Prom & Graduation

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Creative ways to display diplomas and other school awards

Graduation season is upon us, and grads everywhere are lining up to receive their diplomas and degrees, which represent years of hard work and discipline. Diplomas may be simple sheets of paper, but those sheets of paper are symbolic of so much more. Yet too often diplomas end up collecting dust in a box somewhere instead of being displayed in a home.

There may be plenty of reasons why diplomas end up going from commencement ceremonies to shelves in the back of closets. Some just cannot find a way or a place to display their diplomas without feeling as if they are boasting about their accomplishments. Diplomas incorporated into a larger collection of items can become eye-catching components of home décor.

• Practice feng shui. The principles of feng shui suggest the "fame" area of a home is the central area along the wall opposite the front door. A "power" area also exists in the center of the wall opposite the main entrance door. Such areas make ideal spots to display diplomas, awards and trophies that remind you of times of personal triumph. If anyone asks, let them know that you're dabbling in feng shui and these displays are fueling the fire of future success in your career and life.

• Create a gallery wall. Certificates and diplomas can be matted and framed just like any other piece of artwork. When mixed and matched with other framed pieces, they create a subtle, rather than boastful, effect. These certificates will blend into home décor and be part of a larger gallery look, providing visual interest and conversation pieces.

• Establish a home office. Diplomas are tailor-made for home offices. When hung behind a desk, diplomas can give a home office a professional feel. Diplomas and other awards also can be housed on book shelves and mixed in with other symbols of academia, like ribbons, sports trophies and photos of classmates.

• Design a digital display. Modest graduates may not want their diplomas in full view at all times. Awards can be scanned into a computer and turned into digital images. Include an image of your degree in a reel that includes photos from your years in academia. The images will rotate in a digital picture frame. Update the display from time to time to keep it interesting.

• Put together a portfolio. You may want to scrapbook awards and diplomas as you would other milestones in life. Purchase a sturdy binder and slip the awards into clear, protective covers. The binder can be stored on a bookshelf and pulled out whenever you want to revisit your years in school.

• Create a shadow box. Fill a shadow box with the diploma and some other mementos from school, like newspaper clippings or prom ticket stubs. The entire collection will make for a nice display you can enjoy whenever you feel compelled to take a trip down memory lane.

• Bring it to work. You may want to hang certain documents in your office as proof of your credentials. A diploma can add an air of authority to the space.

Diplomas are symbolic of significant accomplishments in life. Explore the many ways to display it and be proud of the hard work required to earn your diploma. TF154084