You may have been an awesome point guard as a kid, but let’s face it, you’re not Michael Jordan! Your old sports trophies, medals, plaques, and other awards are probably just sitting in storage, collecting dust.

Get ready to declutter! Here are 8 things you can do with your old trophies and awards.

Donate to Goodwill or Salvation Army


You can go to over 4,000 Goodwill stores and close to 8,000 Salvation Army locations around the United States to donate your old awards. Gather all your unwanted trophies, medals, and plaques into a box, and drop it off whenever you have the time.

Use a Trophy as a Paperweight

woman writing in a notebook outside

Do you have small trophies in storage? Bring one or two into your home office to use as paperweights. Your repurposed trophies will be a lifesaver on breezy days and during the hot summer when you have the fan blowing at full blast.

Make a Trophy Coat Rack

coat rack made from old trophies

Blow everyone’s minds by crafting a DIY trophy coat rack! You can put it up in the mudroom to hang baseball hats and jackets, keep it in the kitchen for aprons, or put in the garage for sports equipment and bike helmets.

Create Centerpieces for a Party

centerpieces made from old trophies

With spray paint and pretty flowers, your old trophies can transform into beautiful centerpieces. Use them to decorate the tables at a wedding or birthday party. This DIY trophy project is also fun for a sport team’s award ceremony!

Display Cupcakes on a Trophy

display cupcakes on sports trophies

Red velvet, vanilla bean, and chocolate cupcakes will taste so much better if they sit on an upcycled trophy! You may have to attach the plates separately. Just be sure there’s plenty of space between each layer so the icing doesn’t get smeared.

Turn Awards Into Bookends

marble bookends made from old awards

Marble or crystal awards are classy bookends to use on your shelf. As long as the backs are flat, you can also use old sports trophies to hold your favorite novels. Give this look a try in your living room or in your office.

Upcycle Medals Into Holiday Ornaments

turn old medals into Christmas ornaments

Do you have marathon medals that you no longer want? Cut off the cloth necklace, and tie a string or hook onto the pendant. Now you have a cute ornament for your Christmas tree. You’ll love revisiting your accomplishments every holiday season!

Decorate a Sports Themed Room

spray painted trophies

Are you decorating your athletic son or daughter’s bedroom? Go with a sports theme and spray paint their old sports trophies to use as décor. The pop of color will look nice next to any new awards they receive!

Can You Recycle Trophies?


It’s possible to recycle some of your trophies, medals, or plaques. In many cases, metal awards can be melted down for use in future manufacturing. Wood and marble can also be accepted for recycling.

Call your local recycler first to see if they’ll accept your unwanted trophies and awards. Not all materials are safe for recycling, so it’s best to check ahead of time.

Where to Donate Trophies

Goodwill and Salvation Army are just a couple of places that accept old trophies. You can also donate your unwanted awards to these amazing organizations!

Special Olympics

Special Olympics

The Special Olympics started in 1968 as a way to bring more inclusion to athletics. This organization may accept your old sports trophies to award the winners, so reach out them directly to see what they need.

Medals 4 Mettle

Medals 4 Mettle

If you’re a runner, you may have a ton of medals you no longer want. Donate them to Medals 4 Mettle, a nonprofit that will use them as awards to patients in hospitals all over the world. To date, this incredible organization has gave out over 60,000 medals to children and adults.

Lamb Awards

Lamb Awards

Hundreds of trophies end up in landfills every year. Lamb Awards has made it their mission to cut down on the waste by either donating unwanted trophies to nonprofits, or breaking them down to use the parts. You can mail your old awards to them directly.

Fair Game

Fair Game nonprofit

With tablets and phone games, kids are unfortunately not as active these days. Fair Game is a nonprofit that creates health and fitness programs using recycled sports equipment. They may accept your old trophies, so reach out directly for more information.

Donation Town

Donation Town

Visit the Donation Town website, enter your zip code, and you can find a nonprofit near you that will accept your awards. You never know who may need your trophies or medals, so this is a good way to find a cause you care about.

Are Old Trophies Worth Anything?

Unless you’re famous, or they’re made from solid gold, your trophies are probably not worth any money. Vintage awards are cool novelty items, so you may be able to make a little cash by selling them at a garage sale.

Should You Throw Away Old Trophies?

garbage can

Bottom line – your unwanted medals, trophies, and awards should never go in the trash. Recycling is better, but it should also be your last choice. Be creative and find a new use for your old sports trophies, awards, and plaques.

Leonard Fournette trophy donation to Jacksonville

Leonard Fournette, an NFL running back, played for the Jacksonville Jaguars in his rookie year. The athlete wanted to show his new hometown how grateful he was to be there, so he sent 700 of his old sports trophies to be melted down into barbells. Those weights were then hot stamped with Fournette’s name and donated to William Raines High School in Jacksonville.

This incredible gesture just goes to show that there are plenty of fun ways to repurpose old trophies. You don’t have to be a sports superstar to find a new way to use them.

Final Thoughts

It’s finally time to get rid of that participation ribbon! You can upcycle it into something new for your home or office, or if you’re not very crafty, donate it to a worthwhile cause instead.

You now have plenty of ideas for what to do with old trophies. Choose the one that works for you!


All Women’s Talk. 8 Clever Ways to Upcycle Trophies. Retrieved from,

Gordon, R. (2015, August 20). What Can You Do With Old Trophies? Retrieved from,

Young, S. (2017, August 1). Repurposed Glory: Leonard Fournette’s Old Trophies Made Into Weight Set, Donated to High School. Retrieved from,

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