Tips for Trophy Buckle Cleaning

It’s been eight years since I won my last – and favorite – buckle.

2012 Western National Finals

I was showing Kahluas Fancy CD, “Baby”, at the Western National Finals in Reno, NV. I remember knowing my score in the first round, and being bumped out of the finals by the last horse. I had picked up our arena bag and was in the middle of unbooting at the stall when I heard over the loud speaker, “Holly Wilson, please report to the main arena.”

You’ve never seen a girl move so fast. We trotted back in and went straight to the announcer. And would you believe it – they had a score change after a review and we were in the finals. Woo-hoo!

After our second run, we ended up in seventh. Which to me, might as well have been the championship. This was our first show on a national level, and we showed up.

Tips for Trophy Buckle Cleaning

Since this buckle – including all the others – is so special to me, I like to keep it clean and shiny. Here are some brief tips:

Tools of the Trade

  • A dirty buckle
  • Jewelry cleaner for silver items (I like the Grandma’s Jewelry Cleaner)
  • Old toothbrush

How To

  1. Spray the jewelry cleaner onto the buckle
  2. Gently scrub in circular motions
  3. Once you’ve sufficiently scrubbed, rinse with water
  4. Pat dry
  5. Ta-da!

Please remember that I’m not a professional, but I do clean a pretty nice buckle. If you have questions about caring for your buckles, you could always reach out to the buckle company who created it! Their name or logo is generally on the back.

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DIY Trophy Buckle Shadow Box

Create your own buckle case to showcase some of your accomplishments! You can display buckles, trophies, photos, and more in style.

What You’ll Need:

  • Finished Wood
  • 1.5” Finishing Nails
  • Hammer
  • Wood Glue
  • Preferred Stain
  • Saw (or nearby Home Depot)

Step 1:

Determine your dimensions. I created my buckle case with a 20” x 20” size. This will determine your inside pieces. As an example, my inside pieces were 19” (for the two long pieces) and 5.6” (for the six small pieces).

Step 2:

Saw your pieces, or go to your nearest Home Depot and have them cut them up for you!

Step 3:

Position your outside frame and use wood glue to secure the edges. Once the glue dries, you can use finishing nails to tightly secure. I would recommend three nails per side.

DIY buckle case

Step 4:

Measure your inside long pieces and determine where you want to place your spacers (you’ll only use four at this time). Once you’ve done that, add wood glue and allow to dry.

Step 5:

Allow the wood glue on your inside pieces to dry, and then use two or three finishing nails to secure.

DIY buckle case

Step 6:

Position your inside pieces in the frame, along with the two final spacers. Make sure you’re happy with the placement, and then secure your free spacers to the frame itself with finishing nails.

Step 7:

Apply wood glue to the edges of your inside pieces. If you’re measured correctly, they should fit snuggly into the frame.

Step 8:

Allow wood glue to dry on all sides, then finish all pieces with finishing nails.

Step 9:

Find your preferred stain, and apply in a well-ventilated or outside area (I went outside on the porch).

Use a sponge or old dish towel (gloves are also recommended) to apply stain to your desired saturation. Be careful, a little bit of stain goes a long way!

DIY buckle case

Step 10:

Allow your stain to dry, and then hang with a set of hooks and nails!

DIY buckle case