Whether you are a crafty person or not, DIYing your own RN gear does not have to be difficult. Some simple projects, such as creating your own ID badge holders, can take less than half an hour to do. Sewing your own scrubs is a simple project that can save you hundreds of dollars a year. Plus, making your own nursing gear allows you to fuse your personality into everything you need! Pen Clip We all know those flimsy plastic clips on pens break off after a week. Babies have the right idea with their pacifier clips. Don’t risk losing your favorite pen by making a simple pen clip. Take your favorite pen and super glue a metal bulldog clip onto the pack. Make sure you are gluing the flat side of the clip against the pen. Consider painting the clip your favorite color to match your scrubs. You can clip these to the front of your scrub pocket or on your scrub pants. And if you lend it out to another nurse, it will be easy to find it again. Some scrubs have belt loops, so you can use a small carabiner to hang your pen from your scrub pants. Glue a small ring, either a metal one or one made of strong, thin cord, on your pen and loop it through a carabiner keychain. ID Badge Holder Creating your own ID holder is another easy way to display your personality. You can usually find the supplies sitting around your house, available at a garage sale or floating around the local goodwill. Brooch ID Holder If you don’t have any old brooches that were handed down to you, antique stores are chock full of them. Find one or two (or five) that you love. Some will have older pins on the back that should be replaced. Check out your local craft store, where the jewelry design section will have plenty of brooch pins or safety pins to attach to your brooch. Be sure you attach with a strong glue, preferably Gorilla Glue or something similar. Fabric ID Holder If you work in a pediatric unit and want something more whimsical, make your own fabric ID holder. Craft stores carry various appliques that you can simply attach to a safety pin or brooch pin back with a hot glue gun. You can even find seasonal ones for you to switch out every couple of months. To finish off all of your holders, attach plastic ID clips (available at office supply stores) to either a ribbon or the holder itself, and voila! Tote Bags Shoving your scrub pockets full of all of your essentials when you head in to work can be annoying. Create a tote bag for your stethoscope, clipboards, calculators, extra scrubs and other nursing gear you need on a daily basis. Iron-On Transfer Totes If you’ve ever been a bridesmaid, you may have been gifted with a personalized tote bag with your initials. Make it nurse-centric by using iron-on transfers. If you are a skilled artist, draw your own design and scan it into the computer. If you prefer, you can create your own design on various Adobe programs. Painted Totes Fabric paint is easy and comes in plenty of different hues. If you have young children, allow them to paint on your tote bag. If you want a fun design, use some tape and fabric paint to create a fun chevron or striped design in your favorite color. Create Your Own Tote If you have enough spare time, sew your own tote bag. You can choose your favorite fabric, have as many or as few pockets as you want and decide how large you want your tote to be. Check out these various sewing patterns and choose your favorite. Scrubs If you have a sewing machine (or you know someone willing to lend you one), sewing your own scrubs can be an easy way to save money and be creative. Choosing your own pattern allows you to choose whether you will have draw-string or elastic waistbands, how many pockets you want and the design of the scrubs. Scrub patterns are available at local fabric stores such as JoAnn Fabrics or online. When you buy your pattern, be sure to look at the measurement chart on the back and get the right size. Your office or hospital may have guidelines about your scrub color, pattern or style, so be sure to check with your manager before you buy a fabric you can’t wear. You’ll want to find a fabric that is either 100% cotton or a cotton/polyester blend. By choosing a blend, you’ll have scrubs that are a little more resistant to stains and are easier to maintain. The directions in your scrubs pattern will show you step-by-step how to lay out your fabric and how to sew it all together. If this is your first time sewing, allow yourself some room for error. You’ll get better the more you make! And because you can find fabric on sale or use coupons, you can get all you need for between $10 and $20. Are you interested in becoming a nurse? Take a look at the accelerated nursing program offered through Marian University.