This article will focus on some neckerchiefs that I designed and made for the local Boy Scout troop.  They were designed to be bandage neckerchiefs to aid in the practice of first-aid emergency treatments.  In total 24 neckerchiefs were made. As it turned out, these were nicer, stronger and slightly less expensive than buying new ones. 

►Summer camp was coming up and we needed to do two things: 1. Make a flag   2. get neckerchiefs for the boys.
The scout store was no longer nearby and the neckerchiefs were expensive. They were also too small for our need, so we got a little creative. My wife helped the troop choose the colors, another parent stitched the edges and my son & I handled the graphics.

How are we involved? Why are we doing this?: My son is 14 years old and is an active participant in the Boy Scouts of America program.  My wife and I help whenever we can.  Many other great families contribute as well to this group locally and we feel it is a worthwhile program for young men.  My dad always said that if you keep a young man busy, he can't get into too much trouble. I encourage all youth to involve their families in their activities and interests and for parents to be apart of their children's lives.

DESIGN NOTES & FYI: We made these from a black cotton/poly blend fabric. I designed the graphics in Adobe Illustrator (file available if you desire it). I then used a vinyl cutter to cut the designs out of colored iron-on athletic jersey vinyl.  This stuff is a very thin film that is backed by a clear plastic heat-resistant sheet.  Simply peel away the unnecessary vinyl, flip and iron. The stuff won't come off even if it's abused--so it's a great idea for this project. Another parent & friend (name withheld for privacy) created the beautiful edging that you see on these neckerchiefs. It was done with a serger machine using red thread.

What we used:
  • Black cotton/poly blend fabric cut to a triangle with two short sides of between 34" - 35 " and a long side of ~ 53"- 54"
  • Vinyl Iron-On Athletic Jersey Film
  • Vinyl Cutter & Vector Graphics Program (Adobe Illustrator, InkScape, ..etc)
  • Iron on HIGH-heat setting with absolutely no steam (best not to have water in the iron at all for this project)
  • Scissors
  • fabric tape measure
  • Meter-long aluminum straight-edge/ruler to guide the cutting of the fabric pattern
  • a pizza-cutter style fabric knife
  • Red Cotton Thread
  • Time...Time....Time.
  • Did I mention Patience?
  • You will need an extra hand or two on this (scout buddy system!) or it will take yet even more time
Let's get started...

Step 1: Design the Graphics

OK, first we need to determine what info we want on the neckerchiefs. We will need:
  • The troop number
  • The location of the troop (home city usually)
  • Some animal or icon that represents their goals (in our case a war eagle - for eagle scout)
  • Boy scout motto, slogan or a troop/patrol chant
In this step I have attached photos of some preliminary design ideas. The final design is a bit different and will be shown later.  The war eagle is a vector graphic I purchased from online for this project.  I then edited it a bit in order to simplify it. The more simple a graphic is, the better it cuts on my device. I can cut in 1/1000 of an inch increments, but weeding out the unwanted vinyl in teeny-tiny places (x24 neckerchiefs) is painfully slow-going. So my suggestion is keep it simple.

What is the process? In a vector graphics program (I used Illustrator) we need to layout the text and graphics.  This is then saved to a postscript file and imported into the vinyl cutting software that came with my cutter. I then cut the design out onto the colored vinyl.  I have an article that I wrote earlier about vinyl graphics and that process, you can check it out here: http://www.instructables.com/id/-Personalize-Your-Hobby-or-Work-Area-with-a-Pro-Q/

This is simply incredible. You are one talented DIY'er
'preciate it!