How can I reuse or recycle name tags / name badges?

name_badge.jpgLeigh of the scarves had another question – what to do with “name tags/nametag holders”:

you get them everywhere, but I have nothing to do with them!

I don’t know whether Leigh means conference name labels – either the pockets for use on lanyards (which we covered last year) or ones with safety pins on the back – or proper, personalised name tags for people working in public-facing positions and the like — so let’s do both.

When I used to organise conferences and events, I collected any badges leftover at the end of the day and used the pockets again for the next event – I suspect I wasn’t alone in doing that, especially in cash-strapped academia. So that’s a reduce idea: leave your conference name badge on the reception table at the end of the day and it’ll probably get reused again. The same thing might work for solid name tags if they’re first name only and you’ve got a reasonably common name.

But what about reuses? Any ideas?

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6 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle name tags / name badges?”

  1. fishcake_random says:

    If you had enough of the safety pin ones could you make a calender? pin the correct number onto a pretty tea towel and pop a piece of paper with the days number on in them. That way if you have lots of appointments you could take it with you pinned to your bag.
    Or teaching young ones about the days of the month or week. Pinning one with the name of the day onto an outfit etc for them and they have to find that days outfit each morning etc.

  2. kairon13 says:

    I’ve used the pins to make beaded brooches:
    (They’re often a nice interesting shape.)

  3. Andy says:

    You could use the to let everyone know how your feeling. Print a label for each and have it saying what your mood is.

    Needs cheering up

  4. Mike Cataldo says:

    I like Andy’s idea, but I only have one nametag and lots of feelings. I have the one with the fabric strap attached. If I had a girlfriend I might hang it from her rearview mirror – after cutting a hole in the plastic, or simply recycling it – and attach a flower to it. It could also be used to bind a bushel of junk mail, which you might be able to then use as a short table. Don’t you want to do something constructive with all that junk mail?

  5. l used one to tag my luggage – better than pulling suitcases off and finding it wasn’t mine!!

  6. Melissa says:

    You can also recycle them by sending them here:

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