3 Step Definitive Guide on How to Make Enamel Pin (That You Can Apply Fast!)January 26, 2019
Do you want to know how to make an enamel pin effortlessly? More importantly, do you want to learn how to EARN from this industry?
Enamel pins have become a fashion accessory these days. People who wear enamel pins use it as an extension of themselves. Mostly, these pins are placed on the lapel of the jacket, but some people place it on their bags, hats and more. From celebrity status icons, to fan-made designs, enamel pin is the in thing now.
There is a growing market for enamel pins everywhere, and manufacturers from Europe and Asia do their best to keep up with the trend. If you want to be a part of this trend and would like know how to make enamel pin right now, here are the steps. Dive in!
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Step 1. Design Your Pin
If wearing pins are already cool, how more it could be if you designed it yourself?
Knowing how to design enamel pins mean you are in control of what you it looks like and what its material would be. Starting from the design, color, size, and materials, the pin will surely reflect your own personality.
There are three things you need to do when designing your pin. These are:
1. Create Your Own Design.
Designing is one of the best parts of knowing how to make pins. It is the first stage of the creative process.
How do you want others to see the pins when you are wearing them? Do you want it to be a reflection of your personality? Do you want it to be a form of expression of what you are feeling at the moment?
This will give you an idea on what you want to design. For instance, you can use a unicorn cartoon if you’re feeling over the rainbow. Or you can create a pin that reflects your political stand.
Again, knowing what you want to say is the first part of how to make enamel pin. And the best thing about making your own pin design is that it reflects your personality.
The only limitation is your own imagination.
So how do you draw your enamel pin design? Here are some pointers:
- Size – You need to remember that your pin size is one to two inches only. Make sure your design fits.
- Simplify – Make your drawing as simple as possible. Complicated designs will delay the production of your pins. (And you might get an end-product that is different from what you had in mind)
- Lines – Use bold lines and strong colors. Thin lines won’t be seen easily and might reflect poorly upon production. It might even cause a spillover of colors.
- Colors – Make them simple and basic. Each color should be separated by lines.
Photo from BagoGames
What if, for the life of me, I can’t draw?
People who can’t draw well can still design their own pins. If you can’t translate your ideas to paper, you can always Google it.
You can look for vector graphics and use them as basis of your own design. There are thousands of these online that you can choose from.
If you want to complicate your pin, you can always mix and match other designs until you achieve your desired results. However, don’t get carried away and make your design so complicated that either it’s impossible to produce or becomes too expensive!
If you still think it’s something you can’t do by yourself, you can always hire someone from Fiverr or Upwork. Hire someone from Fiverr today and get 10% OFF when you use coupon code MAXB10.
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2. Decide your enamel pins’ size.
When working on how to make pins, you need to consider its size. Large pins may be a good idea, but it is certainly not a practical one. Think about it: the larger the surface, the more expensive it is to produce.
Large pins may allow you to place more details, but it can also limit the places where you can pin it. The usual size of small pins is between half an inch to 1.5 inches. If you are worried about your budget, it is best to keep your design simple and small.
3. Decide the type of enamel pin you want
Another thing that you need to consider is the material. It is one of the defining features of a lapel pin.
There are two types for you to choose from: the soft enamel and the hard enamel.
Here is a simple explanation of their basic differences:
- Brittleness – Soft enamel pins are more brittle and thinner compared to hard enamel pins.
- Texture – Soft enamel pins have textured surface. This is to make allowance for details. It is created from die-struck metal, then electroplated with optional coating of epoxy. This gives the pin a thinner feel but more textured than hard enamel.
On the other hand, hard enamel pins have a smooth finish. It is also created from die-struck metal by heating it to a high temperature. It is polished to create a smooth surface.
- Durability – Hard enamel pins are more durable compared to soft enamel pins.
- Production cost – In terms of production, soft enamel is cheaper compared to hard enamel.
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4. Decide the number of pin-back buttons.
Photo courtesy of QualityPoliceCollectibles.com
A pin-back is the fastening mechanism that keeps the pin in place. It is like a needle that you stick in the cloth, paired with a pin back button that secures the pin.
Using only one pin-back will let the pin wiggle in place. Two pin-backs will secure the enamel pins properly.
But here’s the thing; Two pin-backs cost more compared to one pin-back.
In conclusion, designing is one of the most important aspects of how to make enamel pin, so take your time. Do your research and check on the aspects that directly affect your pin, such as its lines, colors, size, type and even number of pin-back buttons.
Step 2: Search For A Manufacturer
Searching for the right manufacturer that can translate your idea to a physical pin is very important.
There are literally thousands of enamel pin manufacturers around the globe. However, not all of them provide the same quality of service. Some beginners are always worried about their budget, that’s why they avoid the best in the business.
However, this is not the best way to look for a manufacturer. Look for manufacturers who can deliver your order on time and with great quality. If you are worried about budget, you would be happy to know that there are manufacturers that can provide good service at a low price.
Tip #1: Questions you can ask your potential manufacturers
Once you have narrowed down your search for manufacturers, you can ask them the following:
- How long is the production process?
- What type of needle will be incorporated at the back of the pin?
- How are they going to ship the pins to your home?
