I originally shared this post over at The Ribbon Retreat. I was provided materials in exchange for this tutorial. Please see my Disclosures page if you have any questions.
Starting my final field placement for my Masters in Social Work, I was issued a boring black ID badge reel. It's very functional but not so pretty. What's a good DIY-er to do? Get out the craft supplies and get to work.
Taking your ID badge from boring to awesome is quick and fun. There's unlimited options for personalization.
For the three fun variations I made, you'll need:
Blank ID badge reels (I got mine from work and Etsy)
1 1/2 inch ribbon (Preppy in Italian Side Street)
5/8 inch ribbon (Solid Grosgrain in Black)
Fat Quarter of fabric (Grey Garden Shade from Pippa by Anna Griffin)
Needle and thread
For the gem variation:
This variation could not be easier. All you have to do is apply E-6000 to the blank badge reel and press the gem on. Hold the gem in place for a few minutes to let it set up.
E-6000 smells to high heaven. Make sure you use it in a well ventilated area. Follow the E-6000 directions as to when it will be dry. I put mine in the garage for 3 days to air out. After that, the smell was gone.
For the covered button variation:
Remove the shaft from the back of the button using wire cutters.
Follow the instructions on your covered button kit in the fabric of your choice.
Again, use the E-6000 to adhere the button to the badge reel. Let dry (and air out!) before use.
For the bow variation:
This variation takes the longest to make. It took me a hole 10 minutes!
First, cut a 6 inch strip from your 1 1/2 inch ribbon. Seal the ends using your preferred method.
Find the middle of the ribbon. Fold the edges of the ribbon in, creating the side loops. Slightly overlap the ribbon ends.
Run a gathering stitch down the middle of the ribbon.
Pull the gather stitch tight to create the bow shape. Tie off. Trim ends.
Cut a 5 or so inch length of the 5/8th inch ribbon. Tie a knot in the middle.
Place knot in front, middle of bow. Secure ends to the back of the bow with hot glue. Trim the length to get an appropriate fit.
Attach the bow to the badge reel. Be careful not too use too much E-6000 or it will bleed through the bow.
Attach your ID, access card, and/or keys to your awesome new badge reel and you're set to work in style!