With the 93rd National Convention & Expo coming up, many FFA members are about to put on their jacket for potentially the last time. That is assuming they will wear Official Dress even though this year’s convention is held virtually. So after convention what is the next step? What do you do with your FFA jacket, shirt, scarf or tie? You could hang it up one last time and let it sit in your closet, or you could do something with it. While there are pros and cons to both situations, check out a few options below while you figure out your next step.
For example, Victoria Pagel with the Benson FFA Chapter in Benson, Minnesota, recently made the decision to preserve her FFA jacket in a very unique way — in the form of a pillow.
Pagel said, “I actually saw a photo on the National FFA Association Facebook page that had a picture of these pillows with the backs of the jackets on them. I thought that was a cool way to have the jackets on display. Once I started thinking about it more I really wanted the front of the jacket to be a part of the pillow too. My grandma is a very talented lady and she was able to come up with an awesome idea of incorporating the white collared button down shirt and the tie and scarf.” When asked why she decided to preserve it, Pagel said, “It had just been sitting in the closet since I last wore it, and when I saw the pillow idea, I thought it was an awesome way to use and show off the jacket.”
With that in mind, here are our top five ways to recycle your FFA jacket.
- Pillow — With so many ways to preserve your jacket, a pillow is a great way to decorate your room with a daily reminder of your time and service to the organization. Not only will it be on display in a unique way, it will also serve as a great conversation starter.
- Shadow Box –– This is a fun way to showcase your time with the National FFA Organization. In the shadow box you can add any ribbons or papers that have special meaning as well. You could even write a letter with your experience and memories that you had during your time with the organization to read at a later date or show your future kids when it is time for them to decide if they want to join as well.
- Donate — Some members have decided to donate their jacket back to their local chapter to students who don’t have their own. If you decide to donate, you will have to take off any front stitching with your name or offices held. However, this is a great way to help your local chapter for those students who aren’t able to afford their own jacket.
- FFA quilts — Another fun craft can be turning your FFA jacket into a quilt. This also allows you to take any T-shirts you have from your chapter and experiences and add them onto the quilt.
- Keep it! — Last but not least, make sure you analyze each option before you decide to cut into your jacket. Once you make that first cut, there is no going back. Think about the option of handing it down to your future kids or wearing it to any future events. Keeping your jacket is just as important as making it into any type of memorabilia.
While there are so many options to choose from, make sure it is the right choice for you. Have you already preserved your jacket? Show us your creative ideas in the comments.
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