Let's create an award for making a silk purse out of a sow's ear.
May 23, 2015 1:57 AM   Subscribe

My friend did a phenomenal job on a long-term project, working with very little. Recently another person in a similar position--except with all the support in the world--won a prestigious award for doing the same thing. I want to let my friend know how much his work is appreciated. Let’s think of an award I can make for him--preferably something that can be assembled and mounted on a trophy base. The iconography I have in mind is Scrappy Doo, but that seems rather poor. A silk purse might look too ... testicular? Help, please!
posted by Jane Austen to Human Relations (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Wouldn't a silk purse just look like a purse? Maybe get a little plastic Barbie purse, spray paint it gold or silver and stick it on a base. Presto, the Silk Purse Award. Or maybe get a little pig and call it the Sow's Ear Award!
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:26 AM on May 23, 2015 [2 favorites]

I think the silk purse is a brilliant idea. Go with that.
posted by pompomtom at 2:40 AM on May 23, 2015

We used to pass around one of those old time oil cans at one place I worked. Like the one used to lube the Tin Man in Wizard of Oz. It was slightly silly (it even made a kind of cricket noise when you pressed the bottom) but whoever had it for the time being really took pride and generally displayed it proudly in their work space. You really had to do something boffo to get it.
posted by CincyBlues at 4:05 AM on May 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

I'd call it a MacGyver Award. The trophy could be a gold-painted paperclip, rubber band, roll of duct tape, etc.
posted by Metroid Baby at 6:10 AM on May 23, 2015 [16 favorites]

Recently another person in a similar position--except with all the support in the world--won a prestigious award for doing the same thing.

Can you make an obviously fake version of that prestigious award? For instance, if the other person won an Oscar, make them a Lego version.
posted by Etrigan at 6:11 AM on May 23, 2015 [4 favorites]

Make a ribbon and medal, the way the military does. Fabric store - choose some striped ribbon, about 1." wide. Choose a very snazzy button about 1.25" diameter. Buy a 1.25" wide pinback. The rest is basic craftery.

The fun part is to write up the reasons for the commendation and print it on parchment paper and put it in a presentation folder. Do not use any actual military award name like Purple heart or Silver Star, but Bronze Heart, Gold Star, Citation of Valor, Medal of Awesometactiness, that sort of thing. If you want to gild the lily, a small frame for it would allow the honoree to hang it.
posted by theora55 at 6:48 AM on May 23, 2015

How about a single pearl, maybe in an open oyster shell?

The idea is that something expensive was made from a piece of sand, with time and focused expert effort... may not be the most complex idea, but it could at least look interesting and attractive.
posted by amtho at 6:49 AM on May 23, 2015 [5 favorites]

I really love Metroid Baby's MacGyver Award idea. You could use duct tape as the base & now they come in all sorts of prints & colors too, if you don't want to go with simple silver. Then maybe place an action figure of some sort standing in the center holding a massive paper clip? That's the first thing I pictured when I read Metroid Baby's idea, but there are tons of directions you could go with this. Duct tape & at least one paper clip would be essential though. By the way, you sound like an awesome coworker. Good on you!
posted by katemcd at 7:13 AM on May 23, 2015

I am just popping in to say what a great idea this is and what a nice person you are. Home made awards have touched a few people in my family and been really gratifying. The ones that I rember were "For Valor in Enteric Isolation," (just a paper ribbon made with markers and pinned on) "The Golden Moving Truck Award," (gold painted plastic truck glued to a plaque). Recipients loved them.
posted by SLC Mom at 9:35 AM on May 23, 2015 [2 favorites]

Silk purses with likenesses of Ganesh on them are a thing, you can find them at Thai, Indian or Nepali stores.
posted by jet_silver at 9:49 AM on May 23, 2015

Frank Sinatra gave Montgomery Clift a statue of a bugle mounted on the same kind of base as the Oscar when Clift didn't win best actor for From Here to Eternity.
posted by brujita at 1:04 PM on May 23, 2015

Oooh, I've made DIY trophies before. I've gotten the supplies at the Dollar Store--you can buy some Styrofoam blocks or circles or donuts and decorate them in interesting ways, glue them together, etc. It's not the right time of year to find a tiny cheesy Halloween trophy, but you never know at dollar stores or thrift stores, you might find something. Or you can just order one online, apparently there are a lot of options when I googled.

Trophy 1
Trophy 2

Honestly, as long as you put things together in a fun, cheesy way, it'll probably all be good. I like the purse idea, just maybe put it up on some blocks with some other fun things attached.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:51 PM on May 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

I really love Metroid Baby's MacGyver Award idea

Me too! Could you maybe get a cheap luggage lock and a paperclip, partially "unfold" the clip, and then superglue the free end into the lock as if it had been picked open? As Metroid Baby suggested you could spray paint the whole shebang gold.
posted by en forme de poire at 4:23 PM on May 23, 2015

If you got to Michael's they have these things called Toobs that come with lots of little plastic animals or boats or moon buggies or whatever. So if you're looking for some plastic doo-hickey to glue on a base, you might wanna go check out the Toobs and come up with something based on what's available.

I've found that if you have something basic but very specific in mind for a craft project that particular something suddenly cannot be found anywhere on Earth. If you need a little plastic airplane, little plastic airplanes simply do not exist anymore. So, it's better to come up with ideas based on stuff you can already find.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:25 PM on May 23, 2015

If you need some verbiage for the award, I've always enjoyed (and often earned) this: "You have done so much for so long with so little that now you are qualified to do anything with nothing."
posted by bryon at 11:33 PM on May 23, 2015

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