Are you wondering how to make button pins or badges at home? Want to make your own DIY pinback buttons at home using your own custom designs and artwork but your just not sure how? Want to learn how to make professional looking buttons at home to sell at craft fairs?
Making homemade buttons (that look professional) is really easy once you know how! You’ll be able to pop them off in assembly line fashion once you read through our step by step tutorial. If you’ve ever thought of selling buttons, the cost of entry is pretty low! You can create your own artwork turn it into buttons pretty quick!
If you want to learn how to make pins that look and feel like enamel pins (with zero fancy-schmancy equipment). You might want to check out our step by step post HERE. This method is a little more complicated but you’ll still be able to use your own artwork to create pins that look JUST like professionally made enamel pins.
In order to make professional looking button pins at home you have to have a button pin machine. They’re inexpensive relative to the amount of enjoyment OR profit you can see from them should you decide to sell your button pins.
There are several button pin makers out there but I love the design, simplicity and options of the We R Memory Keepers Button Press. Not only can you make round buttons, but you can also make heart shaped button pins and square button pins with their new adapters. It’s the system I will be using to show you how to make buttons at home that look totally professional.
Below are a few examples of the buttons that you can make with this button maker! We’ll also send you home with some FREE PRINTABLE artwork to create button pins at home just like ours! Our FREE PRINTABLE is pre-sized to fit 1″, 1.5″ & 2.25″ round buttons.
How to Make Button Pins Step by Step
Button Pin DIY Supplies
Our FREE Printable Button Artwork OR Scrapbook Paper OR Your Artwork sized at 1″, 1.5″ & 2.25″ square
The We R Memory Keepers Button Press All in One Kit comes with EVERYTHING you need to make 1″, 1.5″ & 2.25″ button pins. You can also make heart shaped button pins and square button pins with their newest adapters. There are three basic steps to make each button. First, cut the artwork to size using included cutters. Second, press & crimp the artwork and protective covering onto the front of the button. Third, add the back of the button with pin.
Step 1: Set up the button press to cut your artwork to size
You’ll find these blank, flat white adapters in your button making kit. These are the base for the 1″, 1.5″ & 2.25″ paper cutters that will take your artwork and make them perfectly sized to make buttons with. They have a magnet that makes them easy to put into place on the button press.
Here I’ve added the bottom adapter to the bottom or base of the button maker. The bottom rotates in and out of the machine to make this easier.
Here I’ve added the top half to the top of the button maker and slide the base into place. We’re now ready to start cutting artwork to size for our buttons. I’m starting out using scrapbook paper on the 2.25 inch cutter. This will make the largest button pin possible with this machine.
Step 2: Cut artwork to fit the button press
Use a Straight Line Paper Cutter (or scissors if you don’t mind cut lines that aren’t straight) to cut a piece of scrapbook paper no larger than the cutting adapter itself (see next image). This is so it will fit into the button making machine and not interfere with the two bars that the press moves along.
Step 3: Cut artwork with button press adapter
Swivel the base out and place the scrapbook paper onto the base. Place the 2.25″ cutting adapter on top of the piece of scrapbook paper.
Swivel the base with the scrapbook paper and cutter into place.
Press down VERY HARD on the handle (you may want to do this on the floor or a very stable surface- some force is required). Lift the handle and rotate the cutter and paper 45 degrees. Push down very hard again. Lift the handle and rotate the cutter and paper 45 degrees. Push down very hard again. Do this until you have applied pressure multiple times in multiple areas (about 4 rotations). From my experience, the cutter does not cut all the way around like it should with just one press of the handle- you have to rotate it multiple times so you get a clean cut).
Step 4: Take artwork out of the button press and remove excess paper
If you’ve rotated your cutter a few times you should have a pretty clean cut out of your artwork. The edges don’t have to be clean or perfect because they will be tucked into your button. They DO have to be the correct size with no tears or missing areas.
Step 5: Insert button adapter into the button press
Now that we have our artwork cut out we are going to make our fist button! Grab the 2.25 inch blue button making adapter and insert the half labeled “top” into the top. It will lock into place with a magnet. Do the same for the bottom. Your button press should look something like the photo above.
