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Needlepoint a Name Badge You’ll Be Proud to Wear
Needlepoint a name badge that you can use over and over again with this free colorful pattern. The 5.5-inch by 3.25-inch needlepoint badge is ideal for wearing at conferences, seminars and other special events that require you to display your name.
You don’t have to worry about pins that damage silk and fine fabrics, or clips that pinch and crease. Simply stitch the project and finish it into a hanging badge that can be worn with any outfit in your wardrobe.
Start stitching now to be ready for the next event, and try out your favorite needlepoint stitches to create a stunning name badge in your favorite colors or those of your group or company. The original design was stitched with a coral, turquoise and harvest gold southwestern color palette; but any colors you choose will be perfect.
You can make it as conservative or trendy as you choose by selecting different threads and fibers or adding beads, trimmings and other embellishments. And, since the project works up quickly, you can surprise a co-worker with a personalized needlepoint name badge as well!
The center of the pattern is reserved for your name or initials to personalize the badge to your taste using a basic needlepoint alphabet. Depending on how large you choose to make it, you can even add a small logo or slogan for extra customization.
The border of this design has a repeat pattern of a simple diamond Bargello design. You can work it with fine yarn for a lacy effect, or with metallic braid for more texture.
If you want to create an open-weave effect, use needlepoint canvas in the same color as the border thread.
Things You’ll Need
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- Name Badge Needlepoint Pattern - Download and print a color copy of the free chart.
- #13 or #18-mesh tan or dyed mono needlepoint canvas - Work your name badge in the mesh size of your choice. The mesh size you select will determine the finished size of the name badge. For example, if you stitch it on #13-mesh, the finished badge will be 7.3 inches by 4.2 inches; on #18-mesh, the size will be 5.5 inches by 3.25 inches. Make sure to cut a large enough piece of canvas to allow for 2 or 3 additional inches on all sides of the design. The extra canvas will be used in final finishing.
- Assorted Threads and Fibers - Use bright colorful cotton and silk threads, rich velour as well as shiny metallic braids to make your name badge bold and dramatic; or try more subdued colors in Persian Yarn that fit your organization’s culture.
- Stretcher Bars with Tacks - These are not optional for this project. You will need 2 pairs of stretcher bars in the same size as your canvas and brass thumb tacks for mounting.
- Tapestry Needles - At least 2 needles will be required; but if you plan to use a variety of threads or will be making several color changes, add a few more needles to your project bag.
- Laying Tool & Usual Needlepoint Supplies - A laying tool will be necessary if there will be 3 or more threads in the needle at one time. Other needlepoint supplies include embroidery scissors, lighting, magnification, frame weights, magnets and other items you regularly use.
- Ultra-Suede or Felt Fabric Backing - For final finishing of the name badge. Ultra-Suede works best because of its durability. If you plan to wear this name tag for most of the events you attend, it would be the practical choice. However, if you only attend a few conferences every now and then, a piece of good quality felt will work well.
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How to Make a Needlepoint Name Badge
Use these step-by-step instructions to make an original and unique name badge you can use for every occasion. Stitch and finish it once and then wear it for years to come.
Stitching the Needlepoint Name Badge
- Mount the canvas on the stretcher bars, making sure to stretch the canvas as tautly as possible for stitching. Use as many brass thumbtacks as possible for a smooth and even stretch. If the canvas loosens while stitching, re-stretch it until it is taut again.
- Choose a basic needlepoint alphabet and chart the letters or name on graph paper before working them on the canvas. If possible, use the same count size as the canvas. When transferring the graphed letters to the canvas, remember that the stitches are placed on intersections of vertical and horizontal mesh threads on the canvas instead of the holes between them.
- Locate the center of the design and canvas. This will be the starting place for stitching the name badge. Following the name badge design chart, count the canvas threads to correctly place the stitches.
- Thread the needle with the fiber you will be using to work the letters. If you are using stranded thread, separate and put back in the needle the number of strands you need for proper coverage. Use a laying tool to smoothly place the thread as you stitch.
- Work each letter in cross stitches made over an intersection. This will make the name or initials stand out from the rest of the design. Fill in the background area around the letters with basketweave stitches.
- Complete the small satin stitches around the name area as shown on the needlepoint chart. The open spaces in each corner can be used to place a French Knot or tiny seed bead once all stitching has been done.
- Add the diamond Bargello needlepoint border motif (see image above). Work this around the lettering and stitch the remainder of the design.
Add 2 or 3 rows of continental stitch in the same color as the Bargello diamonds around the entire completed stitching area for finishing. Attach seed beads (optional) using double beading thread to the center of the diamonds and any other place you desire.
Once you have finished stitching the project, it’s time to turn it into a beautiful name badge that is strong enough to last a long time. Here is what you will need:
- 2 pieces of mat board or sturdy cardboard – Make sure to cut them slightly smaller than the stitched name badge.
- Utility Knife or Box Cutter – This will be used to cut the shape of the design from the cardboard.
- Spray Fabric Adhesive & Tacky Glue – You'll want to use spray glue made especially for sewing or working with fabrics.
- Cotton Batting – Two small pieces will be required padding both the needlepoint and the ultra-suede fabric backing.
- Button or Carpet Sewing Thread - This heavy duty thread is strong enough to join the backing and needlepoint together without breaking.
- Decorative Cording - Purchase one to two yards of ready-made cording from your local fabric store that matches one of the colors in your needlepoint design
Finishing the name badge is actually easier than it looks. Once you've assembled the supplies and blocked the needlepoint, it can be completed in as little as a few hours. Here's how:
- Removed the blocked needlework from the stretcher bars.
- Make a paper pattern of the finished needlepoint. Place a piece of thin paper or tracing paper over the right side of the needlepoint and lightly draw the finished shape of the design.
- Cut out the tracing and transfer the shape to the cardboard. Cut out two copies of the shape just slightly smaller than the actual needlepoint.
- Spray one side of each piece of cardboard with the glue. Place a piece of cotton batting on top of each one. This will pad the name badge on the front as well as the back for a professional finish. For heavier padding, add another piece of batting on both pieces, making sure to spray glue before putting it in place. Trim any excess batting away from the edges of the board.
- Work a running stitch around the entire needlepoint design as close as possible to the stitching. Trim the excess canvas to within 1.5 to 1.75 inches of the running stitch.
- Center one piece of the cardboard, batting face down on the back of the needlepoint. Fold over the corner edges of the needlepoint and glue them to the back of the cardboard. Let them dry thoroughly before finishing the sides.
- Fold over the sides and either glue them in place or use cotton buttonhole or carpet thread to lace them together on the back of the cardboard. Set aside to dry.
- Repeat steps 6 and 7 with the ultra-suede fabric backing.
- Place the needlepoint and fabric backing together with the wrong sides facing each other. Stick a long pin or quilter's straight pin in each corner, making sure to pierce through to the other piece. This will hold both pieces in place as you stitch them together.
- Slip-stitch by hand, making small stitches around the entire packet and removing the pins as you work. Leave a small space near the top left or right corner to sink the beginning and end of the cording.
- Sew the cording around the entire design. Remember to leave a long enough piece for hanging the name badge around your neck. Sink the ends in the space from step 10, and stitch closed.
Your needlepoint name badge is now ready to wear! If you used quality needlepoint supplies and materials as well as good backing, it should last several years.