Finding Your Flair: How to Make Your Own Pins and Buttons

Pins and buttons are making a comeback. If you know how to wear them, they can make a great addition to any outfit.

But pins and buttons aren’t always cheap. Buying the styles you want can add up before you know it.

That’s why you should make your own pins and buttons.

You can get all the materials you need cheap, and putting everything together doesn’t take more than an afternoon.

We’ve put together some of the best DIY pins and buttons guides out there below.

So let’s dive in!

How to Make Your Own Pins and Buttons

There are several different ways to make your own pins and buttons. It all depends on the type of style you want and how you plan to wear them.

Here are six DIY tutorials that can help you get started.

1. Snap-In Casing Buttons

Using snap-in casings are a quick and easy way to customize your buttons.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • Snap-in casing buttons (you can find these in craft stores or online)
  • Printed picture of your choice (make sure it’s small enough to fit inside the button!)

Here’s What You’ll Do:

Put your picture inside the bowl half of your snap-in casing. Make sure the image is face down. Then just snap the back half of the casing in place.

That’s all!

If you have a lot of buttons to make, you can also do this with a button machine. These machines will make the process faster and the end results nice and secure.

2. Shrink Film Pins

Don’t want to limit yourself with round-shaped buttons? You can make your pins any shape you want when you use shrink film.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • Shrink film
  • Pin backs
  • Paintbrush (and craft paint)
  • Hot glue gun (and glue)
  • Sandpaper
  • Acrylic sealer

Here’s What You’ll Do:

Take your sandpaper and gently rub your sheet of shrink film. This will clear off any dust and make it easier for the paint to adhere to the surface.

Next, use your paint (you can also use pens) to draw your preferred design. Let the paint dry and cut your designs out.

Follow the directions on your shrink film packaging to shrink your designs. Once they’ve finished “baking” and cooling, add a coat of acrylic sealer to make them shiny.

Then all you have to do is glue the pin backs on the back of your design with hot glue.

3. Cloth Buttons

Do you have a lot of cloth scraps left over from a previous craft? You can turn them into interesting button designs.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • Fabric scraps
  • Glue of your choice
  • Button pins
  • Scissors

Here’s What You’ll Do:

Cut out a circle of fabric a little larger than your button pin. Spread some glue over the surface of the button, and wrap the fabric over it. You may have to glue the loose ends of fabric down on the back.

Let your glue dry, and you’re ready to wear your new buttons!

4. Bottle Cap Pins

These pins are super stylish and super easy to make on your own. Don’t like how the bottle cap looks? That’s okay. No one will see the top.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • Bottle caps
  • Printed pictures (make sure they’re small enough to fit inside the bottle cap!)
  • Casting resin
  • Pin backs
  • Hot glue

Here’s What You’ll Do:

Start by pouring the casting resin into the bottle caps about halfway up. Make sure you follow the directions on the package. Using a toothpick or a stick, push your pictures (face up) into the resin.

Let them dry overnight while you get a good night’s sleep.

Once the resin has set, glue a pin back on the back of the bottle cap.

Do you like the look of normal bottle caps? You can glue the pin back to the inside of the bottle cap instead and wear your favorite beverage logos on your clothes.

5. Personalized Buttons

If you have some old button pins you don’t wear anymore, you can turn them into new, personalized buttons.

The process is very easy, and since you already have the buttons, they’re a cheaper option than many of the other DIY pins on this list. But keep in mind, these might not look as high-quality as other methods.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • Old buttons
  • Preferred picture
  • Adhesive (rubber cement works best)
  • Paintbrush

Here’s What You’ll Do:

Once you cut out your image to the same size as your button, paint a layer of rubber cement over the button.

Then just glue the picture onto the button. Let it dry completely before wearing.

6. Clay Pins

Making pins out of clay allows you to design your entire shape from scratch. You can make it any size or thickness you want.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • Air drying clay
  • Rolling pin
  • Clay knife
  • Paintbrush (and paint)
  • Hot glue gun (and glue)
  • Pin backs
  • Sandpaper

Here’s What You’ll Do:

Use your rolling pin to roll out a thin layer of clay. It should be about .5 inches thick. Cut out the shape you want with your clay knife. You can print out templates on normal paper if you need some help coming up with designs.

Let the clay dry overnight. The next morning, turn the clay over and let it sit for another 24 hours.

Sand the edges smooth with your sandpaper and start painting. Once the paint is dry, turn your design over and glue on a pin back.

Finding Your Flair with DIY Pins and Buttons

The methods to make your own pins and buttons aren’t hard, and they can save you a lot of money in the long run. They also make great homemade birthday or holiday presents!

Looking for some other neat DIY tricks?

Click here to learn different ways to frame your favorite puzzles.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.