- How much is the shipping cost?
You can also ask them these:
- Is there a minimum order quantity?
- What is the turnaround time for the approved artwork?
- Can they provide a picture of the sample mold?
- Do they accept 50% advance payment and 50% once the order is complete? Or what are their payment terms?
Asking them these questions will help you reach a decision. If a company is able to give you satisfactory answers, you can add them on your short list.
Tip #2: Evaluate your shortlisted manufacturers
As mentioned earlier, there are thousands of lapel manufacturers in the world. But how do you know if they are as reliable as they say?
Here are some ways to sort out the best companies:
- Look for Third Party Online Reviews
You can find online reviews written by a satisfied client. These types of online reviews cannot be edited by the manufacturing company. Look for reviews that talk about fairness of the price (if it is fair), the quality of the pins, production time, and customer care. If you are not satisfied with what’s written on the review, don’t choose them (even though they offer a good price).
- Choose one with an online ordering system
Just like a DIY system, the online ordering system makes your order easy. Through this, you can complete an order with just a few clicks. The system will save you a great deal of time and effort. Don’t choose a company doesn’t have this service feature or you will be up for a lot of headaches.
- See if the company doesn’t ask for mold fee.
There is a cost associated with producing a mold for the pins.
If the company is willing to waive the mold fee, you will definitely save some money. You can instead put the money into the production of your enamel pins.
- Learn about their minimum order quantity
If you would notice, many manufacturers do not allow the production of just one pin. Sometimes you need to order at least 100 pieces to continue the transaction.
Why? This is because of the cost of materials, human resources and shipping costs.
Photo courtesy of Notonthehighstreet.com
a. Human resources factor
An employee will devote his time translating your design into a mold.
Once a mold has been prepared, he will also take time assembling the pins (and see to it that it is according to your instructions).
b. Materials factor
Aside from the time spent creating the mold, think of the materials cost in creating the mold. This is not cheap.
c. Shipping costs
Shipping companies charge items by half a kilogram. This is their minimum weight standard fee. So it doesn’t matter if you ordered one enamel pin or 100. You will still pay the same minimum weight fee.
But the point of being able to order only a limited number of pieces is because you don’t know how well your pins will be received by your audience. On the other hand, if your design becomes successful, then you can inform the manufacturer that you want to reorder another set.
It’s a good thing, then, that there are manufacturers that have no minimum order quantities. Remember, too, that your next order for the same design can be cheaper since the mold has already been created.
You will surely be able to narrow down your choices after going through this guide. This is a crucial step in how to make enamel pin, so don’t skimp on it.
Once you’ve chosen the right manufacturer, you can then send them your design and specifications.
Step 3: Ordering the Pins
This is the final step in how to make enamel pin.
When you order in bulk, even if it’s just a dozen or so pieces, your manufacturer would typically send you a sample. This is to make sure you are both on the same page. Make sure that you have properly studied the sample given to you. Take time to inspect every inch of the enamel pin.
Are you satisfied with the color scheme, size and weight of the pin? If you are not settled with your decision, ask for your friends’ help. Let them see the samples and have them comment. Once you have analyzed the sample, send the manufacturer your comments. The comments will help them fine tune any mistakes that were done on the sample.
If the sample is perfect, that’s great! You can move on with ordering the actual number of pins that you need.
But there are several factors to keep in mind when ordering your pins. These are:
Order ahead of time
Ordering the pins in bulk would require a great deal of time to finish. It is best to order them at least one month in advance so that you can expect them on time.
For instance, you are expecting to use or sell the pins for a holiday. It is only logical to order them ahead of time. But also consider that manufacturers may already be fully booked, so ordering a couple of months earlier might be ideal.
When figuring out how to make lapel pins, time is always a crucial matter.
Another consideration is the communication between you and the manufacturer. Make sure that you send the company the complete details about your design.
Sending incomplete specifications could delay the production. When ordering, make sure that you speak directly with the company’s representative.
This avoids any complication that could prolong the process. If the company has a live chat feature, utilize it.
Learn about the delivery guarantee
Learn about the company’s delivery time guarantee.
Delays in production are unavoidable. Mistakes also contribute to the delays. The company that you chose should be able to meet your deadline. If you want to be sure, you can ask the company how they are going to make up for delays.
It would also be best to understand how are enamel pins made to help you gauge the time and cost it takes in producing your enamel pins.
Just like any other product, manufacturing pins undergo through a number of procedures. There are many factors that can affect the cost and duration of manufacturing.
- The production process
- The complexity of the design
- The size of the pin
- The number of your order
- The number of colors you want to include
Considering of these factors, the manufacturers will give you a quote.
Their quote price will then become your main consideration whether or not you will take their offer.
If you believe that their price quote is reasonable, then you could proceed with the order. If not, then you can still look for other companies.
You need to have lots of patience during the production of your enamel pins. Depending on the design, the process may take longer than expected. You have to remember that the manufacturing company is making sure that the pins are made exactly according to your specifications.
All in all, knowing how to make enamel pin is a rewarding experience. You just have to look for a dependable manufacturing company that will make your design a reality.
All it takes is thorough research and lots of patience.
Just don’t be afraid to ask questions; they are important part of your research.