Scouting Style

Upcycling Badges |

Remember when I told you about my Great-Grandmother’s sewing machine?  I mentioned that occasionally I like to look through the drawers, take a little walk down memory lane and then put everything back for another time.

True confession… this time I didn’t put everything back.

Merit Badges |

Instead I gathered up my brother’s patches and got all crafty with them.  I did however clear it with Mom first, so I still rank as her favorite.  So here’s what I’ve been up to…

As far as sister-in-laws go, I completely scored.  My brother’s wife, Gina, is sweet and funny and has the patience of a saint.  She married my brother after all and she adores him like no other.  Like she gets him at a core level and that is a gift in any marriage.  The fact that my brother gets to have that in a spouse (and he gets her back) is really cool.  That my nieces and nephews get to grow-up seeing a true example of a healthy, Godly marriage is priceless.  If it’s not obvious… I think she rocks!

For her birthday, I wanted to do something special and one of a kind.  I started by picking up this messenger bag at a local craft store.  Gina is a busy momma to 6 young ones.  I wanted to get something that she could easily throw over her shoulder and head out the door with hands free for her kiddos.

Blank Messenger Bag | Storypiece.netAfter washing and pressing it, I rounded up all of the patches from my brother’s childhood and I began laying them out on the flap.

Patch Placement |

Once I had a design down, I pinned the patches into place and began machine stitching them on.

Machine Sew Patches | Storypiece.netHulk Patch | Storypiece.netI love that these badges are getting to be enjoyed all over again by a new generation.

Custom Designed Bag |

Custom Messenger Bag |

And bonus points for all the teasing my brother got from his kids over his cute soccer picture.

Cute Soccer Pin |

The bag was then the perfect spot to stash a few extra birthday goodies for Gina to enjoy.

Did you earn patches through childhood sports or scouts?  What has become of all those awards?  How do you go about coming up with unique gifts for family and friends?


  1. Chelsea says:

    I love this bag Danielle! It’s so adorable! Rogan (my little guy) was really impressed with the hulk patch. He’s going to be the hulk for Halloween even 🙂
    Love your projects!

  2. Stacey says:

    Love the little bag and the patches just make it even more AWESOME!
    This was such a great idea, Danielle. A really special gift full of memories. You always put such great thought into your gifts. I know she LOVES it!
    How can you go wrong with THE HULK! I’m “green” with envy. 🙂

    • Danielle says:

      The Hulk patch is seriously the best! I’m hoping to do something for myself with all of my old patches, but I don’t have anything nearly as cool. 🙂

    • Danielle says:

      I’m hoping that it’s one of those things that the more you use it and the more weathered it looks, the cooler it gets. I think I’m going to have to do one of my own to test out the theory.

  3. Gina Paul says:

    Thanks Danielle so much for the bag and everything you bring to our family. We are all so blessed to have you. I love the bag and the sweet idea behind it as well as your thoughtfulness toward me.
    I do have a question though, what exactly is a “tenderfoot” badge and how did your brother earn it? I am thinking there is a story here that I need to hear.

    • Danielle says:

      Ha! That’s an excellent question. I’m actually not sure what he did to earn the badge, but with a group of 11 and 12 year old boys, I can’t imagine there was anything tender about it. So glad you liked the bag! I’m looking forward to making one with my own badges.

  4. Pam says:

    You out did yourself on this one.That was genius! What a great , personalized gift. I plan to keep this crafty idea in mind for both kids and possibly my brothers too. You rock girl!

    • Danielle says:

      Thanks, Pam! That is a huge compliment coming from someone who does such beautiful work. It was truly fun to bring the badges out of storage and have them enjoyed all over again.

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