Wood cut, sanded, routed and drilled for handles:
Painted a nice shade of red (our stairway is also this color)
My wife's great handwriting
My shaky paint writing (yes, I do teach handwriting to 2nd graders)
Add some old handles I found
Hang and add medals!
Total cost: $0, the right price in a recession. Time: Maybe an hour total (I also did some garage cleaning and waiting for paint to dry. Include that and it was about 3-4 hours total).