Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Cub/Boy Scout "Mom's Pin" Necklace Tutorial

Besides being a cub scout mom myself, this project is for all of you out there who happen to be Den Mothers or Scout Chairs. May the heavens smile brightly on each of you, since clearly you are SPECIAL people!! Anyone who volunteers one way or another to deal with young, rowdy boys deserves more than they will ever get! Thank you, THANK YOU to ALL you WONDERFUL scout leaders!

The inspiration for this project came by way of my friend Kathy, who is working her way through her third cub scout (out of 4) and her second boy scout (one eagle already)! At a recent pack meeting she was wearing this ribbon necklace that had all her boys' pins attached to it. Me being a "newbie," I had to get to the bottom of this cool piece of jewelry. Here is what hers looks like:

Isn't she cute?! And check out all those pins her boys have earned! (Not sure about her son's goofy face. Probably had to do with the fact that this was his 50th picture of the day and he was getting tired of them...)

Evidently someone had made these necklaces for all the moms in the pack long before we ever got here from an idea they'd seen before. (I did some digging, and this is the only place I could find that sells them -- starting around $7.00/each.) I can't bear to spend that kind of money on things that I can clearly make myself, so here is my tutorial as I make one for myself.

My supply list (from my local JoAnn's store)

1 Prepackaged Grosgrain ribbon spool, measuring 18 feet or 6 yards long (5.4 meters) of the following colors:
7/8 inch (22mm) wide Centennial Blue
5/8 inch (15mm) wide Maize Yellow
7/8 inch (22mm) wide Olive Drab
5/8 inch (15mm) wide Red

1. Cut 18 inches of each of the 4 colors of ribbon (to prevent fraying use fray check on the ends or slightly burn each end with a match)

2. Sew the Yellow ribbon on top of the Blue, down both sides. Remember to use coordinating thread for the top and the bottom ribbons (different colors for each!)

3. Sandwich and pin the blue/yellow side in between the red and green for the back of the necklace. Don't sew yet...

4. Cut an angle on the front of each side making them match up in the middle. (You only need to trim a small triangle at the bottom, but cut them at opposite sides--see picture--cut one starting from the left and one starting from the right--then they will match up in the middle) Remember to burn the newly cut ends again.

5. Pin the fronts together matching up the angles and making sure that red ribbon will lay flat on green ribbon, since you haven't sewn them yet. Remember to again switch your threads to match the red and green ribbons.

6. Starting at the back (with it sandwiched), sew the red onto the green. Make a continuous loop around the red ribbon until you get to the back again. Sew a square in the back to reinforce the stitching.

Here are pictures of the back portion, with the underneath side showing the reinforcing square.

Here is the front, showing how they line up on both sides. You can see that my stitching continues on all 3 sides of the red as I work my way back to the top (neck) portion.

The finished product! I am very happy with how it turned out. I think it took me about 20 minutes to finish. Well worth my time and money.

I started out just buying ribbon so that I could make one for myself, but after searching for the right color and width of olive drab, I could NOT find anything that would work in the 'cut by the yard' or 'prepackaged' section of multiple fabric stores. It was both the wrong color green and not the right width for what I had already purchased of the blue, red, and yellow. So, when I finally came across the right color, I jumped for joy! Who knew that olive drab would be so hard to find! Maybe, you'll have better luck than me...

Total cost of 4 spools of ribbon: $12.00. Which will make 12 necklaces ($1.00 a piece). Clearly I don't need all 12 of them, so I am going to make the rest for the other new scout moms in our pack.


  1. One more year for me and then I join the world of Cub Scouts. Not sure I'm ready for that just yet.

    Anyway, maybe I'll have to buy some of those from you--or at least have you send me some of the olive green ribbon since you already know where to get it.

    They look great!! And as one of our friends said--she is now bleeding "blue and gold" because she is into cub scouts so much.

