A couple months ago the crafty Jennifer Null of Technicolor Moments had a chance to stop by the fabulous SpaceCraft Studios in Charleston, South Carolina, to make a few pinback buttons with the help of owner Allison Merrick.
For those of you unfamiliar with SpaceCraft, it combines a workroom studio and retail shop in one space. The workroom has all the necessary tools and materials needed to make a variety of craft projects – including a 1” button machine and circle cutter from American Button Machines. Continue reading
Button making is much easier than most people think. This isn’t to say that all button machines are made equal – there are several myths circulating about certain machines – but what’s cool about our American-made machines is, even though they are designed for adult use (12 years and older), their low center of gravity and wide base allow for ease of use by buttoneers both young and old.
To show you exactly what we’re talking about, we’ll tell you how to put together a button, in this case a pinback button, with the help of two talented button makers, Sydney and Willow.
What You’ll Need for Button Making
Before we tell you how to make a button, here is what you’ll need:
- An American Button Machine – our demonstrators look to be using a Model 100 1-inch button machine.
- A one-inch pinback button set that includes a shell, mylar, collet, and spring pin.
How To Make A Button
Once you’ve got the supplies, you’re all set to begin the button-making process.
- To start, create art for your button using design software or our Build-A-Button Online Design Center.
- Cut out your graphics. There are several tools like circle cutters and handheld punch cutters that can improve your precision and efficiency for this process, especially if you are making a large volume of buttons.
- Insert the shell into the button machine die.
- Insert the graphic with the design facing up and put the mylar on top of the graphic.
- Rotate the dies and put the collet into the other die.
- Pull the handle down once.
- Rotate the dies so that the collet is now underneath the upper die and pull the handle down again.
- Rotate the dies back around to see your button.
- Remove the button, insert the spring pin into the back of the button, and you’re done!
Button Making Demonstration
Our button makers already have a design created and will use the machine to create the final product. To start off, here’s Sydney to show you how easy button making is.
And, now, here’s Willow.
While we can’t condone the underage activities in these videos – just look how easy it is to make a button using an American Button Machine. Please exercise caution & common sense by not allowing children under the age of 12 to operate the button makers without first having them hermetically sealed .
If you have any questions, please leave them below.
By Brighid Brown, Director of Blogging and All Things Cool at ABM