Saturday, July 10, 2010

Girl Scouts Are Good for More Than Just Cookies

I have been a Girl Scout for a long time. I mean a loooong time. When I was a kid, I spent many fond hours in church basements at meetings reciting the Girl Scout promise, singing songs and learning new skills. I can build a fire faster than most of my male friends, maneuver a swamped canoe, and make intricately knotted keychains from plastic gimp. I even spent two summers as a counselor at a local Girl Scout camp. In fact, most of my craftiness has its roots in Girl Scouting. Between all the Christmas crafts and projects, the smell of a hot glue gun still reminds me of Girl Scout meetings. So when I ran across a stash of GS badges and patches my mom had squirreled away from her days as a troop leader, I was instantly inspired.

In her basement, I found tons of these old project badges and patches commemorating various trips and achievements. I knew they would be perfect for kitschy and retro projects. My friends Katie and Stephanie Frost were the guinea pigs for the first of said projects. I made a brooches and hair clips for them using a couple badges and scraps of felt and fabric. I researched the meaning of the badges so I could choose one that would suit each girl's personality, and here's what we ended up with.

Stephanie's hair clip (on the left) is made from the "Your Outdoor Surroundings" badge. She is an outdoorsy girl who enjoys kayaking and weather, so I loved using this one for her. It's made with yellow and blue felt layered on top of some crazy Day-Glo fabric I bought at a yard sale months ago. I zigzagged around the edges with bright thread, and added a metal clippie to the back. Besides being nature-y, Stephanie likes bright, wild colors and different accessories, and this was perfect for her.

Katie's brooch (on the right) is made from the "Model Citizen" badge. Katie is one of my best friends, and although she has a couple tattoos and a nose ring, she is a precious and wonderful person and she makes a difference in the lives of her students. I used gray, red, and aqua as the color scheme, and added polka dot fabric which I love. I made hers into a brooch that she can pin to a coat, purse, or bobby pin to her hair.

This was one of the most fun projects I've undertaken in a while! I loved being able to create an accessory with a certain girl in mind and incorporate details I know she'd love. I've started on three more Girl Scout badge pins that I'll be adding to our Etsy shop very soon, and I'm giving you a sneak peek today!