Step 6: Insert front of button into the button making adapter
There are 4 total components to making a button. The paper artwork, the thin plastic film that covers the artwork & protects it, the front half of the metal button and the back half of the metal button which contains the pin.
In this next step we are going to crimp the artwork and thin plastic film to the front half of the button. To do this, place the front half of the button into the adapter. Then place your artwork and the thin plastic film on top. When your done it should look like the image below.
Step 7: Align top and bottom of adapter and press down on lever
Slide the bottom of the adapter into the button press and make sure the the letter “A” on the top and bottom are completely aligned. This is critical! This alignment ensures the correct operation happens and your artwork is crimped to the front half of the button. When the halves are aligned, press down hard on the lever to complete this step.
Step 8: Rotate bottom half out of machine, insert back half of button
In this next step, we are going to press the back half of the button (with the pin) to the front half of the button. At this point in the button making process, half of the button is still up inside the top half of the adapter. We’ll slide out the bottom half of the adapter and add the back half of the button to it…then slide it back again. See image below.
NOTE! We are using scrapbook paper in this step by step example so the alignment of the pin back isn’t very important. If you are using our FREE PRINTABLE artwork or some of your own you need to pay attention to how the pin back is aligned relative to the artwork. If you don’t align the back of the pin properly with the front of the pin you could have a strangely aligned button pin with upside down artwork.
Step 9: Align adapter to position “B” & press final button
Slide the bottom half of the adapter into the button press and align the adapter so the “B” of the top half and the “B” of the bottom half are aligned. Press down hard on the lever. This final pressing of the lever will join the front half and the back half of the button.
Step 10: Remove completed button
Slide the bottom half of the adapter out. There you will find the completed button! Flip it over and you’ll see the pin on the back of the button. Your button pin is ready to use!
I hope you enjoyed learning how to make buttons at home with no expensive, fancy-schmancy machinery. It’s SO EASY and so fun to create customizable buttons for any occasion. You can make a button memorable for birthday parties, bachelorette parties & holiday parties. You can speak your mind with political or social change buttons. The only limit is your imagination!
What kind of custom pin buttons are you going to make? Let me know in the comments section below! Don’t forget to grab your FREE PRINTABLE button artwork in our pintables library at the link at the bottom of this web.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What kind of paper should I print on?
How do you make buttons with pictures?
You can make button pins the same way that we have shown you here but you’ll just cut your pictures down to size of your button. You can also print your photos on photo printer paper if you don’t want to cut up your existing photos. Because the paper is a little thicker you might have to apply more pressure with the button press to make it crimp.
How do you make buttons with a Cricut?
You don’t actually need a Cricut to make pinback buttons. You could use Cricut design space to make artwork if you wanted to- but it’s not necessary. You only need a button maker and a means of creating and printing your button artwork. You can cut anything you need down to size for your pins with a pair of scissors.
How do I design a custom button?
If you like to draw by hand you might want to use a program called Procreate. It’s available as an app for your iPad. You just need an Apple pencil to draw by hand on your iPad and have it become a digital file you can print over and over again. You can also import pictures and graphics into Procreate and from there alter, add to or manipulate them within the app. You can find tons of Procreate tutorials on Youtube.
How do you make enamel pins?
We totally hacked DIY enamel pins at home with NO fancy schmancy machines…check out our post—> How to Make DIY Enamel Pins At Home That Look Totally Professional.
How do you make button pins without a button machine?
You can purchase a snap together button pin making kit on Amazon. I have used these button pin making kits in the past with only so-so results. Because the snap together they also have a tendency to unsnap when you bang them against something. This causes your art work and your button to fall apart (sometimes without you even knowing that it’s happened). It’s possible you could remedy this problem with some careful super gluing but make sure the super glue doesn’t come into contact with your artwork because it will stain it. I also found it difficult to get the artwork centered. The cut lines matter with these kits because you see everything (the buttons are totally clear).I wouldn’t recommend this route if you are planning on selling the buttons but for small batches and personal use it works okay.