Easy Decals or Appliques

Howdy! So I recently had to make a man's shirt resemble an old-school milkman uniform for a group act. Turning it into a tear-away shirt was pretty simple (let me know if any of you want instructions how to do that), as was making an old-timey bowtie. But it still didn't really look like a uniform. It needed some sort of dairy badge on the breast pocket to really sell it.

Burlesque performer and costume blogger

See NOW it looks like a milkman. BUT. Let me tell you, if there is a source for actual badges like this, I was unable to find one. I tried every possible place I could think of, including contacting actual dairies. No luck. So, figured I would make one. Which is exactly what I did.

Step One


Find an image you are wanting to turn into a badge. In this case it happened to be this logo right here.

Step Two


Print it.

Step Three


Acquire some sort of smoothe stiff cardboard. Literally anything. I used the back of a pad of paper.

Step Four


Ok, so now you are going to coat the cardboard with a thin, even coat of Weldbond glue. I used a foam brush, but any brush would work. Even a silicone basting brush would work.

Stick your paper with the logo or whatever image you are using, to the glue coated cardboard.

Smoothe out any lumps or bumps with a credit card or any similar smoothe edge. Your final product will only look as good as your smoothing efforts at this point.

I specifically use Weldbond glue for this, because it dries perfectly clear, tack-free, and shiny and does not turn yellow. Do NOT use Gem-Tac for this!

Step Five



Wait some more.

(This is the drying phase and cannot be rushed)


Catch up on Game of Thrones.

Make tea.

Oh look at that! It's dry. Completely and totally dry. Not damp, not tacky. Completely dry.

Step Six

Once completely and totally dry, cut out your item with scissors. It will be stiff to cut, but entirely doable. You need it to be totally dry though, or your piece could just tear or warp as you handle it.

Step 7

Dilute a little bit of the Weldbond with water. Maybe 50/50. And stir it up until it's the texture of heavy cream and is not lumpy. Coat the FRONT of your item with this mixture using a brush. Allow it to dry and repeat the coating. Diluted Weldbond acts as a varnish so that it seals and protects your creation. You can put as many coats as you like, but it will need at least two.

Step 8

Glue magnets to the back of your 'badge' as a quick and easy way to attach the item. I happened to use magnetic name badges that you can get at office supply stores:



But honestly, any magnetic and metal washer does the exact same thing.

Step 9

Here it is close up! Obviously I embellished it with crystals, as is my weakness, but it really was not necessary.


I think I'm going to make a fun name badge of some sort to apply to my backstage dressing gown. The reason magnets are a good idea, is that you can then just take it off so you can wash it!

There ya go!


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