Burbank Artist Creates Pin Uniform For Summer

Tiny Deer Studio invites others to beats the heat and still show off their collections with a ‘pin scout sash’

If you’re in the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, a merit badge sash is a pretty stylish way to show off your accomplishments.

Jessica Watkins of Tiny Deer Studio recently created her own version of the iconic canvas sash, not necessarily to tout her achievements, but as an alternative way to display her pin collection.

“I really love wearing my pins, but it’s too hot to wear my usual denim jacket outside these days,” she said. “I’ve always loved the look of the merit badge sashes and cute uniforms in general, and it just kind of clicked that this sash could be my pin uniform.”

The 32-year-old artist debuted her “pin uniform” last month during Patches and Pins Festival Orange County. Watkins embroidered her name onto the sash and covered it in some of the most beloved pins from her collection.

“I started with migrating the pins that I would normally wear on my jacket, then filled in the space from there with some of my other favorite pins,” she explained. “There isn’t a specific theme to the collection initially placed on the sash, but there are a ton of my favorite female pin designers featured.”

When Watkins initially went to make the sash, the Burbank, California-based artist had attempted to find an existing pattern online, but couldn’t find any adult-sized patterns that fit her vision of how it should look. So she referred to a few different sets of basic instructions from other, similar patterns, measured herself and two girlfriends to determine an average size, and then drew out her own pattern.

The approach worked, and was so well received when Watkins wore it, that she decided to make sashes for other collectors.

Watkins now sells her “pin scout” sashes for $35 through her Etsy store. Shoppers have the option to choose from three different colors: yellow, black or beige. For an extra $15, Watkins will embroider a name onto the canvas.

For those who know how to sew, Watkins has posted a DIY tutorial for making the sash at her Tiny Blog, which lists full instructions and includes photos detailing all the steps necessary to create a pin scout sash.

“I just wanted to share something special with the pin community,” Watkins said. “I also knew not everyone would be able to purchase a pre-made sash from my shop, so I wanted to give them the opportunity to make their own.”

Watkins’ own sash is yellow, a color she associates with her brand at Tiny Deer Studio—a business that is part photography and part pins.

“Tiny Deer Studio actually is primarily a photography brand. I was selling prints of my photos years before I started making pins,” she said.

Her portfolio of “Miniature Menagerie Photography” features tiny vintage bone china figurines—such as deer, dinosaurs and cats—and brings them to life by placing them in unexpected, whimsical and otherworldly settings. Her portfolio includes images of ceramic baby lambs gently perched atop clouds of cotton candy, a frightened-looking deer surrounded by ferns and nearly swallowed by fog, and a mother cat watching her kitten paw at an actual ball of yarn.

The photos have been a direct inspiration for Watkins’ collection of pins, which often also feature animals and clean, cute imagery, she said.

Tiny Deer Studio pins, photos, the pin scout sash tutorial and for purchase pin scout sash can all be found at TinyDeerStudio.com.

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