How to Decorate Badge Reels

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Badge reels keep keys, identification and swipe entry cards nearby, yet out of the way, but they don't make a particularly pleasing addition to your fashion choices. Embellish your reel to add color, style or whimsy.

Things You'll Need

  • Badge reel
  • Tracing paper
  • Craft glue
  • Jewelers' epoxy (if using beads)
  • Beads, fabric or other embellishment
  • Self-adhesive laminating film or acrylic craft varnish
  • Trace the outside of the reel to make a pattern.

  • Lay out your design inside the pattern. Make a one-piece cover from fabric or scrapbooking paper or you can cut or tear the materials for a collage or mosaic design style.

  • Mix equal parts glue and water.

  • Brush the reel with the glue mixture and place your design on the reel. Brush the surface with more glue and allow it to dry thoroughly.

  • Embellish the design with paint pens, permanent markers, stickers or other items, as desired. Add a single large bead with epoxy or combine smaller stones, crystals or seed beads for a pattern.

  • Cover flat (paper or fabric only) reel designs with laminating film or varnish. Beaded designs do not require that you seal them.

Tips & Warnings

  • Small mirrors glued to the reel with epoxy add an interesting "flash" to your badge.
  • Keep the decoration away from the sides of the reel to avoid interfering with the line retracting.

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