Style

DIY Decoupage Badges

Make a pin in a pinch.

If you’re a reader of my blog, you probably already know that I’m kind of obsessed with badges (pins, brooches, and the like). Along with being my all-time favorite accessory, badges are also one of my favorite things to craft! I made a David Bowie badge in honor of Rookie’s Up All Night theme and featured it in a post on our Tumblr. Since then, I’ve gotten quite a few emails from readers wanting to know exactly how I made it, so I went ahead and put together this tutorial for y’all explaining the whole process. I used a technique called decoupage, where you glue paper and/or cloth cutouts onto an object, then cover it all with some kind of lacquer (I use Mod Podge and resin). You can also add paint, glitter, stickers, sequins, tiny baby dolls—whatever you want! It’s super easy, I promise!

You’ll need:

  • Small wooden shapes. These can be found at most craft stores in the section with woodworking tools and related stuff. They come in all different sizes. (Heart-shaped ones are my favorite.)
  • Small image-clippings, stickers, fabric scraps, or whatever you want to stick on your badge.
  • Sparkly stuff (glitter/confetti/sequins)
  • Mod Podge or some other type of water-based sealant
  • A small paintbrush
  • Acrylic paints
  • Resin or resin glaze
  • Bar pins
  • Super Glue or a similar product

Making the base:

1. First, paint your wooden shape a solid color. Tip: if you’re gonna do a solid-glitter background, first paint wooden shape with a matte base the same color as the glitter to create a more cohesive look.

2. Get out all the stuff that you want to decorate your badges with. Now would be a great time to practice those collaging skills!

3. You can use the badge base as a background, or you can use it as a foundation and create a background from cut-out images, fabric scraps, etc.

4. Start the decoupaging process by applying a thin layer of Mod Podge to the back of all the papery things you want to include on your badge.

5. Place the image(s) on the badge, and smooth out any air bubbles with your fingers.

6. Add glitter and confetti—lots of glitter and confetti!

7. Seal the whole badge with multiple layers of Mod Podge—three or four should do the trick. Be sure to let each layer dry before adding the next.

8. After you apply a final coat of Mod Podge, set your badge somewhere to dry.

9. When it’s totally dry, you can stick a bar pin to the back, unless you want to include this last, optional step, in which case hold off on the pin:

Adding a resin finish:
This step is optional, because I realize that some people like to keep their DIY projects simple, but when I make these badges, I like to add a layer of resin on the top to make them look extra shiny, and to keep the images from disintegrating over time. To do this you’ll need some resin—I’m using EasyCast because it’s what I had lying around.

EasyCast is a two-part resin that you mix together to make what is basically liquid plastic. It can be a bit pricey, so if you want a cheaper and quicker alternative, I suggest going with a resin glaze (like this one) which requires NO mixing. All you’ll need to do is squeeze it onto the badge and wait for it to set.

1. If you opt for the EasyCast, you’ll need to mix up a small amount of it according to the instructions. Please remember to do this on a covered surface and wear gloves! This stuff is pretty nasty (as in TOXIC) and can ruin just about anything it comes in contact with.

2. Pour a teensy bit of the resin mix onto your badge. Spread it out in an even layer over the entire surface of the badge with a plastic spoon or knife. At this point, you’ll probably notice there’s a bunch of air bubbles—these will disappear as the resin sets and dries, so don’t worry! The resin will take up to a day to set, but ideally you should leave the badge alone for a few days just to prevent the risk of fingerprints or scratches.

3. Glue a bar pin (or whatever type of fastener you want) to the back.

4. And finally, attach your shiny new badges to your vest or jacket or bag or dress or beehive, and share your glittery, awesome craftiness with the world! ♦

46 Comments

  • catpower44 October 25th, 2012 7:10 PM

    Awesome DIY Marlena! I love it! I made a Riot Grrrl one and a sparkly heart with pastel pearls! Just one question: for the resin step, would it be ok if I just put on a whole bunch of layers of mod pogde? (spread out timewise, of course!)

    • Marlena October 26th, 2012 12:49 AM

      Yes, of course! That’s just what I did before I discovered using resin.

  • Choco October 25th, 2012 7:15 PM

    Where do I buy bar pins?
    Great D.I.Y btw

  • ambrosia October 25th, 2012 7:26 PM

    CAAYOOOOOOOTTT
    I need to make one asap

  • larvaa_ October 25th, 2012 7:31 PM

    sweetttt I’m might try this with my rookie stickers since i have no particular place for them atm, YAYYY thank you Marlena! <3

    • Mimi7 October 25th, 2012 9:17 PM

      Good idea!

    • DreamBoat October 26th, 2012 4:20 PM

      AHHH I LOVE YOU I WILL DEFINITELY BE DOING THAT!

  • Microbyte1 October 25th, 2012 7:35 PM

    omg, thank you !

  • pinmq October 25th, 2012 7:36 PM

    awesome!

  • Adrienne October 25th, 2012 7:47 PM

    AHHHHH I was actually looking at Marlena’s blog just last night and saw this, and thought to myself “This is brilliant. Why wasn’t this on Rookie??!” Holy jesus I’m psychic.

    http://theaverageasiangirl.blogspot.com

  • FloralFeminist October 25th, 2012 7:50 PM

    these are fantastic!!but where do you find those rad pictures?

    • J. October 26th, 2012 5:21 AM

      exactly, where do those pictures come from? the one with the loser girl is totally awesome and I want to make a badge with it!

      • Pashupati October 26th, 2012 1:43 PM

        This one is part of a set of stickers coming with the Rookie book and was from an early Rookie photoshoot. I don’t know for the background pictures, though.