  2. Thanks, Em & Kathy! LOVE THIS! Now if I can just find all of our pins... I had a ribbon thing, but it was only for cubs - love the versatility & creativity of this!

  3. So Neato!!! You should be on YouTube, Creative Mom With Cheap Easy Tips for Dealing With Yourself, Friends and Family.


  4. thank you so much for posting this!!
    Exactly what I needed.

  5. My husband just got made the new pack leader. What a neat idea to start off with. THANK YOU

  6. YEAH!!!! Can't wait to give these a try!

  7. Found your tutorial from "The Gilbert Family" blog and think its such a genius idea. I'll be linking!!

  8. My son earned his bobcat tonight so I'm the proud owner of a new pin with nowhere to put it. I love this idea--thanks for posting!

  9. I made mine just in time for the Blue and Gold Banquet!

  10. I found all these ribbons online at "ribbon retreat" dot com. It was really cheap. The colors I got were named simply- red, olive, yellow, and dark royal. Thanks so much for the tutorial. I can't wait to make mine.

  11. Great tutorial! Thank you for posting it.

  12. Thank you so much! Our scout store no longer carries these, only the ribbon that runs vertical which I don't like nearly as much. I can't wait to give this a try. You really should be on youtube. This is a great website you have made. Such easy, clear instructions and great photos. Thanks!

  13. I am a cub mom of twins and so not handy! Would you be willing to sell one? or even more? I'd buy them for all the mom's in our den!
    My email is if your willing.

  14. I just made one and love it. Everyone was wondering were I got it. When I told them I made in about 10 mins they flipped. Thank you thank you!!!

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  16. Love this idea! Off to JoAnns for some ribbon. BSA court of honor is next week.

  17. I had never heard of these until today, and I'm so excited that I found your tutorial! I'm off to Joanns tomorrow. My son is getting his Bear at the end of the month and I'm psyched to use my new ribbon. Thanks SO much!

  18. Hi again! I just made a handful of these for my boys and a few other moms. Would you mind if I posted your link on my blog when I get around to sharing them? They're so wonderful! I can't wait to show my son - he gets his Bear badge tonight :)

  19. Hello, I was just wondering do you buy one for each of your own children that are in Scout's or do you buy only one and put all of their pins on it? I have 3 sons and I have alot of pins for them do I just put them on one necklace or one for each. Thanks what I great idea.

    1. I have two boys so my pins will all fit on one necklace. My friend who has 4 boys is using ONE necklace, but is finding that it is filling up... I think she will just squeeze them together. So I guess it's just personal preference -- One for each or squeeze them all on one. :)

  20. These are awesome! Since I don't sew I am wondering do you happen to sell these?

  21. This is a great tutorial, thank you for sharing your process!

    Sadly, it looks like it's so great that another blogger claimed credit for your post in 2010. Looks like it's not an active blog right now.

  22. I finally made four of these yesterday, and they turned out great! I made a few changes that I thought I'd share.

    - Because of what was at the store the day I shopped, I bought the lighter colors for the back and the darker colors for the front.
    - To reduce rippling, I used a slightly longer stitch length (3.7 instead of the standard 2.5)
    - I overlapped both of the Scout colors over the Cub colors at the back.
    - When finished, I pressed with an iron on "easy care/poly" to get out the ripples without melting the ribbon.

    There were 4 moms happy to wear these last nights to honor their sons while saving their blouses! Thanks for the great tutorial.

  23. I love this idea, but I'm having a hard time sewing. The blue is showing through the yellow when I sew it, so I'm not getting that solid yellow look with the thread. Any suggestions? I've changed to a smaller needle, but no change. Help!

    1. The tension on your machine is not balanced. There should be a nob or something to turn on the left hand side of your machine on the top to balance it or it could be a problem with your bobbin case.

  24. Thanks so much for the tutorial, I just made 7 of these for the moms in my den, including me of course! I'm super excited to give them to them.



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