Do-It-Yourself: How to Build Your Own Land-Grant Trophy

By John Morgan on October 11, 2018 at 11:01 am
Do-it-Yourself Land-Grant Trophy
RLR Staff

The Land-Grant Trophy is one of the greatest trophies in all of sports. Unlike some lesser trophies such as the Stanley Cup or Vince Lombardi Trophy, it's impossible to find a replica you can buy for yourself. Fear not because I decided I would take the time with the kids and build one myself. Though it will never compare to the beauty of the original, this one will have to do.


  • Cardboard Box
  • Brown Duct Tape
  • Exacto Knife
  • Scissors
  • Measuring Tape
  • Marker
  • Printouts of Penn State's Old Main and Michigan State's Beaumont Tower
  • Paint Sticks 
  • Black Cardboard Paper
  • White/Silver Crayon
  • Glue or Paste
  • Scotch Tape


Step 1: The supplies that are needed for the Land-Grant Trophy.



You can use any rectangular cardboard box, but I just happen to have a pretty big box handy. You will want to measure if you need to cut your box. I measured to about two and a half feet for the initial cut.

Step 2: Making the initial cut.



I made an equal cut all the way around, but the key to this step is not discarding that extra box. The Land-Grant Trophy has plenty of ledges, so this will come in handy later.




Step 3: Duct taping the box.



Use the brown duct tape to tape the entire box. This mimics the fine wood used on the real McCoy, but as I found out later, you really need two rolls of brown duct tape for this project. 

Step 4: Extra supplies needed



The Land-Grant Trophy has some name plates to identify itself in case you got it confused with another trophy. The wooden paint sticks were also added as a late supply to account for additional shelving that can handle some weight.

Step 5: Adding the top ledge.



That extra cardboard from the first picture has now been placed on the top of the trophy. Though there is no logical explanation for why that piece was added to the trophy, it gives it some extra character and if placed correctly, can protect the top part of the trophy from the wind.

Step 6: Adding the base.



Once again, the extra cardboard came in handy for the base of the trophy. This extra piece is key because it provides additional support, because in case you were unaware, this thing is rather bulky.





Step 7: Adding the name plates




This was a step that the kids helped out with. On the side of the trophy, there is a list of the winners of the immortal trophy. I left out any game prior to 1993, but with some glue and tape, the winners are listed and hopefully on Saturday, I can add a "PSU" to the new row.






Step 8: Adding the pictures and shelving.


The pictures of Old Main and the Beaumont Tower were added to the base of the trophy in this step. As for the shelving, cardboard can be used on the shelf just above those two pictures since it was added for aesthetic appeal. As for the load bearing shelves, that is where I used the paint sticks duct taped together. I cut a sliver in the box with the exacto knife and slid them into there so they could hold weight.

I didn't have a Nittany Lion statue or a Spartan around the house, so I had to get creative. In lieu of the Nittany Lion statue, I used my youngest son's stuffed version that he so endearingly refers to as "Ruffle." For the Spartan, I used an Incredible Hulk. In reality, Michigan State should consider using the Hulk on their sidelines because he's much more intimidating than a Spartan. On the top, there are no football trophies in the house, so I borrowed my one of my oldest son's wrestling trophies. The Roar Lions Roar sticker, that was added because there is another picture on the Land-Grant Trophy in that spot, but I wanted to personalize it for this project.

Step 9: Sit back and admire.


There you have it, you very own Land-Grant Trophy. As you know, imitation is the highest form of flattery, and I hope I have done the creators of this majestic beast proud. This one probably weighs about 90 pounds less than the original, but that is just fine by me. Here is to hoping that Penn State can win on Saturday and bring this puppy back to its natural habitat. 



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