Thursday, October 18, 2012

Race Bib Holder {Tutorial}

I could really use a better picture of this...
From my "Grace for Imperfection" post dated January 5, 2012 (Notice the bold print.): "As I've mentioned before, I am a planner. I spent 3 days working on this year's target areas, goals, projects, and habits I want to develop in the coming months. It is bold to be sure. I've even put in one of my bucket-list items - running a Komen 5K race at the end of April (I'm NOT a runner) - more on that in the future, I'm sure."

What a difference a few months and some dedication makes! I posted about making every effort in "Leavin' it All on the Floor" before my first 5k race, and I posted the lessons I learned from that first race in my post "Don't Fear the Hills."

Since that first race, I have continued running, and I have grown to (mostly) love it. I try to get out 2-3 times during the week and then take a long run with friends on the weekend. From fearing 2.5 and 3.1 miles, now I regularly run 4-6 miles during the week and 9+ miles on the weekends. My husband and I ran a 10k (6.2 miles) race together on Labor Day. It was so great to do that alongside each other!

Now, the average person isn't usually just going out there and running 9-10 miles at a time just because. And right now, I'm not doing it just because either. I am training for a half marathon at the beginning of December. 13.1 miles, y'all!! And yes, I'm still doing this because I want to (and because I want the 13.1 sticker on my car, and every finisher gets a medal!) I am just amazed at what my body can do and what God has allowed me to accomplish! You'd think 3 natural births would have showed that off pretty well, but running long distances for fun and fitness is something totally different!

Anyway, I will keep y'all in the loop regarding these future races. In fact, we have another race coming up this Saturday! It's another 5k, and I'm hoping to knock 20-25% off my previous 5k race time. Hubster is running this one, too (he's not doing the half with me), but we've agreed that we can each keep our own pace, so since he's the faster runner, I won't hold him back. :-)

And now for the tutorial! We are people of sentiment, and mementos of these milestones and achievements are so special! I wanted to find a way to display them for memory and motivation-sake, and another runner from one of my groups posted a picture of a bib (that's what those number papers are called) holder. As usual, I'm too cheap to buy one, and I knew I had just the materials I needed to make one. So, I'm sharing those steps with you! (P.S. Even if you are not a runner, these would make an excellent gift for someone you know who is.)

My dad built something and had these 2x10x10 inch pieces left over. Now these may not be ideal for everyone simply because they are bulky and heavier than what you may need or want, but I like the chunky look and substantial feel (and the fact that they were free!) However, you may want a thinner 1" board. I wouldn't go much smaller than 9x9 inch square though.

I picked 2 that were the closest to the same size - I wanted to make one for me and one for Hubster. Then I used my handy sander to make them smoother and more uniform. 

If you've read the blog for very long, you already know that Audrey LOVES spray paint. As a matter of fact, so does Amber. I'm a bit less experienced and tend to gravitate more toward acrylics, but I do appreciate it's value and its quickness. So I did grab the spray paint cans for this project.

Okay, so while the paint was drying, I picked the font I wanted for the words to be transferred onto the board. I don't have a fancy Cricut or Silhouette, and my free-hand letters are atrocious, so I'm going to show you a different technique for getting words on wood at least. I used this for one my Christmas present projects last year.

After you pick your font and wording, go into your printer dialog box/menu and look for an option to flip the image horizontally. My husband reminded me that we have a Mac, and that PC/Windows printer boxes would be different, but try to find that option at least. This will make your letters backwards on the paper.

See? Backward! Now I'm measuring for the middles of the words and the board. 

Okay, now we start the transfer process. Tape the paper ink-side-down on the painted (and dried) wood. Spray lightly with water (or you can brush it on with a wet paint brush) until the letters are clearly visible and the paper is soft, but not soaked.

Take a semi-blunt pointed object (yeah, that's not confusing or anything!) like the tip of a Sharpie lid or the end of a toothbrush. Something that is smooth, but hard, and also can get right at the corners and edges. What you are going to do is rub the letters through the paper, essentially transferring the printer ink onto the wood. Rub until the letters are darker, but not so long that you tear through the paper.


At this point, I took that Sharpie and colored that in because I wanted a darker look. If you want a rustic look, you can have more distressed paint and wood and just leave the words light like this as if they've faded over time. That's what I did with my previous project.

Next, I measured to see where I wanted the hooks to hold the bibs. There are apparently 2 basic bib sizes, though so far I only have the wider kind. I just put hooks for what I have so far, but I left room for the narrower bib hooks just above these.

This is the bib from the Race for Hope 5k I did in May.
I used cup hooks since I had them on hand (a really wrinkly hand actually; I've never noticed how many lines I have in my palm!)

Added a picture hanger to the back in case I decide to hang it on the wall.

And here's my finished product! I went back and added the "Hers" once I knew I liked the outcome enough to make the one for my husband too. :-) 
I'll need to add another hook or more for medals -
specifically the half-marathon finisher's medal. :-)

These are the bibs from our Labor Day, Race for a Child 10k.

 I'm excited about displaying these where I can see them regularly. A reminder to myself that, yes, I AM a runner. I have goals, I have made achievements, and I can keep going. And I'm so proud of my husband for his goals, efforts, and achievements too.

What do you do to motivate you in your goals and celebrate your accomplishments?

Linking up at Mom on Timeout


  1. Yes, please! I'll take mine in Sedona Red, thanks. Because thanks to my sister, I can say that "I am a runner." too! :)

  2. Noted. ;-) I'm glad you're a runner too! Now, is Sedona Red a spray paint color??

  3. I love this tutorial, but can you tell me how far apart you put your hooks? I am not a runner and want to make one for a gift. Thank you!

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