You’ve Got Merit, Yes You Do!

I met one of my best friends, T., in the fourth grade. She lives in the Midwest and I live in New York City. We are strong believers in the wisdom from the sunscreen song: “Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.”

Our lives are very different now. Our geography (small town verses big city) is certainly different. But one thing that has always been the same: I think she is amazing. Capital A.

So two weeks ago, T. sent me the kind of email you only send your very best friend. The kind where you feel a bit beaten up by the world and you start to wonder if everyone else has life figured out better than you do. I mean, who hasn’t been there? So I did what best friends do (and what she has certainly done for me on occasion), I wrote her an email back where I listed everything awesome about her. If I could have, I would have given her a merit badge in every category I thought up.

Which got me wondering whether or not you can purchase merit badges. After a quick scan on ebay, I realized you can. In fact, you can order all sorts of boy scout and girl scout badges. I was most taken by badges from the 1950’s to 1970’s. And as I posted on instagram a couple of weeks ago, I had a craft project in mind with the lot I ordered:


I decided I would award my friends merit badges for being amazing.

I went to Michael’s and I bought frames and scrapbook paper that looked like a combination of burlap and linen.

frames and paper watermark

I opened the frames and traced the paper insert to know what size to cut my scrapbook paper.

tracing badges

I placed the badge down on the glass, covered it with the paper, and put the cover back on. Easy peasy. Just the way I like my crafts.

I intended to make up meanings for all the badges. But curiosity got the best of me. And I learned that this red cardinal badge was a troop badge. It meant you belonged. And then each girl scout troop would instill their own meaning onto the badge. T., this one is for you! Only amazing people join my flock. Plus, it’s red. Like the red rose on the bachelor. So I pick you as the most awesome one. Welcome to the flock of awesome!

tara badge copy

This is for J. She’s a writer. I imagine her new story has taken flight. And the other badge symbolizes a collection of her books on my shelf.

jen badge final copy

This one is for K. Two girls laughing and playing? That’s us! The hair color is even right! We always talk about wanting to run a 5k together. Now we have to. We have to win the badge I’ve awarded you.

kim badge final copy

And this is for E. He is the king of conservation, which is the real award for the top badge. And he’s the type of guy who always carries the flashlight in the dark. Plus, we go camping together every year.

eric badge final copy

This is for Z. He’s actually the safest person I know. We used to lifeguard together and even made a rescue or two together.

zach-badge-final. copy

And last, but not least: my sister, who always wanted her very own pony. I just got you one. His name is Tennessee. And just to get a sense of how it looks styled at home:


Pretty great, right? I have a lot of badges left, so I am dreaming up even more projects.

And you? What merit badges are you awarding your friends? Were you a boy scout or girl scout? I was! I was both a brownie and a girl scout.

Until next time!



  1. What a great idea! Your friends are lucky to have you :-)

    • Hi Rachael,

      Thanks so much!! I’ve been excited to make these ever since I placed the order on eBay!


  2. This sooo creative! I love it. Thanks for sharing.


  3. Seriously, seriously in love with this! I know what my BFF is getting for his bday this year!

  4. Hi Stacey, I love these and the fact that it’s a quick and easy craft. Very unique idea. My daughter has some brownie/girl scout badges which I never put on her vest. I’m excited to see what other projects you have in store. I never made it past brownies, but I’m pretty sure I have some old badges sitting in a keepsake box.


    • Hi Dawn,

      You should absolutely do something with your old badges! Maybe sew them onto a pillow or something so you can talk about what you earned?

      I was really taken with how hard people must have worked to earn the badges as I was looking at the lot I ordered. They were really beautifully embroidered.


  5. Hi Stacey! I’m stopping by via BYW. This is was such a thoughtful idea. I think I’ll give it a try myself. Sometimes people just need to be told how amazing they are (as we do too!)
    Greetings from Brazil,

    • Hi Rosa,

      Thanks so much for checking out Likes to Smile!

      I agree- it’s nice to compliment our friends!


  6. Really sweet – you are a great friend!

  7. What a fun idea. They look great! I was a brownie and remember having a bee on my little brown sash, but I’m not sure if it was a real merit badge or something my mom just ironed on for me. :)

  8. Stacey!
    What a great idea!!!! I was browsing your website after finding it on BYW and I enjoyed your blog posts and writing style so much, I ended up reading more than I had planned!! I’m awarding you the blogging badge!

    • Hi Kim!

      Oh my goodness! This is just THE nicest compliment to find this morning. Thank you so much for reading Likes to Smile. It means so much to me! And thank you for the blogging badge, too. Now I have to dream up what that looks like. What do you think?


  9. I am so in love with this idea!! I think you’re adorable and your personality really shines through in your blog posts! I’m from BYW and will subscribe to you!
    -Leslie from

    • Hi Leslie!

      Wow, this is just the nicest compliment!! Thank you so much for subscribing!!

      Heading over to check out your site now!



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