It takes only four steps to make awareness ribbons as lapel pins or earrings you can use to support causes important to you.
Wearing an awareness ribbon pin may seem like a small or inconsequential gesture.
If you have friends or family members battling cancer represented by one of the specific color ribbons, though? It’s an elegant and simple way to raise awareness and show support.
What Are Awareness Ribbons?
My first memory of an “awareness ribbon” were red ribbons from the early 90s to raise awareness for the AIDS epidemic.
I wanted to know more, though, so I did a little research and found this article about a brief history of the lapel pin ribbons.
I wasn’t surprised to learn that they may have started in medieval times as something that was given to jousting knights.
After all, knights (and their fans) surely were some of the first people to ‘show their colors’.
Which Awareness Ribbon Colors Apply to Which Causes?
So fast forward to 2021 and the United States has a whole host of ribbon colors that represent different causes, cancers, and social issues.
In fact, one ribbon color often has multiple meanings or the ribbon may show up slightly different colors for the same thing.
The picture below illustrates some of the more popular awareness ribbons colors and what they signify.
If you are looking to wear an awareness ribbon to support specific cancers or causes here are some additional popular colors of note:
- a pink ribbon for breast cancer
- a yellow ribbon for childhood cancer, appendix cancer, or bone cancer (different shades of yellow ribbons, but yellow more or less)
- a gray ribbon for brain cancer
- a teal ribbon for ovarian cancer
- a blue ribbon for colon cancer, and child abuse and foster care awareness (again there are different blue shades)
- a red ribbon for blood cancers, substance abuse, and HIV/AIDS
- a green ribbon for liver cancer, lymphoma, bipolar disorder, and mental illness
- an orange ribbon for kidney cancer and hunger awareness
4 Simple Steps To Make Awareness Ribbon Pins & Earrings
This tutorial walks you through how to make awareness ribbons in three different sizes so you can use them for a variety of applications.
When making a ribbon there is no real unique design or right size. Instead, it depends on how you intend to use it,
Awareness ribbons are so quick and easy to make you may as well make a bunch of them at once since you already have the tools and materials at hand.
My main focus is making awareness ribbon pins because they are super versatile. These DIY awareness ribbon pins can be worn on a suit coat, jacket, shirt pocket, or even a t-shirt.
These colorful ribbons can also be placed on a bag handle or purse strap.
The tutorial also shows you how to make a pair of earrings, because they make a thoughtful gift for someone you know who actively and publicly supports a cause.
What Materials and Tools Do I Need To Make An Awareness Ribbon Pin?
To start making awareness ribbon pins, you need:
– Craft felt
Craft felt is typically available in a lot of vibrant colors.
You can purchase individual felt rectangles at big box stores like Walmart and Michael’s.
JoAnn’s has both single felt rectangles, as well as felt by the yard.
If you’re new to working with felt, I recommend buying felt by the yard if you are able. Buying felt by the yard is a much better price point.
With even a half a yard of felt, you will have plenty to use for the ribbons, plus extra felt to use for any other projects that are sure to come up.
Because, once you start working with felt, you’ll realize it’s great for all kinds of DIY projects.
– A pin backing
To make an awareness ribbon pin it’s easiest to glue a pin backing to the back of the ribbon to secure it.
In a pinch, you can also use a safety pin. I find those harder to manipulate when I’m trying to put the pin on, though.
– Earring posts & backings (2 sets, optional)
The video tutorial below includes how to make three different sizes of awareness ribbons.
The smallest size ribbon makes great earrings. For some people, earrings may be more fun to wear than a ribbon because they add an accent of color while also supporting their cause.
So, if you want to gift some earrings to a family member or friend, make sure to have some earring posts and backings ready.
– Rotary cutter, mat, and ruler
If you don’t have one already, a rotary cutter and mat are wonderful tools to have for all of your craft projects.
For this awareness ribbon project specifically, it reduces the time you need to cut the felt and keeps the lines super clear when used with a ruler or straight edge.
– Glue gun (and glue!)
A dollop of glue is used to secure the felt to itself and then to glue the felt ribbon to the pin tack or earring post.
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How To Make An Awareness Ribbon
When you make and wear an awareness ribbon, you can help bring attention to a cause that's important to you.
This tutorial walks you through a super easy four-step process to make an awareness ribbon pin or earrings with felt scraps in several sizes. You can also use these ribbons as applique and more!
The simple, four-step process to make an awareness ribbon is this:
1. Cut the felt to size.
2. Stretch the felt.
3. Form the ribbon.
4. Secure the ribbon.
I have provided a more detailed step-by-step explanation below to showcase all three ribbon sizes along with some tips and tricks for making the best awareness ribbons you can.
- Craft felt
- Pin tack & backing
- Earring posts & backings (optional)
- Rotary cutter & mat or scissors
- Glue gun
- Cut one felt piece measuring 1" x 7"
- Cut another felt piece measuring 1/2" x 4.5".
- Cut two felt pieces measuring 3/8" x 2".
- Take the large piece of felt by both ends and stretch it out by pulling it taught. It should stretch almost 2 inches.
- Repeat Step 2 with the other two pieces of felt.
- Take the large piece of felt and form a horseshoe shape with the ends facing down.
- Layer the middle of the right side of the felt over the middle of the left side of the felt to form a loop.
- Repeat these steps with the other pieces of felt.
- Pull the right edge back and place a small dot of glue on the left side of the ribbon then press the right side into the glue to bind the two sides together.
- Repeat with the other pieces of felt.
- Take a large awareness ribbon and place a dot of glue on the back of the ribbon.
- Take your the flat side of the pin tack and place it on the glue.
- Press the two materials together for a couple of second so that they bind together well.
- Now, let's make the awareness ribbon earrings. Take the two smallest felt ribbons and glue them to secure the shape if you haven't already.
- Place a small dot of glue on the back of one ribbon and take the flat side of the earring post and place it on the glue.
- Take the second ribbon and glue the other earring post to the felt.
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