Badge Holder Tutorial

Because people liked mine 😀

This year QuiltCon was held in Nashville, TN.  As our local guild was super excited, we decided to all make badge holders for our ID.  I mean yes, you get a free one when you check in at QuiltCon, but we just wanted to be a little extra.  Because why not!

Great example by Katie Haas, using those super cute little Lizzie House ghosts. ❤

Our guild decided to use this method by Beck and Lundy which is a perfectly fine pattern, but personally, I’m kind of over zippers.  I can sew a zipper just fine, but if I don’t have to, I’m not going to.

I also wanted something that I didn’t have to put my actual wallet into, could just flip up kind of like a police badge (who am I, the quilt police?  Maybe in my mind when I’m white-gloving lol), and would have a pocket for stuff (like my little notebook, keys, pen and buttons!)  I also wanted a space on it to display any buttons and pins I gathered during my time there, because I knew that there would be buttons and pins to be had!

Here’s how my badge ended up looking!

So here’s the materials I used for my badge* outside of standard sewing tools:

  • 2 – coordinating fabrics, roughly 27″ x 7″
  • 1 – extra coordinating fabric measuring at least 6.5″ x 6″
  • 1 – scrap foam interfacing measuring at least 3″ x 6″ (I had a scrap of fusible foam from an old bag, doubling up batting or thick felt would be perfectly fine here)
  • 1 – vinyl cut to 5.5″ x 7″
  • bias binding/ scrap binding measuring at least 60″ (If you’ve got 2 yards you’ll fine!)
  • scrap batting measuring at least 24″ x 6″ (This is a PERFECT use of those pieces of batting you trim off the sides of a quilt!
  • coordinating threads
  • small scraps for patching and loop
  • Basting spray (unless you want to use pins…but it’s so small, don’t do that to yourself, just spray baste it!)

*This is only for the badge, this does not include a lanyard!  You’re on your own there! 😀 

  1. The first step is to make your outer side.  I used basting spray to put my outside fabric on the batting scrap, then I quilted as desired.  I just did straight lines about a half inch apart, and I almost wish I’d used wider lines, but I didn’t so whatever.  Don’t trim off your batting quite yet.
  2. Secondly, you’ll add your vinyl pocket.  You could add a piece of binding to one edge, but I didn’t.  It’s up to you!  Take your vinyl piece and stitch it to one end of your quilted outside piece.  If your fabric is directional, put this on the bottom end.  My fabric was scattered, so it didn’t matter.
  3. Next you’ll make your card pocket.  Take your fabric measuring 6.5″ x 6″ and fold it in half on the 6″ side, so it now measures 3″ x 6.5″, right sides together.  Sew a quarter inch seam down the 3 inch side, clip the corner (NOT THE THREAD) and flip it right side out.  Now get your foam/ smaller batting scrap and put it in between, making it the meat of a little sandwich.  Top stitch the folded edges.
  4. Take your card pocket piece and put it on the top right corner of your inside fabric piece on the short end, raw edges together.  Stitch along the finished folded edge, along the unfinished longer edge, and the top unfinished edge using an eighth inch seam.  Using a couple cards from your wallet, mark off 3 pockets.  You’ll sew over this, so either use a barely visible pencil or even a Frixion pen.  I easily got 3 cards slots, but you can make them work best for you.  Sew along your card marking lines.  Make sure you like how your cards fit in there and adjust them if you need to do so.
  5. Take both longer pieces of fabric and place them together so that the vinyl end and the card pocket ends are together.  Use a basting stitch to sew these together as one long strip***.  You could also use a little basting spray in there if you’d like.  Just do what works easiest for you!  Now it’s okay to trim off your batting!
  6. Use some of your binding and bind off the end of your fabric opposite of the vinyl pocket.  This will be the top of your inside pocket.  ***If you don’t want to use binding here, sew this edge right sides together before baste stitching the ends together, then flip it.***  You can bind this by hand or using the machine, again, you just do what works best for you! 😀
  7. Take your basted fabric and fold it into thirds, with the bound edge on the inside.  Use a couple of binding clips or pins (again, your choice!) and make sure this folds over properly.  You want to be able to get into the pocket once the top flap is opened, and you want to make sure the vinyl is flat on the top flap when it’s closed.  Once your flaps are lined up best, baste stitch your inside pocket down along the raw edges.
  8. Bind your edges from the bottom of the inside pocket, around to the vinyl pocket, and back to the other pocket side.  If it is easier, feel free to just bind all the way around.  I took the binding at the very end, flipped it in on itself so there would not be a raw edge, and stitched it on like that.  Make sure that you are catching all the raw edges from the card pocket and vinyl!
  9. *If you are adding hardware for a lanyard, make sure you put it in the loop before sewing it down!*    Make a small loop using a little left over binding, and using a few zigzag stitches, attach it on the back side of your badge holder, about half an inch down from the folding line.  Using a small piece of fabric, applique this over the stitched down edge to your desire.  This is more about covering the ugly ends than securing it to the badge holder itself, so you can applique this however you feel comfortable.  I used some basting spray and zigzag stitched around the edges, making sure not to accidentally stitch closed any pockets on the inside.
  10. Then you’re finished!  Attach a lanyard and you’re good to go!  Here are some other alternatives:
    1. Instead of binding, do a “stitch and flip” and in that case, just make sure you’ll catch your vinyl piece, and make sure you’re card pockets are still going to be wide enough.
    2. Use some small quilt blocks to make your outside piece!  Or even some quilt as you go pieces! 😀  How cool would this look as a bunch of flying geese!  OMG a rainbow of flying geese badge holder, this sounds incredible! *whisper screaming*
    3. Put pockets in different places that work best for you!  This layout just worked best for me, but maybe it’s not for you.  If you’re worried your cards may slip out, put them in a direction they’ll always be going down into a slot!  Maybe you want to have more pin and button display space, put your vinyl pocket on the inside and have your front side be for pins and things!
    4. Make a double pocket *gasp* just make the vinyl edge longer, and flip it the same way you did the other pocket end.  Just be aware of how heavy this thing could get it you start loading it down!

If you decide to use this method to make your own badge, please please please share it on social media and tag it with #trashquiltbadge 😉 Remember, trash quilter isn’t bad!  It’s just following along using patterns, and there’s nothing wrong with that at all! 😀 As my friend Jen Gott said, it’s a trash-CAN not a trash-CAN’T!

Until next time, happy sewing!

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