1” Metal Flatback and 1” Medallion… How are they different?

What is a metal fatback? What is a plastic medallion button? How are they different and what can you use them for? It is confusing, why do you offer both styles?  What is a crimp die adapter used for? We get these questions quite frequently so we thought we would put together a quick history and tutorial for our followers.

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ABM Update: New sizes now available for the super popular Dynamo hand-held punch cutter.

You asked and we are delivering!

A few months ago we began offering a hand-held punch cutter for 1” buttons.  Right out of the gate we were getting requests for larger sizes.  Well, the wait is over – say hello to the Dynamo Hand-Held Graphic Punch Cutter for 1.25” AND  1.5” buttons! Continue reading

ABM Video Series: How to Make a Pinback Button

In this, the fourth installment of our ABM Video Series, we are going to show you just how ridiculously easy it is to make a pinback button.

And when we say easy, we don’t just mean simple…we also mean quick.

Would you believe me if I told you the total time it takes to make a professional pinback button is less than 10 seconds?

It’s true. The video evidence that proves this claim awaits you at the end of this post.

But first, a quick outline of the steps:

  1. Get your button machine ready. (Note: these steps will work for button sizes 1.25″ and larger.)
  2. Insert shell into one of the two rotating dies.
  3. Place circular graphic face up on top of shell.
  4. Place mylar on top of graphic.
  5. Rotate dies.
  6. Place pinned back pin-side down in other die.
  7. Click your heels three times and say “abracadabra” while rubbing your stomach and patting your head at the same time.
  8. Pull handle towards you once.
  9. Rotate dies.
  10. Pull handle towards you once more.
  11. Remove completed pinback button from die and admire your amazing craftsmanship!

Quick pop-quiz: one of the above 11 steps is actually not a necessary step for creating pinback buttons (but is, however, something fun and perhaps even challenging to try!).

If you’re having trouble with the pop-quiz question, just watch the video below. You’ll see that the entire process takes less than 10 seconds, and here’s a hint: there is no magic required.

Just you, a few supplies, and an ABM button maker!

Video: How to Make a Pinback Button

Brighid Brown – Director of Blogging and All Things Cool at ABM

Button Maker Price Comparison: American All-in-One Kits v Chinese 3-in-1 Button Makers

Welcome back for post #2 in our weeklong series discussing American-made button maker kits and Chinese-made button maker kits. Yesterday we provided an overview and debunked a few myths about Chinese 3-in-1 button machines. Today we are going to do a button maker price comparison, contrasting the costs of Chinese-made button makers to the costs of our American-made button makers.

First, let’s take a look at the hard costs as we dig into this button maker price comparison.

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How to Start a Button Business

Given the current economic situation, many families are forced to cut back on their spending while they try to come up with some ways to make extra income. One easy way to supplement an income for a very small investment is for a family to start their very own button making business.

The small investment for a button making system and the necessary supplies can allow an entrepreneurially minded family to easily start their own button business making pinback buttons. Pinback buttons are extremely versatile and have an enormous popularity. From campaign buttons to concert souvenirs, pinback buttons are a popular novelty item. Continue reading

Buttons for Bands: Using a Button Maker for Band Promotion

Some of the most common pieces of rock and roll memorabilia are novelty pinback buttons. Pinback buttons are sold at many concerts and some have grown to become collectors items. Often no larger than 1 inch in diameter, pinback buttons can carry a significant memory for their owners. Continue reading

Free Button Making Software

People are always asking us is it really that easy to make a pinback button? The quick answer is, absolutely! The next question is, where can I get free button making software? The most challenging thing to accomplish when making a button is designing the artwork, everything else is a piece of cake! If you want to design a pinback button on a computer, then you need some sort of graphic design software. People are always looking for free button making software that works well and is simple to use.

Update: Speaking of button making software that works well and is simple to use, make sure you check out the Build-a-Button Online Design Center, developed and managed by ABM!

There are some different choices you can make for free button making software like Gimp, however we believe in the old adage, you get what you pay for.  While Gimp is free and works for many people, it can be challenging to set up and use for a novice. This being said, if it is challenging to learn, you might as well spend a little money on Adobe Photoshop or Corel Draw as these are professional software packages that do not have the problems you might encounter with free button making software such as glitches and printer driver issues.

If you are familiar with Adobe Photoshop or Corel Draw, then you already have the button making battle won. Adobe Photoshop is the primary market leader for graphics, however we find Corel Draw much easier to work with for most people as it seems to be more user friendly for non-graphically minded individuals. You can buy a scaled down version of Adobe Photoshop called Photoshop Elements for about $100 and it will probably do everything you need in the Button-World. Adobe Photoshop does have a long learning curve. However once it is mastered your imagination is the only limit to creating incredible graphics.

Update: Since writing this post, ABM has made it even easier for you to create button graphics on your computer using Photoshop and Corel.

First of all, you can take advantage of special deals for Photoshop that Adobe has made available through us. Click on the following link to save $20 to $30 on NEW Adobe Elements 8 products with mail-in rebate. (Exp 10/31/2010).

In addition, we have created video tutorials and free Photoshop templates for a variety of sizes to make your Photoshop experience even easier.

[Note: Corel video and templates coming soon.]

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Summer Uses for Buttons!

Now that we are smack-dab in the middle of the summer, this seems like as good a time as any to discuss a few summertime uses for buttons…and even a Fall back-to-school use or two.

So what are some ways that button making especially useful during the summer?

Summer Camp

Do you help run a summer camp or know someone who does?  Do your kids attend summer camp?  If so, think about how useful a button machine and some pinback button supplies could be.  Whether for use as nametags for camp counselors, or as nametags for kids so the counselors can quickly learn their names, personalized ID buttons are both fun and functional.

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