Handcrafted Coasters offers a unique way to display race medals

Disclaimer: I received a personalized Handcrafted Coaster to review as part of being a BibRave Ambassador. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Ambassador, and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!

Wooden coaster with anchor-shaped medal inside. The medal has a life preserver that reads "Rehoboth Beach Running Company," "10th Anniversary" on the life preserver and "Half Marathon."
Here is my finished coaster from Handcrafted Coasters!

When you run a lot of long-distance races, you end up with a lot of race medals, no matter how fast you are. For the most part, I didn’t have a great way to display my medals. I had a medal hanger for some of them on the wall, but I had hung it up with Command strips, it fell down, and I haven’t gotten it back on the wall yet. Some others are hanging on a bar in an extra closet, and others are in piles. I’ve donated some to Medals4Mettle.

I was excited to see the BibRave opt-in for a coaster from Handcrafted Coasters. This small business creates personalized coasters using medals that each customer sends in.

The first step is to choose a medal. I decided I wanted to use one from the Rehoboth Seashore Half Marathon, since it’s one of my favorite races and one that I pace every year. Then, I decided to choose one that was a particularly fun shape — an anchor with a life preserver. It was also from 2017, my first year pacing that race (read my 2017 recap here).

I received a padded envelope in the mail that I would use to send my medal to Handcrafted Coasters. There was a slip of paper that featured checkboxes to pick the type of wood — alder, mahogany, sapele, maple, walnut and oak. After looking at the options on the website, I chose walnut to go with this medal.

From the day I sent my medal in to the day I received the finished coaster, it was about two-and-a-half weeks. I would guess that the production time could depend on how many medals the company is working on at once, though the FAQ on the website says it takes three to four weeks (and my timeline doesn’t include the time it took for Handcrafted Coasters to send me the envelope). The brand’s website says Handcrafted Coasters is run by Joe and Kari VandeMerwe — and I even got a thank-you card for this campaign from Joe.

Now that I’m looking at the FAQ, I see that I was supposed to remove the ribbon, but I didn’t, so, sorry about that, Joe and Kari!

Since I received the coaster, I have had it on my coffee table, which is where my boyfriend and I usually eat dinner. I spend a lot of time in the living room, where the coffee table is, so I have enjoyed looking at the coaster — and also using it — often.

Photo of medal with ribbon, a check box paper with "walnut" checked, and a padded envelope with "Handcrafted Coasters" on it.
I sent my medal in and chose what type of wood I wanted for the coaster.

The craftsmanship that goes into these coasters is impressive, and because of the shape of my medal, there were a lot of places where the wood needed to be cut out. Since the wood is cut out, the medal is inlaid in the wood, and there is an epoxy coating. The back of the coaster has small cork pads at each corner to keep it in place.

I did notice that using the medal as a coaster did leave some small marks on the epoxy. It’s nothing that bothers me and I am still impressed whenever I look at the coaster.

It has also been fun seeing everyone else’s medals from this campaign. If you are reading this and get one, I’d love to see how yours turns out! I’d also consider getting another one for myself; it might be nice to have one at work as well (or more at home).

A single coaster is $49.99, and there are also sets — four coasters with a box is $275 (currently on sale for $249.95) and six coasters with a box is $375 (currently on sale for $299.95). You can also get a $49.99 gift card to gift a coaster to someone else. There are other custom options available as well (such as race awards and custom orders).

Learn more about Handcrafted Coasters at HandcraftedCoasters.com.

Read more from other BibRave Ambassadors:

Piece of wood is set up in a work space, featuring the carving where the medal will be inlaid.
Here’s a behind-the-scenes view of my coaster being made. The photo was provided by Handcrafted Coasters.

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