Creating Custom Sports Memorabilia Art

Finding new ways to display a collection is a challenge for many hobbyists.   Ball cases or jersey shadow boxes serve a purpose.  Card binders and pages are great for looking through a set or player collection, but they are not always appealing for a permanent display.


Creating framed collages of my sports memorabilia has been the solution for me.

Back in the early 90’s I was “sports crazy” and my collection was in full swing.  I was buying baseball, basketball, and football cards, and I subscribed to as many sports magazines as I could get my hands on.  I would set aside the cards of my favorite players and I would also keep the magazine covers featuring players or sporting events that were memorable to me.  They each had their separate storage containers in my closet, and for the longest time I had no way to combine them.  Then one day a Beckett magazine showed up in my mailbox and inspired me.  It provided instructions and tips on creating a framed collage of photos, magazine covers, and cards which could be hung on the wall. 



The Originals


The first piece I attempted featured a Magic vs. Michael theme.  The Bulls were at the beginning of their historic run, Jordan was my favorite player, and the Magic and Michael rivalry was one of the more prominent storylines of that year.

I cut the magazines, chose some cards, got the glue out, and voila!  I had a Magic vs. Michael work of art!

The second one I made highlighted the Bulls successful back to back to back championships.  I loved how the Charles Barkley/Jordan cutout popped.  The John Paxon card being a smaller version of the same magazine photo was very cool.  Once again, construction paper, scissors, and some glue were all I needed to make a display that was “way better” than my friends’ random Wheaties poster.


A few years ago I dug them out of storage and hung them back up and when my friends saw them it prompted some great conversations about the glory days of the 90s.


The Modern Era

Well over the last few months I had decided I wanted to create a couple new ones. 


My siblings and I were trying to come up with a more personalized idea for my dad’s Christmas gift and the idea of a framed art piece came up.  We landed on a CAT Racing NASCAR theme and I went to work procuring the cards and a magazine to be the focal point.    I was able to get either an auto or a relic for each driver of the CAT car. 

Creating something celebrating the Cubs World Series victory was also high on my priority list.  I used a combination of Topps cards I had pulled from packs, a Sports Illustrated cover, and one of my favorite creations, a custom wrapper relic card I made from the 2017 Topps Heritage Cubs Team card.  I may have to do a separate post on making a homemade relic like this.  The final Cubs product is the picture at the top of the post.

I love these.  They keep the memories alive and the memorabilia in great condition. 

If you want to make your own, all you need is a 16x20 frame with a black background, some sticky corner holders, double sided glue dots, and your choice of memorabilia.  The total cost could be as low as  $20 or as high as you want depending on the cards you include. 

I’d suggest giving it a try, and if you do, post your creation on the Facebook page!

To learn more about how my grandma turned me into a lifelong Cubs fan, read my initial blog post here.