I have some good news and some bad news. Which do you want first? The bad news? Okay. The equipment you need to make buttons costs about $300. Gulp. But the GOOD news is that once you have it, you can make 1” buttons for only pennies each! So affordable! And the designs and uses are limitless. Of course you can use them as wedding favors, but they’re great for promoting your band or your business, too. Or if you have a friend who is also getting married perhaps you can share the cost of the button machine.
What you need:
- 1” Button Machine
- Rotary Circle Cutter
- Button Supplies: including shells, mylars, collets, and spring pins.
- Printed copies of your design (should be about .85 inches across)
First, design your button and print it onto regular ol’ paper. To conserve paper, duplicate your design and fit many copies onto one sheet of paper. I designed a simple red heart and I was able to comfortably fit 16 hearts onto one sheet of paper. You can download my design here.
Next use your rotary cutter. This sucker costs $80. There has got to be a way to make consistent 1.313” circle cuts for less money. Scrapbookers, any ideas? The button machine stores sell a punch cutter (http://stores.americanbuttonmachines.com/Detail.bok?no=10) for $160. Hrumph.
Set the rotary cutter over the design that you want to cut out, being careful that your design is centered.
Crank and cut!
Now gather your button supplies. From left to right we have the spring pin, the collet, the shell, and then my cut design with a circle of mylar on top.
Here is an ariel view. The black plate spins so that each silver metal cylinder can go under the press.
It is tricky to distinguish between the two sides. I want to put my shell, design, and mylar in the side that is currently on the right.
Or better yet, look at the machine in profile. Your shell, design, and mylar go on the side that has the springs on the bottom.
Put your collet on the other side, narrow side down.
Twirl the plate so that the design cylinder goes under the press.
Now the fun part! Press! I enlist the help of my son Peyton.
Now spin the plate so the collet side goes under the press. The shell, design, and mylar seem to have disappeared momentarily. Press again!
We did it! I whipped up a quick display idea where your pin gift can be presented on cardstock with a personal message from you.
I photographed Julie’s wedding in May 2009. Julie included pins in her home-made favor bags, so cute!
Or if you’d rather just buy yourself some heart button pins straight-up, visit my Etsy store. <3