Make your own badges

This is a really simple way to make your own badges for your camp blanket.

You will need:
T-shirt transfer paper
Computer and printer
Old white T-Shirt
Thread and needle

1. Choose the image you’d like to use from the computer and make up a page of them. Remember to reverse any image with letters or if direction matters. You can make the image any shape or size you want but remember the badge will be slightly larger in size.

2. Print your page of images onto the T-shirt transfer paper (follow any instructions given on the product).

3. Trim round the transfer paper (being careful to leave a border round your image).

4. Using an iron transfer the image onto an old white t-shirt (again follow instructions on your transfer paper).

5. Now trim around your image and select the felt you want to use. Cut out two pieces both larger than your printed design and one slightly larger than the other. I used two complimentary colours of felt.

6. Stitch on the printed design onto the first of your felt pieces, leaving a border of a 1/8″ or more between the edge and your stitching.

7. Trim round that leaving a thin 1/8″ or more border of felt. Place onto the second colour of felt and stitch that in place. I decided to hide the second set of stitches by gently turning up the printed piece and stitching underneath.

8. Trim round the outer layer of felt and you are done. All ready for it to be stitched onto your camp blanket.

Best of all you can do this with any image and because it’s transferred onto t-shirt fabric it won’t fray. So what badges will you make?

London Challenge Fun – For the Adults

So I’ve done lots for the kids but it’s a holiday for us as well so I decided to make Clair a challenge just for her. I started with an Altoids tin and made a label for the top (with the help of the Keep Calm-o-matic).

Next I filled it with a range of things.

  • googly eyes
  • photo challenge zine
  • paracetamol
  • Freddo bar (chocolate)
  • Scotch tape pop-up tape refill
  • Hair bands
  • Mini Sharpie
  • Lip Balm
  • Mini frog
  • Magnetic letter d (or p)
  • Plasters
  • Stamps
  • Where’s Wally?
  • Moustaches

The mini moustaches were attached to matchsticks (you can get lots of printable photo props online). Wally came from a gift tag and I glued it to a matchstick as well.

The main thing is the photo challenge. 3 days and 30 photos to take. Only two rules – a photo for each challenge and they should be taken between us meeting up and us returning to our own homes.
It was done as a mini-zine and you can get a how-to and template over on Tangled Crafts.

So what does she earn for achieving this challenge? Why a unique badge hand-crafted by yours truly.

Make Your Own Felt Superhero

My God-daughter, Lexie, is big on Batgirl. Apparently she and her friends play ‘Batman’ at playtime in school – she gets to be Batgirl. In fairness I am big on Batgirl, mostly thanks to the fact that her alter ego, Barbara Gordon, was a librarian. So I decided to make her a little Batgirl doll (small enough to fit in an Altoids tin) as part of our London fun.

Thing is she has two sisters, and Clair said it was unfair to only make one for Lexie, so I made another two mini dolls. I opted for Wonder Woman (who I also admire) for Charlotte and (at Tom’s suggestion) Black Canary (who is the wife of the Green Arrow) for Minnie.

The nice thing is they are pretty easy to make so I thought I would share the pattern and how-to (for personal use only of course). I’m giving the how-to for Black Canary and hopefully you can work out how to do the others (if not drop me a message and I’ll try and help).

Right the first step to your very own mini Black Canary is to print out the patterns –

Next you need to cut out the felt pieces (being sure to reverse the templates as needed).

To make up the doll you layer it together like a jigsaw. I started by adding the front of the hair to the head.
Next I worked on the body. Essentially this was the same thing twice – once with the back and once with the front. Black Canary wears a jacket so I stitched on the bodice then added the sleeves (on the reverse body the bodice is a straight line and the jacket is a solid piece).

Then comes the fishnet tights which I embroidered on. As a rule it was easier to embroider the details on one layer and then stitch that piece in place.
Adding the boots and gloves to finish it off. (The back of the body is the same again).

Now it’s time to join the body together

Leave the neck open and stuff it lightly (I used felt scraps). Once it’s stuffed stitch it closed.
Next we need to make the head up. Embroider the eyes and mouth at this point.
Stitch the back of the head on – leaving a gap for stuffing.
After stitching this closed, attach the head to the body.
Finally attach the back of the hair – I only attached this around the sides and top.
There you have it a mini Black Canary.

