Just as a heads up since I said I would post back - I decided to go a completely unexpected route and change the display altogether. I ordered a couple of the displays that Glenn uses.
My previous shadow has now been relayed to protecting my Adolf Hitler bronze plaque.
Thank you all very much for the help! Highly appreciated as usual.
Be sure to post photos of the finished product, I am curious to see how the black frames look.
I'm not done setting everything up, but a lot of progress has been made. Here is a quick picture of one the displays. Not quite finished but almost there.
Although it does not show in the picture, I actually changed the glass. I was really annoyed that they weren't anti UV so I tried using some UV plastic sheets, but that didn't work well at all. So I tried unmounting the glass it comes with, and turns out, it's pretty easy. I had some custom UV glass made at Michael's which was surprisingly cheap ($10 CAD, so like 7 USD). I don't recommend getting an acrylic window as the items with most likely scratch it when held against it with pressure.
What you can see, though, is the backing. The displays come with blue foam and I wanted none of that. I bought some 100% cotton and wrapped it around the foam. Absolutely love the result. The black really makes each piece stand out more.
My last modification, which I have yet to do, is to reposition the hanging hardware so that I can hang the display vertically instead of horizontally. I find that everything fits better this way, otherwise the medals are threatening to conquer the armband for Lebensraum when placed horizontally.
The funny part is that I only ordered two, thinking that I wanted to see if I liked the displays before ordering more. Turns out I like them a lot, so I went to order more and was bummed to see that they are now back ordered haha. Apparently the product was more popular than they had anticipated, and it might take up to 16 weeks for new ones to be fabricated.
I will update my collection thread with more (and better) pictures once everything's done. Might also detail the steps I went through for my modifications if anyone is interested.
Looking good there Alexy! Interesting to see the frame being mounted vertical rather than horizontal.
I also repositioned the hanging hardware with my frames so the little hanging rings were hidden behind the frame rather than visible above it. A trick there is that the little self-tapping screws can split the timber frame if you simply screw them into a fresh spot. I used a cordless drill with a tiny drillbit to drill a hole first that the little self tapper could seat into.
You could also consider cutting a small slot into the backing foam to feed the long ribbons though which not only secures the awards in place but hides the excess ribbon also.
I'm not sure if I prefer how it looks vertically, but it just makes more sense in my case. It also allows me to maximize the space on the small wall that I have for my collection.
Thanks for the trick regarding the screws! I probably would have made the mistake had you not mentioned it.
Also, good idea to hide the ribbons through the foam. It could indeed look cleaner. The upside of having wrapped the foam with cloth is that I could only cut the cloth and hide the ribbons between the cloth and the foam. That way I would not have to alter the foam at all. One thing that I like though with everything being 100% free is that I can rearrange everything in two minutes.
Glenn, I want to thank you again for having suggested the 'SAFE' display cases. I would never have found them had you not recommended them to me. I like them a lot and they fixed several issues that I had, including the one at the origin of this thread.