Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Felt Halloween Badge DIY Tutorial

Are you as excited for Halloween as we are? We've been dreaming up excuses to craft for our favorite holiday, and today we're sharing a tutorial for making your own Halloween prize badges from wool felt. We love these for Halloween costume contests, or just for fun for the holiday!

Felt is an awesome material for any sort of applique work, because it's very forgiving. The edges don't need to be turned under or encased with wrapping stitches since it doesn't fray like a cotton, so it makes for fast stitching. If you have time, hand sewing these is a great option and adds an extra bit of texture to the final product. We love the possibilities for customization with the applique -- select your favorite spooky motifs and get to work!

Supplies & Tools:

Wool Felt Sheets
Thread (or embroidery floss if hand sewing)
Sewing machine (optional)

First, cut out your shapes. Our badges measure about 3in by 4-5in with the tassels at the bottom, so have some fun with sizing here. We used three hanging tassels at the bottom of each badge, cutting points at the bottom of long rectangles.

For Frankenstein's monster, we cut out the head from a square. Next, place the top over the desired hair color, and cut out a slightly wider rectangular piece for the hair piece. Round the top corners, and cut out points for the hairline.

For the border on this badge, we cut out an oval of the same size as the background, and made a triangular design. Keep the interior piece, as you can use this on another badge, like we did for our third badge.

After you have a background, tassels, and interior image, cut a last piece identical to your background shape, to enclose the stitching on the back and make your badge a little sturdier. So, you'll have two background pieces, three tassels, and any interior decorations.

For stitching, attach your tassels to one of your background pieces first. We recommend you attach it to your back piece, so that the stitches only show on the back. For our framed badge, however, we attached the tassels to the bottom of the front background, hidden later by the frame -- this way we had less revealed stitches on the back of the final project.

Next, attach any images to the front background piece with a straight stitch (either by machine or hand) all the way around your edges. This will ensure that the stitches used to apply your design get hidden between the front and the back pieces, for tidier work.

Finally, attach the front design piece to the back piece, with a straight stitch around the entire oval/shape. Use a safety pin through the back to attach to clothing, or hand stitch in a hanging loop from cotton twine, and hang for display!

If you're using these for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes, you can go a step further and stitch in a cut-out number to the large center tassel on each badge. Experiment with different Halloween motifs -- make one with a ghost, a witch's nose, or a full moon with misty clouds floating in front. The midnight sky's the limit :)

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