Buttons, Badges & Pins - People Power Blog

Our friends at Community Bicycle Network are celebrating their 20th year!   Congratulations on your awesome, award winning service!!! 

Their vision is:

  • bicycles are used to experience everyday life
  • bicycles, parts & accessories can be purchased affordably without sales tax, encouraging sustainable mobility
  • used bicycles can be repaired, resold and re-used or striped for parts and recycled in an environmentally-friendly manner

Come help them celebrate 20 years on Friday, December 6th at 8:00pm at 761 Queen Street West in Toronto!

 

Community Bicycle Network 20th anniversaryPreview blog post

 Or you can support CBN by donating online.

 

Here's to another 20 years!  And if you're at their anniversary party, you can get one these snazzy buttons! 

Community Bicycle Network 20th anniversary

I want to ride my bicycle!

Graphic punches are used for circle cutting.  A question we get over and over is why does my graphic punch get stuck, or not work as cleanly as it should, and what can I do about it? 

Usually this is caused by cutting stickers.  This can can cause the punch to get sticky or gummy.    There is an easy and low maintenance fix for this.  You do NOT need to take it apart to clean it. 

 

Take a piece of of tin/metal which you can buy at any hardware store, or use the shell part for a rectangle or square button if you have one. (also known as a shim.)

 

Just slide it in the punch where you would normally put the paper.

 

 

 

...and quickly insert it a few times to get rid of the gum.

 

 

This should clear off any of the stickiness and start cutting properly again.   You should do this periodically to ensure the sharp cutting of your graphic punch. 

 Happy Punching!!

We have some friends in the band Cauldron who are currently finishing up a Brazilian tour.  Check out the custom band buttons that they made! 

These buttons are METAL!!! :-)

 

If you want to check out their music you can go to their Myspace.   And like them on Facebook!   While you're at it, you can follow there shenanigans on Twitter!

 

 

Their 6 city tour details are:

Nov. 26 - Belo Horizonte, Brazil - Matriz
Nov. 27 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Teatro Odisseia
Nov. 28 - Sao Paulo, Brazil - Manifesto
Nov. 29 - Curitiba, Brazil - Hangar Music Hall
Nov. 30 - Porto Alegre, Brazil - Beco 203
Dec. 01 - Hortolandia, Brazil - Barka-Mada

So if you're in Hortolandia, get yourself to Barka-Mada to see the awesomeness in person!

Our super talented button designer Mariel was recently married to Patrick and she designed these fantastic custom buttons for her wedding. 

Mariel said that her personalized wedding buttons were a huge success with her guests and we can understand why, they look amazing! She's a skilled illustrator and the button design really captures the essence of the happy couple.   For more of Mariel's work check out her Love story comics

Custom wedding buttons

Personalized wedding buttons

The wedding was in Ottawa, and the lovely wedding photos are courtesy of Mondays with Mac Photography

We wish her all the best and hope she is enjoying her honeymoon!

 

Quick question....I've been making buttons for a while now using a Tecre model 100 and their parts. I've noticed that after like 6+ months, my buttons are rusting around the inside edges when you look at them from the back....what causes this and how can I prevent it? Thanks!

Rusty Buttons

Buttons are tin and will rust very quickly.

 

I of course don’t know your specific situation but do you do outdoor events?  Do you keep your buttons in plastic buckets?  If on the end of a humid day you put a lid on and seal your buttons in plastic they will rust.  Of course from rain but even just from humidity.

 

This is a good reason to save and collect those silica gel sachets that come with all kinds of products.  Chuck some of these in with your buttons when you store them after a humid day and don’t seal the boxes up.  If you leave stuff in your car overnight or store buttons in an unheated garage get a heater and/or dehumidifier – or bring them into the house.

Rust on my buttons
button rust

Selling your button designs in stores can be a great way to launch your button business.  But buttons are a low cost item that can walk very easily if you have them in a jar or on a board.  Packaging buttons is a good way to go.  You can make sets of matching buttons and put them on a display card or 4 in a bag with a header card.  I will be writing a separate article about button packaging in due course.  Another way to ensure you don’t loose buttons to pilfering is sell them using a button vending machine.

These machines are traditional gumball machines converted to take capsules.  You can then add multiple buttons in a capsule or also put a special offer or a coupon code in the capsule.  People enjoy putting in a coin and turning the handle to see what they are going to get.  There is a nostalgia surrounding the gumball machines.  Everyone remembers them from their childhood.  Button vending machines work for you whilst you are somewhere else, maybe making or designing buttons, maybe at home tucked up in bed with a good book.  Put your button sales on Automatic!

