english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England

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Homemade Floral (and Other!) Brooch Selection

Over Christmas I designed and made a selection of brooches, many of which were designed as presents for family and friends. Pictures of some of the brooches are included below. Quite a few of the brooches were on a floral or natural theme (flowers, leaves), but I also  created some other badges too, including a little Olympic Trip camera and umbrella ghost. These are also available from my Etsy shop. Each badge is a printed Shrinky Dink which has been embossed to achieve a nice glossy finish and make the brooch waterproof.

Handmade Cosmos Plastic Brooch
Umbrella Ghost Handmade Plastic Brooch
Handmade Plastic Olympus Trip Retro Camera Brooch
Handmade Narcissus Plastic Brooch
Handmade Maple Leaf Brooch



Geeky Cartoon Brooches

I’m a bit obsessed with shrinky dinks at the moment, so I made a few plastic badges as presents this Christmas.

Phil received two badges amongst his presents, although they were a bit late as I hadn’t gotten around to affixing the badge backs! His badges feature characters from our two favourite cartoons at the moment, Regular Show & Adventure Time.

Handmade Rigby Regular Show Brooch
Handmade Jake Adventure Time Brooch

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Handmade Leaf Brooches

Handmade Plastic Leaf Brooch

I’ve been developing a number of designs for shrink-plastic badges recently.

Pictured are a number of leaf badges I created this weekend. The designs were printed on inkjet-friendly shrink plastic and then embossed to achieve a glossy effect and ensure the badges were waterproof.

The leaves these are based on were collected during a cycle around a local park.

Handmade Plastic Leaf Brooch
Handmade Plastic Leaf Brooches
Handmade Plastic Leaf Brooch

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Shrinky Dink Brooches

I’ve been playing around with shrink plastic over the last couple of weeks while working on a few designs for badges and magnets.

Two of my initial designs are printed below. These were printed using Shrinky Dink Inkjet, after an initial unsuccessful attempt using the (not inkjet friendly) Shrinkles paper available in the UK.

The first is a still from the Hong Kong film Rouge, and features the actress Anita Mui.

Handmade brooch featuring actress Anita Mui from the film Rouge

The second features a Japanese Kasa Obake or umbrella ghost. My drawing is based on a toy my friend Emma bought back from a trip to Japan a few years ago, which is pictured below my badge.

Kasa Obake Umbrella Ghost Brooch

Japanese Umbrella Ghost

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Customised button badge felt brooches

Last year, me and Phil visited Tallinn in Estonia. While there I bought a selection of retro button badges with the intention of doing something with them.

Making button badge brooches

This week I finally got around to it, creating some felt brooches with the vintage button badges at the centre. I’ll be selling these at the charity craft fair me and colleagues are currently organising for August.

Making button badge brooches

These were really easy to make. If your interested in giving it a try instructions are provided below:

1. Cut seven felt circles a bit larger than the button badge and the size you want to brooch to be. I used two colours of felt for my brooches – with 4 felt circles in the colour that was also used to back the brooch & 2 circles in a contrasting colour.

Making button badge brooches

2. Select one of your felt circles as the base of the brooch and sew four of the circles to the front of this to form the four quadrants or quarters of the circular brooch. To do this you’ll need to fold the circles being attached in half and then half again. I attached these to the front of the brooch with a few stitches but you could also use glue.

Making button badge brooches
Making button badge brooches

3. In order to make your brooch sturdy cut a circle of cardboard slightly smaller than your felt circles, so that it won’t be visible once the brooch is assembled, and glue this to the reverse of your brooch.

4. Sew a badge back accessory to the remaining sixth felt circle and glue this on top of the cardboard circle you have just attached. I tided the edge of the two back pieces and ensured the cardboard wouldn’t be visible by sewing around the edge of the two back pieces with blanket stitch.

Making button badge brooches

Making button badge brooches

5. Finally attach your button badge to the front of the brooch. You could just pin it on or, for extra stability, attach with glue.

Making button badge brooches