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Birthday badges:tutorial

January 25, 2010

My daughter and son both have birthdays back to back. One day apart, and by the end of those two days I’m exhausted. Then usually we still have the parties to do.

It’s not their fault I’m tired, it’s mine. I just can’t stop myself from trying to make it an extra special day for them, especially hot on the heels of the winter holidays, and sharing the spotlight with birthdays right after each other. We always make sure to have an early breakfast with some presents (my husband got up early to make the food this year–lovely), cookies for the classroom treat (different kinds and I wouldn’t want to make them compromise on this once-a-year treat), and crowns and birthday badges at the ready beside their place on their birthday morning.

Each year I find myself up to late the night before, finishing wrapping, baking, or crafting to bring this altogether, and this year was no exception. I found my son’s crown made last year, along with his store-bought birthday button, but the next evening when I was readying my daughter’s goodies, I couldn’t find her button, and to top it off she had specifically asked about it once she saw my son’s. So, nine o’clock found me piecing together a homemade version of the Birthday Girl button that had gone awol.

I have to say, I quite like how it turned out, and although she was too shy to wear it to school, she happily pinned it to her jammies at 6:30 in the morning as she ate her requested pancakes and bacon, and it looked absolutely smashing with her crown.

In case you might want to make one of these for your birthday girl or boy, here are some quick instructions. Let me know if I can clarify anything along the way. I will add pics soon.


1. Make a small sized yo-yo out of brightly colored fabric. A print would look lovely too, I just happened to have one left over from the apron I had made and so I used that one.

2. Cut a strip of brightly colored felt. I cut mine to measure about 11 x 1.5 inches.

3. Using a needle and thread, knotted at one end, baste along one edge of the felt. When you reach the end gently pull and the felt will begin to ruffle. I found this one running stitch was strong enough, but you may find you need to baste once and then sew again. I hand did this work, but you could, of course, use your machine as well.

4. Once your felt is ruffled to your liking, pull the two short ends together so that the ruffle forms a circle and sew the ends together. I used a whip (?) stitch close to the edge.

5. Place your small yo-yo in the center of the ruffle circle–it should cover the hole entirely. Using small stitches on the frontside, and larger ones on the backside, stitch the yo-yo securely to the felt to form the center of your badge.

6. Use matching or contrasting fabric cut into strips with pinking shears to form your “ribbons” hanging off the badge. I then used alphabet stamps and fabric ink to print “Birthday” on one ribbon and “Girl” on the other.

7. Attach “ribbons” to the badge so that the writing is visible. I hand sewed them on.

8. Hot glue gun a safety pin on the back (or just use a safety pin to secure to the birthday darling.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 25, 2010 8:30 pm

    I wish I would have seen this last week. It was my daughter’s birthday. Oh well, next year. So cute. I have two sons whose birthdays are a day apart in November and I nearly kill myself trying to make sure they each feel special. By the second birthday I am so tired. If you figure out anyway to do this and not get wiped out, then let me know!

    • jessbcuz permalink*
      February 1, 2010 2:58 pm

      That is one of my most common refrains…”Oh well, next year…”

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