Beaver Meridian Gumball Machine

Beaver Meridian Gumball Machine

Button Vending Machine

Button Vending Machine uses capsules

 

This is the flagship!  The Beaver Meridian Gumball Machine is a very cool retro style solid metal machine in bright red and designed like a globe.  I think it looks very cool.  As with all these machines there are some options for the coin mechanism.  You can go for a coin mechanism that takes a quarter, two quarters or even 4 quarters.  If your in Canada you can have a loonie or toonie coin mechanism.  You can even have 2 x $1 or 2 x $2.  All these machines also have the option for TOKENS or FREE VEND options.

Beaver Coin Mechanism

Coin Mechanism for a Beaver Meridian Gumball Machine

 

The above Button Vending Machine – Meridian is quite pricy ($600 – $800) and at 70 lbs it’s quite expensive to ship.  But there are other options:

Northern Beaver Vending Machine

Northern Beaver Vending Machine

The Northern Beaver takes 1″ or 2″ or 3″ capsules.  You can fit 3 1″ buttons or magnets in a 1″ acorn capsule.  You can fit 3 buttons or magnets up to 1-3/4″ in a 2″ acorn capsule.  The 3″ capsules are a quarter each so I find them a bit expensive but they do take a few 2-1/4″ buttons.  The 2″ acorn capsules are only 5 cents each, the 1″ acorn capsules go down to 3 cents each. I see more opportunity in those than the 3″ buttons.

Round Beaver Button Vending Machine

Round Beaver Button Vending Machine

The Round Beaver has all the coin mechanism options but is only available for 1″ vending capsules.  The stand is also an optional extra.  They sit nicely on the counter and come with fixtures for bolting down or attaching a security wire (as do all Beaver vending machines).  The Round Beaver you can pickup for around $150.

Marketing and promotion options using a Button Vending Machine.

Above I’m talking about selling buttons but there are also other uses.  These machines have interchangeable coin mechanisms.  Those coin mechanisms can have some interesting possibilities. The FREE VEND option is a coin mechanism that requires no coin.  Just turn the handle and out pops the capsule.  Why is this useful?

Think of putting a machine in a local venue like an art gallery or a café.  When someone turns the handle they get a free button and an ad.  That ad could lead potential clients to your store, your website or to your latest special offer.  A great way to get customers coming to you.

What about TOKEN VENDING?  Our mechanism takes a 0.984″ token which is a pretty standard token size.  You can get tokens personalised, stamped with your website or your logo.  You can send a token to your mailing list, give a token out at trade shows or even walk the streets and hand out your token.  It will bring people to your store or event.  Event and party organisers can use tokens to distribute “random” capsules that are a kind of lottery.  What about a party where you have to find the person with the matching button.  The Button Vending Machine keeps the mix random.

How do I promote my website or business with a Button Vending Machine.

Depends on your business ….. but let’s say you have a bicycle store for example.  Come up with 5 or 10 slogans about cycling.  I love my bike!  Cyclists do it better!  Watch for cyclists!  etc.  Make some cool designs, add a button or magnet business card so there are 2 buttons in the capsule.   Get a Button Vending Machine with a $1 mechanism and set it up in your cycle shop.  Your customers will like the slogan, buy the button and take home your business card for the fridge.  If it cost a $1 they will appreciate it – If you give them away we all know how many end up in the garbage!  Entertain your customers AND promote your business.  The $1 coins will pay for the buttons and the machine in no time.  This method can be adapted to almost ANY BUSINESS and it works.

 

 

You're thinking of getting some customized buttons made.  These maybe photo buttons with a text or buttons with your own design.  If you are looking to get 100 custom buttons and pins or even 250 custom made buttons it's not really worthwhile to rent. You might as well let someone else make the buttons for you. You can easily order custom buttons online with us at People Power Press or with Button-Designer from The Button Guy. 

But if you are thinking of making customized buttons, custom photo buttons or any custom buttons and pins in a quantity of maybe 500 or 1000 then renting a button maker could be a serious, easy custom button alternative.  This could save you a lot of $$$$.  Basically you supply the labor and the customized button design and we supply the machine and the button parts.  If you have lots of time, volunteers or workers with not enough to do renting a button maker could just be the way to get your custom pins buttons at a much better price. Here are some links:

Renting a Button Maker        Checkout pricing and details about renting!

Customized Buttons              Checkout customized buttons from People Power Press - We can customize for you!

Custom Photo Buttons          Checkout larger customized photo buttons and add text to your photo

Customized buttons online   Try the free online button designer and customize your own buttons and pins!

The great thing about buttons is the low cost of the button parts if you make them yourself.  If you are doing an event regularly every year then buy a button maker and you will find all kinds of occasions to get the button maker out.  With standard button parts at somewhere between 6 cents and 12 cents each you can have a lot of fun with a button maker for a very small amount of money!

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