’s a very great start and for ease of use I think it’s up there. I haven’t actually been through the checkout process but from what I can tell you can pay by credit, debit or paypal.
The frames arrived very quickly and were really well packaged.
Frame My Medal aslo do a larger 6 medal display frame, again with all the black and cream insert combinations, for £28.99. If you’re interested in music they also provide frames for vinyl, CD’s etc at their sister site http://www.framemydisc.co.uk.
I think the website needs (and appears to be getting) a bit of work but otherwise I’m pretty impressed and I would recommend. I think the frames are good quality, value for money and look pretty professional without the cost due to the clever insert. The thin Perspex plastic make the frame a lot more suitable to display medals than a glass frame I can buy on the high street and it’s well worth the paying the extra compared to what a bog standard frame would cost. You can find Frame My Medal at www.framemymedal.co.uk as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
~Competition & Discounts~
If you would like to win you’re very own silver four medal display we’re giving one away to the winner of the very first Name the Medal competition. You can find more details here.
The generous people at Frame My Medal have also kindly offered a 10% discount to the readers of this review. Just use MWFEB1510 when you check out at www.framemymedal.co.uk to save 10% on your order until February 29th 2016.