I attend alot of tradeshows. At the end of the week, I am attending Surf Expo in Orlando, Florida. There will be apparel, accessories and footwear exhibitors in outdoor categories like resort, surf, swim and skate. My company will be exhibiting for the first time and I am really looking forward to it.
Tradeshows always give their attendees ugly, plastic, generic badge holders…So I thought it would be fun to make one to wear. Here is my easy DIY and how to make a whimiscal and colorful badge holder.
I was inspired by the outdoors and nature, so I incorporated different greens and floral themes into the holder.
The materials you will need:
- Fabric scraps – at least 3 colors
- A small piece of vinyl
- Fusible Interfacing – Pellon SF101 Shape-Flex always works great. This gives light weight cotton just enough structure
- Binding – store bought or home-made
- Sewing supplies – thread, pins, measureing tape, scissors, sewing machine
- Rotary cutter and cutting mat
- Drafting supplies – pens, tracing paper, ruler
- Iron and ironing board
- Wonder Tape – optional
I had an old and super ugly badge holder from a previous tradeshow and used it for inspiration. I knew what I was looking to make, so I sat down and drafted the pattern pieces. If you chose to make one for yourself, envision a very large business card holder with a clear vinyl front to hold your name badge. On the back, you can make slots to hold tradeshow essentials – business cards, pen, lipgloss and money/credit cards.
Before we get started, here are a few things to consider..
- Sewing with vinyl can be tricky. For the last steps and sewing the binding down, hold onto the thread tails and and gently guide/push the holder trhough. Having enough thread to hold onto has really worked well for me
- Sewing the binding onto the vinyl wasn’t easy!! I googled how to sew binding and found tutorials on how to sew binding without “cursing”!! I second guessed myself here.. until I placed small pieces of wonder tape under the binding to hold it to the vinyl. Hello. Easy.
Alright, let’s get started..
- You will be working with fabric scraps, so make sure to have large enough pieces for the main and back piece. The front piece is placed on the fold. Fuse both the main and back piece and then cut everything out. Make sure to cut a long piece of fabric for your straps [ approx 40″ L]
- Lay everything out to give an idea of how you will stack them togther.
- Turn down edges and and iron. This will clean finish the edges. While you are ironing, develop your strap. Check out here for my easy strap making tutorial
- Assemble the front. Place pieces onto vinyl and sew down. Remember to have long thread tails to hold onto.. vinyl will be much easier to work with
- Assemble the back. If you made slots, mark for pen pocket. Pin in place. Place into your sewing machine and topstitch down. At this, it is also a good idea to edgesitch around the back. This will hold the pocket down and help later when sewing on the binding..
- Strap placement. Cut a piece of the strap, so you can insert the straps under and have them the ends covered
- Pin each strap down. Place into your sewing machine and edgestitch top and bottom
- Cut binding to size. Pin down in place. Roll the top edge to clean finish. Place into your sewing machine and stitch around the outside edge. As noted above, the perfect trick – cut and adhere small pieces of wonder tape. Note: At the time of taking my pictures, I couldn’t decide on the binding color..Hence the 2 sets of binding. I sat with it for a few hours and decided on the lighter lime green.
I used 3 different fabrics for my holder. The straps are made from Amy Butler and the main piece was made from Carolyn Friedlander. I love love LOVE these fabric designers!!
Well, that’s it for today. Happy sewing.
Hey! I love this. I wish I could sew. I’ve tried learning several times-I just don’t have the patience for it. Or, I’m not that good. ha! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment 🙂
rob jackson says
AWESOME and cute at the same time. i do alot of trade shows and have lots of helpers and ideas like this catch peoples [ clients / buyers] eyes. you tend to remember the seller / booth holders name and it increases sales while giving a notch above in presence.
well done….i will take 50 !!!!
great project! I like the drawings too.
This is great. My brother attends the Comic Con shows and is an exhibitor.. This would be great to make for him, but it a comic/yet manly colored way! Great tutorial. Pretty easy to follow