Making flair pins and buttons



This video came up in a few of my feeds this morning.

The static instruction page is here.

I really like to see easy ways to avoid buying specialized hardware, especially when the specialization of the hardware leads to repetitive, homogenized products.
Recently, I started playing with a (traditional) button-press that i got off craigslist. It is a lot of fun, and people like buttons (and pins, magnets, keychains, zipper-pulls)… but each different size/shape requires a different die, shells, backers, etc… and they all come out looking the same. That’s great for repeatability, but not so much for originality.

Safety pins are a great start. What other hardware might be incorporated in a similar way to make unique items?

Speculation on the Expansion Port

Oh that’s extremely clever with the pin!!


I love it!

At work, we use magnetic name tags for trade show. The button has a metal strip at the back, and on the inside of our shirt there’s a magnet that holds it in place. That could work here as well.


We do too…

Interestingly, the magnet bar (top) has a warning not to wear this if one has a pacemaker. The safety pin might be the, well, safer option…


How 'bout nuts 'n bolts? First layer is just nut-sized cut outs. Second layer is made to fit the shaft of the bolt. Third layer is house numbers or something epoxied to a flat bolt head.


Looking at the instructions for that, btw, it seems as if a laser that could engrave/score to a specific depth could do the safety pin thing in one step. All you need is enough depth to get a glue layer over the back wire and a slight recess for the head. (Yeah, you’d need to be doing 2-sided registration).


:open_mouth: that’s really cool! can’t wait to make one of those!


Brian approves and so do I.


Oh, I like the safety pin idea. I plan to make name tags for the local Lions Club when my Glowforge arrives. I have used these things in the past. I had also considered magnets. But I like this idea, too.


In the same vein, earrings would work.

S’pose you could just glue them, though.


Hobby Lobby has these on sale right now…

28 for 1.50) and they have the adhesive. I picked some up and used one on the back of my little ghost. They seem to work well!


Or source from Aliexpress: 50 for $14 inc USA postage.


This is a great little tutorial–I love “use what you have” making.


… I’m blown away by this!!! As a metalsmith, I’m used to soldering pin backs onto the piece. THIS however was just amazing, and clever problem solving. I love it and will add it to my arsenal of design tools :smiley: