Enamel pins are such a cute accessory to spice up an old waistcoat, jacket or bag. They can look so fashionable, cute and you can choose the ones that best suit your personality and style.
However, sometimes enamel pins can be quite expensive, and it can often be hard to find decent ones that suit the vision you have in your head perfectly. You might be looking for one of your favourite celebrities, your favourite quote or maybe your favourite drink. There are endless possibilities of enamel pin designs, and sometimes it can be hard to know where to start looking. You might also have lots of different ideas for potential designs and want to have a go at selling your own pins!
Well, instead of traipsing the internet looking for a specific pin for yourself or to try and sell on, why not make your own!
Making enamel pins can actually be pretty simple, and also very fun! It’s a great activity to do by yourself or with a friend to get creative, have a laugh and also make some money.
So, how exactly do you make enamel pins? Well, keep reading to find out.
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- Design Your Pins
Firstly, you need to get your designs ready. You need to have a little think about how you want your enamel pins to look and then get started at drawing or sketching them.
If you know your way around graphic designing, then this is a great tool to use for designing your pins as it can create the perfect aesthetic for an enamel pin. Take your time designing your pin, as this can actually be so fun, and it means you can make it look exactly how you want. You can choose the colours, the shape, the size, everything!
If you’re not very creative, then there are plenty of places online where you can purchase design templates for a very cheap price, and then you can either customise this or use it as it is for your enamel pin.
As a general basis for your pins, you should try and keep them as simple and small as you can. A standard enamel pin tends to be about 1 to 2 inches so try to stay within this range. Although, this is of course completely your design so if you want a bigger pin then go for it! It also tends to be better to just use nice simple lines and colours, as this will give for the better, cleaner, looking pins. Too much detail can sometimes get lost on the pin.
Another little thing to note is that pins can’t typically be made with any short of shading, and so it is best to save yourself time and avoid shading. Block colours and lines are best.
- Turn the Design into a PDF
Once you have your design sorted then you need to convert it to a PDF file. If you’ve created your design on your laptop then this should be fairly straightforward, however if you have sketched or drawn your design then you will need to scan it onto your laptop and then make sure it is in a PDF format.
- Choose Material
The next thing you need to do is choose what material you want your pin to be made from. Your options are hard enamel pins or soft enamel pins. Hard enamel pins are slightly more expensive, but many prefer the aesthetic they give with their thin metal lines that separate colours.
They are generally made from iron metal and undergo high temperatures and polishing in order to give a smooth, shiny surface. Whilst hard enamel pins are more expensive, they tend to be a lot more durable and also look like they are of a much higher quality.
Soft enamel pins, on the other hand, are a bit cheaper and they have a textured surface. A lot of people choose soft enamel pins because they allow for there to be more detail on the pin. Soft pins are again made from iron metal, but then go through electroplating and sometimes have an epoxy coating added to them in order to give them a thinner feel and look when compared to hard enamel pins.
- Choose the Size of Pin
Next, you need to pick what size you want your pin to be. As mentioned earlier, most enamel pins tend to be between 1 and 2 inches. Smaller enamel pins are usually in the range of 0.75 to 1.25 inches, and these make for really cute pins that aren’t too big and look lovely on a bag or jacket. Having said that, you can also go for a bigger pin, such as one of about 2 inches, if that’s the aesthetic that you’re going for.
You also need to pick how many pinbacks you want your pins to have. This is the bit that fastens the pin into place. You can put as many or as few on as you please, but it is recommended to put two on them to ensure your pin stays safely in place. There would be nothing more heart-breaking than spending all that time, effort and money on your pin and losing it because you only had one fastener attached! Also, only having one can cause it to move around a lot which can be very irritating.
- Choose How Many Pins You Want
Before sending your pin design off to be made, you need to decide how many pins you would like. Most factories tend to have a minimum order of 100, and it’s recommended to stick to this on your first purchase and not produce too many more. Otherwise, you may be left with a lot of pins that you can’t sell and that would be a waste of your money!
- Choose a Factory
The final step is to choose the factory that you want to produce your enamel pins for you. There are so many different options, and all you have to do is google it to find plenty of choices.
You want to pick a factory which will have a reasonable cost, a good turnaround time, one that will send you a photo of the finished pin before shipping them out to you, and who take 50% of the money upfront and then the rest after they have sent you the photo. All these terms will help to protect you and ensure you are getting the best service for your money.
When sending a photo of your design to a factory before starting the purchase, make sure you send it as a low-resolution image so that they can’t copy your design. When contacting them, you also need to tell them all the details of what material you’d like the pin to be in, how many you’d like etc, so that they can give you an informed decision about whether they can make your pins for you.
Then once you’ve chosen your factory, you will start the process of producing the pins and all that will be left to do is sit back and wait for them to arrive!
So, there you have everything you need to know about how to make enamel pins. It can be such a fun thing to do and is a great way to start your own little business. You could set up an account on Etsy, eBay or Instagram and then start selling your beautiful little creations!