Badge Making - Another Fun Project!

So, I mentioned in another post about how I have a badge making machine. I use Photoshop to make the badges all the time! So I thought it would be fun to do a post about it! I bought the machine at my junior high--I use it for a project I do each quarter with my 7th graders. I just made up the idea one day while in the shower (I swear the best ideas come in the shower) and now it's this fun project that my kids really love. In a nutshell, its this: I break the kids up into groups of 5, and each kid gets a job according to their personality type. (I have them take a little test.) Then they design badges, make them, figure out the "cost" in an Excel spreadsheet, and make advertisting posters. Then they go to the library, set up a table for each group, and another class comes and purchases the badges with "money" they've earned for good behavior in that class. Then the kids come back, calculate their winnings, and are awarded "money" for how much they made. Some groups make $500, other groups make over $10,000. It doesn't affect their grade, but w
hen we have an auction with candy and stuff, they get to buy all kinds of stuff! (If any teachers out there are interested in learning more about this project, a full explanation and all the materials can be found on my Teachers Pay Teacher's site, Mrs Funny Business.)

Anyway, that's the project I do, but really--that's not what this post is about! Although my students make badges, the design them in Print Shop, not Photoshop. Even if I had the program in my lab (which I don't, because they'd never pay to put it in a jr. high) I'd never try to teach this program to 12-year-olds! BUT, I make badges all the time, and I use Photoshop for it, OF COURSE. I make them to give away as rewards in my classes and stuff. And because it's SO addicting to make them! The machine is so easy to use!

Ok, first, I purchased the machine at They have several grades of machines--the cheapest one is only $30! But knowing that I would be making several thousand buttons a year, I bought the more expensive $400 machine. I have a 1 1/4" and a 2 1/4" machine. But I'm sure the smaller, less expensive ones are great. There's one for $60 I think, and one for $100. Then you buy the badge parts for it--either at Badge-a-Minut or at I go there because my district has a contract with them. You can buy like 2000 buttons for only $100!

And then I go crazy! I created a template in Photoshop that has circles exactly the right size to fit in the machine. It took a few tries printing in order to get the right size. And then it's quite simple from there. I use fill techniques, actions, pictures from the internet, and I'm always looking up funny sayings online that I can put on my badges.

UPDATE: I also thought I'd add a little side note tying badges into scrapbooking. There is a great template from Atomic Cupcake that allows you to create a glossy-looking badge for your scrapbook pages. You can find it here.

Here is what they look like!


  1. I love the badges! So, are you gonna do a giveaway pn this blog for a badge? 'Cause I'd totally love a funny one!

  2. I have been pondering getting one of those forever - just for something fun! I just never get around to ordering it. My son got a really cheap one at a craft store a few years ago that didn't work very well so I thought I'd get a BAM. Maybe I finally will. Your buttons are cute and funny.