' Make some merit badges for fall!

Tutorial and template for fall inspired handstitched merit badges.

Hello everyone!

Let´s stitch some merit badges especially for fall! Can you remember - when you were little - how much fun and joy it was to receive a merit badge when you finished a task or did something really well? How proud you have been to show these these badges off? How you kept looking at them all the time because you were so very happy of having them pinned on? I do remember those times - so I thought it would be a lot of fun to give some to Jamie on one of our autumn walks through the woods! I can tell you, it was a huge hit with her! One look into her little face was worth every single second it took me to stitch them! So get your embroidery needle, gather you supplies and start stitching up these cuties for your loved ones! We have a template for two different badges. One is the "I love chestnuts" one, the other one is for little "tree huggers"!


embroidery floss
embroidery needle
scraps of fabric and felt
scraps of iron-on interfacing
safety pins

get your template here!

First transfer the image you want to embroider onto your fabric. I usually just hold it against a window and trace it, easy as pie! Then iron some interfacing onto the back of the fabric where you just traced your pattern! This will make embroidering so much more comfortable plus you won´t need a hoop to put your fabric in as the interfacing will make it sturdy enough to do nice and neat embroidery stitches! (this is very smart especially if you  - like myself - don´t have an embroidery hoop tiny enough to stick those scraps in, so I had to find another way on how to simplify my "embroider-on-teeny-tiny-scraps" life!)
Now stitch up your image! If you are making the chestnut, here is how I did the heart. 

Bring your thread through from the back to the front. This is where the bottom point of the heart will be. Now form a loop with your thread and push the needle through to the back, right next to where you just brought it to the front. Make sure you don´t pull the thread all the way through as we want to have that loop on the front to create one of the two halves of the little heart. Bring your needle back out to the front at the top point of the loop, stitching through within the loop and then push the needle back to the back catching the top of the loop. This way you will anchor the loop and it will stay exactly where you want it. 

Tadaa, this is the first half of your heart created!

Repeat these steps for the second half of the heart!

I used a simple backstitch for the chestnut outlines and a satin stitch for filling the chestnut tops.To fancy up the chestnuts I highlighted their round tops with a contrasting thread by doing the following. Bring the needle to the front right below the center of the first stitch. Then push your needle under the second stitch from the top to the bottom. Now bring the needle under the third stitch, but this time go from the bottom to the top. Go on working the needle through your stitches in this manner and go all the way around that little chestnut top. 

Once you have completed your embroidery you need to cut a circle of felt in the same size as the embroidered badge front. 

Lay the front onto the felt circle and start to work the edge by whipstitching around it.

Attach your safety pin to the back of the badge and you´re done! You can either just push the pin through or you can secure it with a few stitches. 

The tree hugger badge is worked in the same way, but only uses backstitch all the way along.

Now have fun rewarding your little ones with their very own merit badges and see you on Wednesday!

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