Monday, March 19, 2012

Up! Party: DIY "Ellie Badge" and printable Wilderness Explorer Badges

When I first envisioned all the details of Haley's Up! birthday party, I knew I had to make Ellie Badges as part of the giveaways. If you don't know what an "Ellie Badge" is, it's the little grape soda bottle pin that Ellie gives to Carl in the movie when she invites him to be part of her explorer club. Carl continues to wear it throughout the movie, and then gives it to Russell at the end as "the highest honor he can bestow."

I really couldn't have an Up!-themed birthday party without Ellie Badges now could I?? There are several sellers on Etsy that sell Ellie Badges, but I was looking to make my own from scratch because it looked simple enough. And you know what? It was :) Here's what you need to make your own Ellie Badges.

  • Bottle caps
  • Silver spray paint (if your bottle caps aren't already silver)
  • Hammer and a small nail (like one used for hanging pictures)
  • Mod Podge
  • Ellie Badge template free for download HERE
  • Cardstock 
  • Diamond Glaze, Dimensional Magic, or a similar dimensional adhesive
  • Large safety pins
 Step 1: Make holes in your bottle caps.

First, you'll want to gather up your bottle caps. You can tell which brand of beer is the favorite in my house! :) It's ideal if you have bottle caps that are silver but if not, no worries, we'll go over how to fix that later.

Put a bottle cap on a piece of wood or some other surface you don't mind getting nail holes in. I used a soft sanding block in the pictures below, but a wood block would have been a much better choice. Position your nail on the inside of the bottle cap.

Hammer until you get a clean hole that your safety pin will fit through. Repeat for a second hole on the other side. Tip: don't make the nail hole directly across from the first nail hole because it's more difficult to thread your safety pin through. Instead, move the hole several millimeters closer.

Step 2: Spray paint your bottle caps.

If your bottle caps are already silver, you can skip this step. Take your bottle caps outside and spray them with a coat of silver spray paint. I used Krylon metallic silver. Allow to dry.

Step 3: Add your labels.

Print and cut out the Ellie Badge template. A hole punch would be wonderful for this, but unfortunately I don't know if there is one that is the right size, so I just used a pair of scissors and tried my best to cut slowly and carefully.

Next, use a paintbrush to apply a thin layer of Mod Podge to the back of your circle.

Place on your bottle cap, making sure it's centered correctly between the two holes that you made in the top of your bottle cap.

Step 4: Apply your dimensional adhesive.

Carefully outline the edge of your bottle cap with your dimensional adhesive.

Once the outside edge has been lined, flood the rest of the top of your bottle cap with your adhesive. If you have any bubbles, hold a lighter up to the bubble and it will burst. Let the caps dry according to the instructions on your adhesive bottle.

Step 5: Add your safety pins.

After your caps have dried, thread your safety pin through the back like so:

And there you have it, your very own Ellie Badges perfect for an Up! birthday party :) I gave these away to guests as they arrived.

While I was at it, I also made some Wilderness Explorer Badges to go along with the pins. In the movie, Russel is a little boy who is part of the Wilderness Explorers, which is kind of like the Boy Scouts. His goal is to get as many badges as he can to become a Senior Wilderness Explorer.

I originally planned on making felt sashes for each child so that they could color and glue their Wilderness Explorer Badges to it, but I ran out of time. You can download the free Printable Explorer Badges HERE. You could have the child color the badges and glue them on, or it would be fun to have the child complete different activities to earn each badge.

I hope you're enjoying all the details of my daughter's Disney Up!-themed birthday party. Please remember, all printalbes are for personal use only.

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  1. These are so cute! I have some bottlecaps that would be fun to use.

  2. A 1-in circle punch is the perfect size for making circles to put on a bottlecap.

  3. cool! will try one at the office. :)

  4. These are so cute! I love the UP! party ideas! Definitely pinning this for Pinterest!

  5. Thank you so much for your downloadable Ellie Badges! I'm throwing an Up! 1st birthday party for my son next week and there's no way I could afford the $7 per badge they're going for on Etsy!--Allie

  6. Thanks for sharing your idea. Just back from an amazing trip aboard the Disney Dream, and we used these as gifts for a Fish Extender exchange.

  7. Thank you so much I'm going to Disney in a few days and I'm doing themed outfits for the park, my Ellie out was finished except for the pin, thank you(:

  8. What type of paper did you use on your pin? And did the ink seep through? I'm currently making one with cardstock paper through an inkjet printer and the colors are beginning to bleed :(

    1. I used card stock, I didn't have any problems with the ink seeping through at all. Card stock is what I usually use and I've never had a problem with it leaking at all, sorry! Maybe you need a higher quality card stock?

    2. Hi. Im having the same issue.. did u ever find a resolution? Thanks!

  9. wow i love it! im going to make them!

  10. Thanks so much for sharing! I will take a stab at making the ellie badges.

  11. Love these! I just made them! I used regular paper first, but the ink bled. So, I bought some white card stock, and it worked perfectly. Thanks so much for sharing everything, so I could make these for our UP party!

    1. Yes, card stock is the best for this project. I went back and edited the post to specify card stock :) thanks!

  12. Hi, did you find these held up to the sands of time? I'm looking to make a few of these for a treasure hunt-type thing, but they need to be pretty durable as they will be exposed to the elements.

  13. Do these print out 1 inch after downloading the pdf file?

  14. Thank you so so so much! I am dressing up my boys (2.5 and 4) as Wilderness Explorers and with only 2 days - I need all the help I can get! Wonderful post!

  15. Thanks for this so much I had a total brain frat when trying to figure out how to punch the holes in mine. Awesome


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