To all who mourn in Israel, He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory. Isaiah 61:3

Friday, May 29, 2015

1920s Award Ribbons and Volunteer Badges

At one of the planning meetings for the Gatsby and Gangsters event at the Old Idaho Penitentiary, I volunteered to make the volunteer badges and some of the award ribbons for one of the contests that will be held at the event.  I did some research and came up with what I thought looked like something volunteers and contest winners from long ago would have worn!

I am super excited about the contest ribbons!!  The ones I found for inspiration really, REALLY caught my eye and sucked all the oxygen out of my lungs...I made a prototype today so the ladies of We Wear History can make them up for the contest!!!  There will be Blue for 1st, Red for 2nd, and White for 3rd.  I will be making a red, white, and blue one (like the inspiration below) for me to wear on Independence Day!!

I think it is a lovely size for an award!!!

The inspiration....

While researching antique cockades and ribbons on Pinterest, I came across the two following ribbons.  These are so utterly fabulous (I will be making many of these lovelies for myself!)!!!  I knew right away that these would be the ribbons needed to award the contest winners at the event!

Gorgeous red, white and blue ribbon with gold bouillon tassels!  LOVE IT!!!! 

Source:  Marie Antoinettes Playhouse tumblr

This one has silver bouillon tassels.  I think it was made in 1895.

Source:  Fleaing France tumblr


All of the supplies Mom and I found at Hobby Lobby.  

7/8" Ribbon

I wanted silver beads, but these had to do....clear ones with silver in the inside of the hole.

I had to get the thread at JoAnn Fabrics.  I is interesting to work with as it is not like regular thread, but knots really wonderfully...whether you wish it to or not!!

I was so happy to find flat star spangles!

Mom and I considered upholstery tassels, but found these fabulous tassels in the scrapbooking dept!  They are really nice and light weight.  The threads that make the tassels are actually "silver" not a gray thread!!!  Score!!

I was concerned about finding numbers in silver tone, but again the scrapbooking section of Hobby Lobby came to my rescue!!!  And they were the perfect size!!!!

Volunteer Badges

For the volunteer badges, I really wanted a look like we were "back then".  In other words, I didn't want your typical plastic sleeved, pin back name tag thingies that a lot of volunteers wear.  What came to my mind were the fabulous lodge badges that were worn in the Victorian-1950s eras.  I found several inspirations on-line and set to work finding the pieces to put them together.

I really wanted badges that looked professional, elegant and like we were in the 1920s.  And fret not...I spelled Penitentiary correctly on the real ones!!!


I love the Lodge badges from long ago and I even found ones from old track and field competitions that I thought would be nice inspirations for our Volunteer badges.

Source:  liveauctioneers

I LOVE the looks of these.  Of course I couldn't find the bouillon fringe for ours, and it would have probably cost an arm and a leg and since the Gatsby and Gangster event is a fund raiser, wanted to keep the cost of these down.

I looked on-line for places that printed ribbon and was shocked to see what the cost was if you weren't going to order hundreds.  So I googled "DIY printed ribbon" and found a tutorial on the She's Kinda Crafty blog!  Most excellent!!!!  I can do this!  I submitted a prototype to the Board of the Friends and the Volunteer ribbons were approved!!!  Now to get to work!  My friend Tammy came over and we completed the badges in an evening!!  Thank you so much my friend for helping me out!!  You are a rock star!!!


All of the supplies for the Volunteer badges were found at JoAnn's. 

I did find some lovely antique, brass "window" pins online, but they were $7.99 a piece, so I decided that the scrapbook section of either a JoAnn's or Hobby Lobby would be my best bet.  Sure enough, I discovered these lovelies!!!  The have holes on either side for brads, but I didn't want the brads snagging clothing, so left those off.

Since the logo of the Friends has teal in it, I thought it would be safe to use white.  I used 1.5" satin ribbon.

This stuff is so fabulous!  If you are wanting to make DIY ribbons or anything that needs to be transferred I think this is neat!

I will be writing a tutorial on the contest ribbons in the future if any one is interested....they are not that hard to make, just time consuming!!

Be blessed my friends!!



  1. Those will be so perfect! Both the award and volunteer! You are such an inspiration!

    1. Thank you so much Jeanette! I have fun "tinkering" around with stuff like this!

  2. It looks perfect! I love how many attention and detail you've paid to make it look special. It really takes time to create little accessories like this, and making them shows your love and devotion to your hobby. Such a little thing, but changes A LOT and would make the event so special! Well, well done!

    1. Thank you so much for such a lovely compliment, Olga! I do enjoy recreating items to make an outfit or event look like it did so long ago!! It helps the overall look!! And it's fun to do as well!!