NB: I freely admit that at various points I trimmed felt to make it fit better so feel free to do the same.

For Wonder Woman the pattern is:

For Batgirl the pattern is:

London Challenge Fun – Part 1

I’m off to London soon with two small children – one is my God-daughter (the Rainbow) and other is her sister (the Brownie). Luckily for me their mum (aka Clair) will also be there and as we are all members of Girlguiding what could be better than some London Badge Challenges. So epic are the challenges that I’m going to have to do the challenges over a series of posts despite the fact we are only there for three days!

So first up Travelling.

The first treat is a snap bracelet each with a contact mobile number for mum on them (these were bought from Baker Ross and decorated with a fabric pen) and a union jack hairclip (from a supermarket though I’ve forgotten which one).

We are flying down, so I wanted to pack things we could do to fill the time waiting around. I’ve got a pack of Olympic Top Trumps, mini notebook and pen, a Littlest Pet Shop toy each (on sale so about 50p each) and a pencil case each with crayola twist up HB and colouring pencils, rubber and pritt stick. Each girl will also get an A5 folder with activities. The idea is that they will carry these items in their bags.

I decided to make the girls an A5 pocket book folder of distractions but also turn it into a journal of their trip. The folders I got have a pocket on the front so I added a title page with their name and the trip dates on it – I did the letters in an outline so they can colour them in. The image of the skyline I pulled off (I did look but I can’t see an original source).  I’ve then collected a bunch of stuff – mainly from various websites to fill the books;

1. Guy Fox – London Children’s Map (bought from Amazon)
2. A map of the UK with London highlighted so we can mark off where we travelled from (from Activity Village)
Plus a I-Spy for the airport from Kidstravel2
3. Two pages from ‘I’m going on Holiday‘ I found in a doodle pack on the first records the journey and the second is ‘holiday masterpieces’ where they doodle the highlights of the trip.
4. Three of the journal pages from which we can fill in at the end of each day.
5. Printable pictures to colour-in –
From Activity Village – A London Bus, Big Ben and the London Eye. Plus their Jubilee Colour-in of the Queen.
From i-Child Westminster Abbey
The WAGGGS flag via
The London 2012 Olympic mascots via Dutch site
Kylie dress up doll from the V&A Museum
6. A model bus From the London Transport Museum
7. Paddington Bear colour-in and maze from the official Paddington Bear website.
8. Horrible Histories – brain buster form the CBBC site and a couple from the Horrible Histories website (I opted for Spot the difference on Shakespeare and Where’s the Rat?)
9. Muppet Theatre from Disney Family (nothing to do with London but we all love the Muppets). I made it all up in advance (I opted to make the theatre without the floor) and stuck the characters onto lolly sticks rather than as stand ups.
10. A London Eye info/activity page from the DK book ‘Cool Stuff Exploded‘ via the London Eye website.
11. A set of the Olympic mascot stickers (I got them in Tesco for about a £1).

I had to make them all A5 size (I did that by just adjusting my printer so they printed in A5) and cut out anything that needed cutting out (no scissors allowed on planes people). Anyway, at any point they have something they can be doing – so no excuses for being bored.

Surprise Egg

This month’s Senior Section Lones newsletter featured the exciting ‘Surprise Egg’ as a goodie.

I thought I’d share a quick how-to.

You need:

  • Strips Crepe Paper (1/2 inch wide and as long as possible)
  • Glue Stick
  • Plastic egg (I used the inner bit from a Kinder Egg)
  • Goodies – confetti, stickers, fluffy chick…

How to make a ‘Surprise Egg’

1. Fill up the plastic egg with goodies – you can pop in anything you fancy on any theme. I opted for Easter fun so a mix of confetti, stickers, pastel fluffy balls, little chick and bunny stickers were added.

2. Next start wrapping a strip of crepe paper around the egg. Ideally you want to do it evenly. I found that folding the paper at a slight angle to let you change direction worked well.

3. Repeat the above step

and every so often add in a goodie (something small and ideally flat unless you are going to make a really large ‘Surprise Egg’.

