Badge making showing seeds just before badge construction.

Plants (seedlings) growing on a pin badge, can be made using most badge makers

As you can see from the two images, the first-ever badge plant growing experiment was successful, but we will need to do some redesigning to avoid rust, (see notes at end) which you can see around the edges of the badge, even after a short growing period.

  • Cut a small amount of paper towel, this will enable the badge to hold enough water to start the seed germinating
  • Place the three seeds, I used radish seeds because they germinate very quickly, and I used three because I didn't know how many would be successful, as it turns out they all were!
  • Cut a small notch out of the edge of the mylar, we need to do that in order to get water into the badge, and allow the seedlings to grow out. It is important to note that because you have cut a notch out of the mylar it will automatically leave a pocket between the mylar and the backing dome.
  • You can make the badge as normal, with the addition of the extra items. In other words, place the dome, artwork, paper towel  and finally mylar. Complete the badge making process as normal, and you will note that as I mentioned above, there will be a pocket with a gap that you can use to water your new seedlings.
  • I haven't tested this, but I would imagine you could leave the badges (dry) for quite a while before you added water to start them germinating.
  • I used a toothpick to add a small amount of water, dipping the toothpick into the water container first, then transferring a single drop of water carefully inside the pocket and touching the paper towel. depending on the size of the paper towel you may need to do this five or six times, make sure the paper towel is moist but not sopping wet! If the paper towel is totally wet, it may rot the seed rather than allow it to germinate.
  • Make sure the badge is upright, not lying flat, in a bright warm place, checking at least once a day, to make sure that the paper towel remains moist.
  • With my radish seeds, they germinated within four days, and as you can see from the images, they did very well.
  • After they had got to the stage of exiting the top of the badge, I took the badge and carefully cut around the edge of the mylar all the way around the outside of the badge, carefully taking the mylar off and I then transplanted my seedlings complete with paper towel into some potting mix. It is now a week later, and my seedlings are doing well and seem to be very healthy.

Please understand that this was a first attempt, I believe that the next time I do this I will slightly modify my design. I'm not thinking of a radical departure in how I made this planter badge, but even I was a little surprised at the speed of which the badge rusted (but I shouldn't really be surprised, I believe that steel left in the open starts rusting invisibly at first, in less than 30 minutes after contact with water and air).

My design modification would I think be as simple as cutting a corner off a polythene bag, so it resembles a triangle. This should be just large enough to contain the paper towel and the seeds. You would still be able to see the seed growing, but the polythene bag would keep the water away from the badge.

They do say there is nothing new in this world, so if any of you have already created a seed germinating badge I would be happy to include your thoughts on this blog, or even better, if you have a photo or two, I would love to add them to this site.