Button badges are a great way to express yourself as well as an economical way to promote your business. They’re inexpensive and everyone probably has a few pinned on their bags or caps or anywhere else where it makes a fashion or personal statement. It’s amazing how a small button badge can say so much. A single manual button badge machine can bring in extra cash especially during holidays, vacations and special events, but people who want to turn this into a full-fledged business need to expect to invest quite a lot more cash and resources.
It isn’t difficult to learn how to make button badges. You do however need some basic equipment which requires an initial investment. However, if your button badges are popular, it shouldn’t be long before you recoup whatever you’ve invested in the initial equipment purchase. What you will need :
- Button badge machine/press and the moulds. Moulds come in different sizes to accomodate the different sizes of button badges.
- Circular cutter.
- Button badge supplies.
- Computer & Color printer.
- *Design Software.
*See the resources section below for design software and templates that you can download for free.
You need to consider a couple of things when you look for the right button badge machine :
- Your budget – this determines almost everything else.
- Decide on the size and type of badges you want to produce.
- Look for a user-friendly design.
- Go for durability over affordability.
- Look for a company that has a comprehensive range of supplies.
- Make sure the company provides basic training or an instruction manual.
- Consider the range of after-sales support and services the company provides.
Read this page on How to Buy A Badge Making Machine on Wiki How for more details.
Button Badge Sizes
Button badges come in a whole lot of sizes, from the small and cute to the large and prominent. Some suppliers will also have oval or square buttons. Buttons also can have different attachments on the back – different types of pins, or special hooks and/or magnets. But you need to remember that you will need separate moulds (to be used with your button badge machine) for each size that you intend to produce.
Which button maker is the most popular? Button sizes are popular with different groups for varying reasons. While standard 2.25” is the most popular size overall, our other sizes have their own fan base. 1” and 1.25” buttons are popular with teenagers, rock bands and artists. They are the sizes most used for necklaces, earrings, bracelets and other accessory items. 1.5” is the go to size for those making fabric & embroidered buttons for badge reels. 3” is the size most valued by photographers – it has a large enough canvas for the picture as well as any additional text you may want to add. And it also has the added bonus of being large enough to display as you would a framed picture. You’ll find 2.25” buttons have many uses, including souvenirs, name tags and advertisements. We’ve seen them used in school settings to raise awareness, give as awards and identify class leaders. ~ Excerpt from American Button Machines.
Create Your Artwork
The designs are literally limitless. You can create your own designs from scratch, use public domain clipart, or use images and logos that your customers provide to you. Here’s a list of websites where you can get :
Free public domain clipart :
Free and Online Design Tools :
- InkScape : Powerful, free design software for illustrators, designers, web designers or just anyone who needs to create some vector imagery. Inkscape boasts flexible drawing tools,broad file format compatibility,powerful text tool and Bezier and spiro curves.
- Paint.Net : Free image and photo editing software for PCs that runs on Windows. It features an intuitive and innovative user interface with support for layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools.
- GIMP : GNU Image Manipulation Program is a freely distributed software for photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.
Make Your Button Badges
Here are some videos that show you the processes involved in making button badges
Designing a badge with Photoshop
Using a Circular Cutter to cut out your badge art
Using a manual button badge hand press to put all your button part together.
Sell Your Button Badges
Button badges can be sold anywhere and everywhere. You can sell them to your friends, family, office colleagues and college mates, but generally, to make this a sustainable income source, you need to have a systematic approach and connect with a network of sellers. You will probably find that selling and marketing your button badges is a bigger challenge than producing them. Some ways to sell your button badges are :
- Supply to souvenir and craft shops.
- Open a weekend stall at your local flea market.
- Open a kiosk at your local mall.
- On eBay, Etsy and other online marketplaces.
- Through your blog or website.
- Company promotional events.
- Church and charity fundraising.
- School, group or organization events.
Cost And Profit
Costs and profit depend on many factors and we provide the following information only as a guide.
Estimated cost per button badge include :
|Button badge parts||2 to 5 cents|
|Paper/ink for artwork||1 to 5 cents|
|Plastic packaging||2 to 5 cents|
|Total cost per button badge||5 to 15 cents|
* Figures a based on bulk orders from a China-based company that produces button badge parts and machines. These figures do not include shipping charges.