        • J. October 27th, 2012 4:41 PM

          thx! and the background comes from Marlena’s blog (:

  • Eryn October 25th, 2012 7:53 PM

    THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  • Dylan October 25th, 2012 8:03 PM

    Having a hernia over here I want to make 6,000 of these

  • psychedelia_delia October 25th, 2012 8:20 PM

    DAT GLITTER BOMB-ESSPLOSION PIN!! total beauty. i am very grateful for this tutorial.

  • DrewNotBarrymore October 25th, 2012 8:21 PM

    Marlena, these are gorgeous! <3
    Where did you find the fantastic swirly-cloud, cotton-candy background? Is it online? :)

    • Blythe January 7th, 2013 8:19 PM

      Judging from how some of the edges look, I think it’s fabric.

  • TessaTheTeenageWitch October 25th, 2012 8:35 PM

    dead.

  • victoria October 25th, 2012 8:38 PM

    omg sooooo cooooool

  • raggedyanarchy October 25th, 2012 9:06 PM

    WELL I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND. In love with these! So cute!

  • kellymarie246 October 25th, 2012 9:41 PM

    I think I’ll have to make one for every image I’ve ever seen anywhere in my entire life. So excited!!!

    voicemob.wordpress.com

  • Kathryn October 25th, 2012 9:46 PM

    Amazing! I love your DIYS, Marlena!

  • modaveloce October 25th, 2012 11:06 PM

    A trick to get any stubborn bubbles out is to breathe on the resin while it’s still wet. Just grab a straw and blow gently on the surface and the carbon dioxide will cause the bubbles to pop.

  • ValeCrts October 25th, 2012 11:14 PM

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS!!!!

  • DreamBoat October 25th, 2012 11:48 PM

    As soon as I get off my butt and buy some Modge Podge, this WILL be my next project.
    GOD MARLENA YOU ARE A GODDESS AND I LOVE YOU <3

    http://psychedelicdaisy.blogspot.com/

    • raggedyanarchy October 26th, 2012 2:05 PM

      I don’t know about these pins, but you can usually use clear nail polish in place of Modge Podge. Saved my butt a bunch of times on school projects due the next day with no time for a craft-store run.

      • DreamBoat October 26th, 2012 4:21 PM

        Oh jesus, thank you! Modge Podge is rad, but waaaay more expensive than nail polish.
        Thanks, YOU RADICAL GENIUS! <3

  • zhajean October 26th, 2012 12:45 AM

    i wanna try this!

    czarina♥

  • Mary the freak October 26th, 2012 1:40 AM

    Aaaah I already made a few ones when I saw them on your blog, and I LOVE THEM. I made some with my best buddy and it was awesome. I customized my jacket with them, and they can be worn to everything!
    I made a Tavi Gevinson badge, a spock pin (it totally looks,like a star fleet pin! (: ) and a shiva one. they turned out really nice, and I’ll make some more this weekend!

    Love your DIYS, Marlena.

    http://birdiewearsatie.blogspot.com/

  • LilySew October 26th, 2012 2:25 AM

    Loove this DIY – so simple and it’s really easy to tailor to your own interests. I might make a floral design one, or even one from a few scraps of fabric. :D

    http://rebeccaandlillian.blogspot.com.au/

  • Tulip October 26th, 2012 3:08 AM

    Cute, they look great.

    http://tulip-agate.blogspot.com/

  • rockslita October 26th, 2012 5:02 AM

    Wow, this is absolutely cool! I am going to try it myself. Thank you!

  • wallflower152 October 26th, 2012 10:43 AM

    Sweet. Will have to try this someday. To those who are asking where the galaxy paper came from try thrifting some National Geographic mags. They have space articles sometimes. : )

  • Pearl October 26th, 2012 12:43 PM

    Oh Marlena! I always look forward to your DIY posts on Rookie. So innovative & extremely easy to make. I think if you glue a plain ring instead of a pin you could wear it as a finger ring! Also, hair clips, bow ties, random adornments. The list is endless!
    http://www.pforpearl.blogspot.com

  • the.earth.laughs.in.flowers October 26th, 2012 5:54 PM

    Ok, it’s settled. This is what I’m going to spend my entire weekend doing.
    p.s. a freaks and geeks badge would be super cool.
    http://amorphousthoughts.tumblr.com/

  • maddjello October 26th, 2012 8:04 PM

    Oh my gosh!! This is such a great idea! LOVE LOVE LOVE

  • laris October 29th, 2012 7:39 PM

    THE DIY I’VE BEEN LOOK FOR ALL MY LIFE

    ♥ ty ♥

  • alyssalyssa November 2nd, 2012 10:18 AM

    Seriously Marlena are you a psychic or something? Cause here i am with these brand new backpack, and it looked really plain so it got me thinking ‘hmm what should I do so that this bag won’t look so boring — *opensrookieforinspiration* and then BAM YOUR PERFECT DIY IDEA

  • JayZ November 8th, 2012 6:06 PM

    greatest DIY ever ever ever

  • Marga December 8th, 2012 8:50 PM

    Holy crap. I love Rookie. Now I know how to spend my winter break!!! cool.

  • Marga December 9th, 2012 4:22 AM

    Raaaaadical. Made a neat-lookin’ Nick Andopolis badge, and another one with Frenchy on it:

    http://garfunkitty.tumblr.com/post/37544217940

  • Cutesycreator aka Monica December 28th, 2012 7:30 AM

    This is so awesome. I totally have to do this asap! :D

  • Chelsea Howell April 29th, 2013 4:55 PM

    First of all, I LOVE THIS TUTORIAL! For the glittery-bomb one, did you just paint some mod podge on the pin and then sprinkle with glitter? I’m guessing multiple layers were also done if this was how it was done? Thanks!!