So, what can be done with diplomas if you're not too keen on the idea of framing/putting them up on the wall, but feel like they do deserve some sort of special treatment?
Is there a creative way to display them or incorporate them in a bigger display area (so they're not so much the focal point)?
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We think the answer is already hinted at in your question: avoid making them the focal point of your decor. Here are three good executions of that idea that we've seen or come across:
1. Frame diplomas conventionally but hang them in a hallway with other memorabilia, so that they're on display without being any room's focal point.
2. Create a photo album/scrapbook about your years in school and include your diplomas as memorabilia.
3. Frame diplomas electronically in a rotating display. This way they're just part of the story of your life, rather than trophies all your guests are forced to admire.