Obviously your cost per piece is significantly lower if your buy your supplies in bulk. You might want to compare local vs overseas suppliers if you’re planning to buy in bulk. Buying in bulk also brings up the problem of storage and cash investment, so you will need to do some calculations to minimize your costs and optimize your profits. Remember that many local suppliers get their stock cheap by ordering in bulk from countries like China anyway, repackaging them into smaller quantities and placing a mark-up on the price to end-users.
Pricing your button badges really depends on your set-up and location – a small table set-up at your local flea market will cost significantly lower than a kiosk at a mall. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of staff if you don’t plan to man your stall yourself.
If you’re planning on just a small home-base operation, then a better alternative might be to supply your button badges to existing souvenir shops around your town. That might be ideal for stay-at-home Moms or Dads, given the fact that you can supply to many sellers, so your exposure is increased and you don’t run the overhead of rental and wages. However, selling this way means you make less profit because your re-seller obviously will want to make their cut of the profits. You’ll have to do the math before committing to any agreement.
Add Value And Price Up
You don’t have to limit yourself to printing and making button badges the traditional way. A great way to add value to your button badges is to offer customization. This works best if you’re selling at a stall or kiosk where you can take orders for customization. If you have a computer with templates readily available, you could add names and messages to individual badges. You could also use puffy paint, glitter markers or acrylic paint to personalize your button badges with handwritten names, messages or simple art for that rustic personalized look. This alone will allow you to price up your button badge anywhere from $2 to $5 per piece – depending on the complexity of the personalization. And you don’t have to limit yourself to just handwriting or painting. Any type of customization within your abilities is an opportunity to price up your button badges. A great way to sell-up your button badges would be to suggest personalized name badges – for example, if a students from a particular high school were thinking of making button badges for their graduating class, why not suggest a cool background template with space for you to personalize each button badge with the names of the students. That could easily turn a $30 sale into a $150 sale.
Button Badges To Inspire You
You just have to Google “button badge” and you’ll find literally millions of button badge designs – from simple and minimal to cute cartoons to funny quotes, photos and complex art.
Pinterest is a fantastic idea resource for button badge designs.
Link : https://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=button%20badges
Cross stitch button badges on Pinterest.
Link : https://www.pinterest.com/rozaburghardtne/cross-stitch-buttons/
Start-up Kits And Resources
Most button badge machine suppliers offer a start-up kit that comes with instruction manuals and/or DVDs. You just need to decide on the investment you want to make for your button badge startup. Here are a few companies that you might want to check out :
Badge-A-Minit has been in the button badge business for a long time and they offer a comprehensive range of start-up-kits that meet most budgets, running from $100 for basic systems to upwards of $500 for semi-automatic and professional automatic systems : :
- Beginner Hand Press Systems
- Intermediate Bench Press Systems
- Advanced Semi Automatic Systems
- Professional Automatic Systems
Mastergrave is a UK based company that has a Starter Kit that’s affordable.
DIYPrintingSupply.com is a Malaysian based company that ships worldwide. They have startup kits that meet all your needs.
ButtonsOnline.com supplies all you’ll need to start a small Button Badge business with a nifty Online Button Badge Design Tool.
TheButtonGuy.net is a nice website with lots of resources from videos to button making tutorials to design templates in you can download and use immediately to create your button badge designs in all the available button sizes.
Badge/Button/Pin is a paperback book available on Amazon.com with loads of button badge designs, written by Gavin Lucas.
The Zazzle Way To Make And Sell Button Badges
If you’re interested in making and selling button badges but you don’t want the hassles of actually physically making, marketing and selling them, then Zazzle might be ideal for you. Zazzle is a the leading Print-On-Demand company that allows you to open a free store and populate it with a very wide range of products that you create designs for. You can post a button badge for sale within 15 minutes of setting up your store. Just :
- Select a button badge base
- Upload an image from your computer
- Adjust the placement and resize if necessary
- Add text if you desire
- Post for sale.