DIY Embroidered Merit Badges

Back in June, Allyssa and I created a list of 10 summer musts and published five on my blog and five on her blog. Allyssa requested a DIY Must and I selected these merit badges.

Ta-da! I made them! And I short-cutted a few steps to make them even more easy peasy! You know how I do my crafts.

DIY Embroidered Merit Badges // Likes to Smile

My favorite part of DIYing my very own merit badges was creating the badge categories. Know someone handy? They deserve a hammer! You’ve heard of a five-star general?! Now, meet the five-star friend. Last but not least, the squishy badge. I have an inside joke over the word squishy. The story is that I have a habit of squishing names together when I am excited to first see someone (like when you meet a friend outside a restaurant and just walk up). I’ll say “Hi StaceyBeth” or “Hi LikesToSmile” as if it was one word meant to come out in one big burst of excitement. I flubbed the “h” a bit, but that’s a-ok. Just be sure to be very expansive in your cursive and not “squishy” if you make these at home.

I plan to wrap them up and gift them as presents for safe keeping in memory boxes. A memory box is where every good inside joke belongs.

Felt (similar here)
Sharpie Marker
Embroidery Hoop
Embroidery Floss
Embroidery Needles
Tacky Glue

STEP ONE: I like the very (VERY!) homemade look, which was great because it meant I didn’t need a pattern! I had an idea in my head, grabbed a sharpie marker, outlined a plastic cup (to get a circle) and then sketched my idea right onto the felt. I put that baby right into the hoop and got to stitching. {I forgot to photograph until after I had begun the first two stiches, whoops!}

Update: the turquoise felt was just lying under the hoop when I put it down to snap the photo, only the navy felt was in the hoop.

DIY Embroidered Merit Badges // Likes to Smile

STEP TWO: I used the split stitch for the stars and the back stitch for the word “Friend.”

DIY Embroidered Merit Badges // Likes to Smile

STEP TWO AND A HALF (no photo): I sketched and stitched two more merit badges onto the turquoise fabric, too.

STEP THREE: Progress! All three are halfway there! Oo! Oo!

For the word “squishy,” I used the back-stitch (again). For the hammer, I used the back stitch to outline the hammer head and handle. I filled in the hammer handle using what I’m calling the “filler stitch” (no idea what it’s really called).

DIY Embroidered Merit Badges // Likes to Smile

STEP FOUR: Next, I put some tacky glue on the back on the badge and folded the felt over onto itself, so that I could cover up the stitches and have a nice backing all in one step.

DIY Embroidered Merit Badges // Likes to Smile

STEP FIVE: Cut out the circles! See how nicely the folded backing covered those stitches? Easy peasy! Here’s the front view of 2 and the back view of 1 to see what I’m talking about:

DIY Embroidered Merit Badges // Likes to Smile

STEP SIX: Just like in the original directions, I used the blanket stitch the put a border on the merit badges.

DIY Embroidered Merit Badges // Likes to Smile

And there you have it! Finished and ready to gift! Woo to the hoo!

And you? What have you been crafting lately? What merit badge categories would you create?

Until next time!



  1. cute! I think you are officially obsessed with embroidery thread :)

    • Hi Kelly!

      You caught me!! I am officially obsessed with embroidery thread :) I really want to take some embroidery classes to learn how to be better. I’m having a blast! Hope you had a great weekend.


  2. Welcome back!

  3. Stacey
    I love these! What a great idea. Another project you have inspired me to make. Just the other day I was finally at a store that sells Washi Tape. I still want to make the postcard book. You could even make these bigger and maybe make a coster. I have not commented in a while but I love reading your blog and your updates on Twitter. Have a good one.

    • Hi Kira!

      Thank you so much! They were SO fun to make!! And I think you are onto something — I think these would make excellent coasters. Maybe I’ll have to do a round 2!

      And thank you so much for loving my blog and twitter feed! It so warms my heart to hear that!

      And please share photos of your washi tape postcard book once you make it — I would love to see!


  4. Wow, these are really cool! You did a great job!

    • Hi Allyssa,

      Thanks so much!!! I was so excited to do one of our summer musts!


  5. These are too cute! Perfect for a jean jacket or vest!

    • Hi Eileen!

      Oh my goodness…YES! I did not even think of attaching them to fabric. Did you use to put patches on your book bags, too? Could be great there as well!


  6. I think you deserve the Made Me Smile merit badge!!

    • Hi Laura Beth!

      That is just the nicest compliment!! Thank you so much! You just made my morning!