For the purposes of this 'alternative tutorial' I stole a few items from various members of the family and used other scraps in the process! If I was a little more organised I might have had them to hand :)
Just to note, I don't own a badge-maker, button-maker, or anything similar (although it would be fun to have one!). To make this 'Musical Note' embroidered badge you will need to 'steal' or find the following items around your home (excl button-blanks):
button blanks (available from good haberdashers), safety-pin (or steal one off your kid's old 'Dalek' badge like I did!!), fabric scraps (linen or denim would work equally well), matching felt for covering the reverse of the button, embroidery thread, old cardboard to mount your badge prettily for a gift or for sale at your next fair :) Oh, and a Guitar/song book for musical note inspiration!! ('hubby's Beatle songbook made for an 'arty' backdrop, hehe!)
Firstly, remove the metal wire loop with pliers, or your fingers, as you won't need this part of the button, then make up your covered button according to the manufacturers instructions. Now you want to cover the reverse of the button in order to attach a safety pin to it. Cut out a small felt circle (using a matching colour if possible), which is slightly smaller than the back of the button itself. Slip stitch the felt circle onto the reverse of the covered button at the very edges, just catching enough fabric to attach the felt.
Now attach the safety pin (the one you stole fom your kid's old badge if you don't have any!!), to the back of the felt covered reverse - use a few stitches to make sure it stays in place. Make sure the felt you use is quite strong or use double thickness of felt for strength.
You can now embroider whatever motif you like onto the button front:
I embroidered a musical note using a simple back stitch - just bring your needle through a little way from where you are starting to sew on the button, make a double stitch and start sewing - cut off the excess thread when done. I used tweed to cover my button but you could use linen or denim to make a nice backdrop for embroidery stitches. I cut some old left over corrugated card to display the button as a gift/craft fair item.
To attach the button to my 'doodled' card I sewed a small stitch on either side of the button, taking the thread through to the back. I used one of my address labels to hide the stitch and added instructions to remove the button, hehe!! ("Remove sticker and cut thread to release the music!")
I'm looking forward to trying a few other musical notes/doodles/flowers, etc to these, for my craft fairs - let's face it, anyone can afford to buy a badge in these hard times, surely!!? I'll try the 'with glue' version later this week when I get some brooch-backs. This would mean simply using 'super glue' and attaching a brooch back to the metal reverse of the covered button - ach, too easy!!! :)
Sorry, very long post/tutorial, but I hope it's of use if you want to make some fun embroidered buttons as gifts, or for sale - this is a 'freebie' tutorial, just don't use Harris Tweed pleeeease, hehe!! P.S. You could embroider numbers, letters, for fun kids-versions :D
Drat, wish I'd thought of this for my little nephew's 3rd birthday this week - Ah well, maybe he'll get a belated one! : /
Edited to add: I must credit ressurection fern for her tutorial which gave me the basic idea of how to convert the fabric button to a badge, by using a felt backing - thankyou :)