4. When you are happy the egg is big enough (I did four strips of crepe paper) and you have hidden any of the goodies you wrapped in glue the end down.

Now it is all set to place in a parcel and mail to an unsuspecting Girlguiding member 🙂

Penguin Bag Charm

My God-daughter sent me the best drawing of a macaroni penguin ever!

So I decided I’d use that as the inspiration for a bag charm inspired by those seen on the Paul’s Boutique bags so many of the pupils at school carry.

First off I traced all the shapes of the drawing onto grease proof paper.

Next I racked through the crafty stash for felt, ribbon and rat-tail cording(for feet) that matched the colours.Next I used the pieces I traced on the baking parchment as templates and cut out the felt shapes. I also trimmed the ribbon and rat-tail cording to roughly the right sizes. Next I selected a bit of felt for the background.

Next I layered up the design…

and stitched it in place with a blanket stitch.

Added the details so it matches the drawing.Trimed around the design and then used it as a template to cut a piece of felt to be the backing. I cut it slightly larger so I’d have a yellow border. I then stitched the two pieces together. I also cut a circle-ish shape and slipped a safety pin through.Next I needed to choose ribbon. I opted for two extra wide, two wide and three thin pieces. They got folded in half so I needed to be double the length I wanted.

I turned the penguin over and laid the ribbon down so that the folded ends splayed out the top. I then stitched these in place. Next I fanned out the botton of the ribbon how I wanted and stitched that in place. Finally covering the ‘mess’ in the middle with the circle and pin.Finally I just trimmed the ends of the ribbons on the diagonal.Now I can carry my God-daughter’s genius with me everywhere!

Crafty Goodness

The snow day continues so a chance to do some craft albeit all for Senior Section Lone fun. First to be done is the penguin for Lones. This was a kit from Crafty Little Bugs so it was easy and quick to do.

From bits to penguin in about five minutes.

Second on the list was the Lone Christmas tree decoration swap.  I bought some wooden decorations from Tesco.

Then I carefully traced around the decoration onto the left over Centenary wrapping paper. Then cut it out – one for each side.

Finally I added a Centenary sticker to the decoration.

So now each of the girls will get a wee centenary reminder for their tree. I think that’s a nice reminder of a wonderful year.

Shrink Plastic fun

jigsaw For a Senior Section craft I was making a charm bracelet using Shrink Plastic.

I had some spare so I decided to make myself a pair of jigsaw earrings to wear at Capital Jig in October.

I used 2mm link chain. I picture makes them look much darker than they really are – I used crayola metalic pens to colour in the jigsaw peices.

5 minute necklace

I made this necklace as a kit to go out in the Lones newsletter. It was so fast to do I thought I’d share.

You’ll need: adhesive transfer sheet, acrylic pendant, jump ring and cord.

Remove the protective plastic covers from the acrylic pendant.

Get the adhesive sheet (Herma Transfer Adhesive Sheet) and remove the backing paper. Press the pendant onto the glue dots.

Carefully re-lift the pendant – it is now evenly covered in glue dots (which are easily visible).

Position the pendant over the paper image you wish to use and press down evenly.

Carefully trim off excess paper (you might find using a craft knife makes this easier and neater).

Pierce a hole carefully through the paper inline with the one in the pendant.

Thread a jump ring through and close (you’ll need pliers for this bit).

Thread a cord through the jump ring and wear.

NB: To improve the life span of your pendant carefully apply clear nail varnish or PVA to the back of your picture.

Day of the Dead – Shrink Plastic Sugar Skulls

I did this for my Senior Section girls as part of the activities for the Mexican festival of Day of the Dead.

1. Draw your skull on the rough side of Shrink plastic using pens. This keyring used a 1/4 A4 sheet (the earrings an 1/8th). Beware the colour get darker once it shrinks.

2. Once your happy trim the skull (doesn’t have to be exact 3mm or less edging is fine). Punch a hole in the top for the keyring to go once it’s shrunk.

3. Place the skull in an electric oven (150ºC) on a flat baking tray, drawing side down and heat for 1-4 minutes until it goes flat. Allow to cool and add your keyring, earring or phone charm.