Buttons, Badges & Pins - People Power Blog

Customized buttons online or renting a button maker and doing it yourself? September 05 2013

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!

Read more »

Mike Gagnon: Freelance Comic Creator helped out at FanExpo August 29 2013

Mike Gagnon: Super Hero Buttons


A friend of ours, Mike Gagnon helped out this year at FanExpo by drawing people as super hero's for their button.  It was a great sucess - people were lined up for the opportunity.  Mike is a freelance comic creator.  To see more of his fantastic work visit his website here.

Read more »

Legends in Our Own Minds - Tales of a Dragon Boat Team August 28 2013

custom buttons, rectangular buttons
custom bottle opener, bottle opener, dragon boat festival
LEGENDS in Our Own Minds: Dragon Boat Team Custom Buttons and Bottle Openers
LEGENDS in Our Own Minds is a dragon boat team that entered Thunder Bay's very first dragon boat festival in 1999 and have been paddling ever since.  Their team consists of members who want to have fun, sing karaoke and paddle in stroke and they even have a member who for the past ten years has traveled from Ireland to paddle with them.  This year, the LEGENDS came in 2nd place at the Thunder Bay Dragon Boat Festival, which is their best placing to date and pretty impressive for a team that practices "more at the bar than it does on the water". Their next competition will be the Lake Superior Dragon Boat Festival in Superior, Wisconsin, USA on August 23rd.
Sounds like a fun team and hilarious buttons.  Keep having fun guys - I'm sure your bottle openers will come in handy!
Photo of the Legends in Our Own Minds Team!
Read more »

Our First year @ Fan Expo August 27 2013

Button Making, Fan Expo
People Power Press and Button Making in full swing at Toronto's 2013 Fan Expo
Button Making Supplies, Pin-back Button Parts
We brought plenty of Button Making Supplies to the event.  Pin-back Button Parts, Button Makers, Graphic Punches AND Button Vending Machines to show hundreds of Fan Expo attendees how to make buttons.         

fan expo, button maker, graphic punches
Our aim was to inform people of how buttons are made and what shapes and sizes are available.  We brought along many sizes of our Button Making Machines and Graphic Punches for people to try out.
Button Vending Machines, People Power Press
We also brought along our Button Vending Machines.
A Fan Expo attendee giving the Button Vending Machine a whirl.
Erin Cooper, Button Makers, People Power Press
People Power Press Button Makers getting Button Supplies ready to please the masses...
pre-cut circles for button making
Pre-cut Paper Circles ready to be drawn on for Button Making.
button vending machine
Our shop looked great - the button vending machines really spiced things up!
comic artist, fan expo
Comic Artist Mike Gagnon sat in with us drawing people as action heroes.
Button Making, Fan Expo
"I'm really into my work" - Button designing at Fan Expo
people power press, fan expo
Watching an aspiring button designer do his thing.
button making booth
The button-making booth is a smash at Fan Expo.
creative button making
Fan Expo attendees getting creative at the People Power Press booth.
Button Making Machine
One of our button making machines in action. Once this guy is pressed, there's no turning back.
fan expo, people power press
Just another day at the office? A really big office, full of fans, that is.
making buttons, fan expo
People of all ages were having fun making buttons and learning about the Button Making Process.  It was a great success.
Fan Expo 2013 Toronto, People Power Press
We'll see you again next year, Fan Expo!
Read more »

Do you do the Zombie Walk? I Hate Todd is looking for you... August 21 2013

Read more »

Hanging out with the button supplies at People Power Press! August 15 2013

button supplies

Pancho! taking a break with some Button Supplies at the People Power Press Button Factory.

Read more »

NEW! Make selling custom buttons Easy! Use a button vending machine. August 06 2013

Put your button sales on automatic!  Use a simple machine that safeguards your art and collects the cash for you.  Whilst your sleeping, in the bath, in the bar.  I mean it! Earn money while you sleep with your custom button designs.


Custom Button Vending Machine

 Custom Buttons in a Button Vending Machine - Simple but effective!

What a Great Idea!  Sell your own custom buttons in a Button Vending Machine.  Our shop is currently loaded up with everything to get you started: Let someone (or something) else do the selling whilst you are creating your art.  Stay in creative mode whilst the business side takes care of itself.  Use a simple button vending machine to sell your designs.

Remember those bubblegum machines when you were a kid?  Well this is the same but it's not for selling gum.  It's a machine for turning your designs into cash. A custom button vending machine for your art and designs - it's personal!

Checkout this link.  You can order just a machine or you can order a machine already filled with your designs in capsules ready to go. Put your custom button sales on automatic.

You choose the sale price: 25 cents to $2.  You choose button quantity 1 - 3.  You choose button, magnet, key-chain, but don't forget to include your business card and a special offer or two.  The silent salesman will still be working for you.

If you've got good designs, we've got good button vending machines to sell them.

 bubblegum capsules

We stock three different styles of Button Vending Machines and two different sized Capsules for your Custom Buttons. 

Please see website for more details!


Read more »

Nature Canada engages youth to Naturehood with "Official Guardian of Nature" Buttons August 01 2013

 Nature Buttons, Nature Canada, Custom Buttons

Lac Deschênes - Ottawa River Important Bird Area Guardian of Nature Custom Buttons!


 Lac Deschênes Ottawa River Important Bird Area (IBA) is one of 600 sites across Canada recognized internationally for its importance to birds. However this IBA is particularly interesting because it is found along the Ottawa River right in the heart of the National Capital region. This site is a significant resting spot for migrating waterbirds and there is always something interesting to see along the Ottawa River.

Nature Canada calls this site Naturehood and they are working to connect Ottawa and Gatineau residents to the nature in their own backyard. These “Guardian of Nature” buttons will be a great way to engage youth in the Naturehood program by proclaiming them an “official Guardian of Nature.” 


For more information, please visit:

Lac Deschênes Ottawa River:




Nature Canada:



Read more »

Rosette Buttons July 29 2013

Rosettes are used for many purposes; they are great for events or as reward buttons, award buttons and as tokens of appreciation.  These rosettes are hand-made in Canada and have a soft, full, plush feel and are of excellent quality.  And now you can make your own!!

rosette buttons

Rosettes:  A button related specialty


horse show button

Horse Show Buttons with Rosette


employee award buttons, employee award rosette

Employee Award Buttons with Rosette


reward buttons, reward rosette

Reward Buttons with Rosette


We stock both 3" and 4" diameter rosettes.  The 3" rosettes have ribbons that hang bellow.  Both sizes can accommodate up to a 2-1/4" sized button.  To make a rosette you need a button maker and prong back button parts: a shell, mylar, a prong back and a plastic back pin-back. In smaller sizes (1", 1-1/4" and 1-1/2") you use a centre hole back and stick the brad prong pin.  Don't worry, when you order rosettes the parts come complete.

 prong back button parts, rosette

 Rosette with Prong Back Button Parts: For 1-3/4", 2" and 2-1/4" Buttons

centre hole button parts, rosette

 Rosette with Center Hole Prong Back Button Parts: For 1", 1-1/4" and 1-1/2" Buttons

 To make a rosette button you first need to make your prong back button or center hole prong back button using your button maker.  Next push the prongs through the cardboard holes of the rosette and then through the center hole of the black plastic pin-back.  Flatten the prongs to hold the rosette onto the button. We stock rosettes in white, red and blue but they are available by special order in 50 different colours.  Special order colours may take up to 4 weeks to ship but stock colours will ship the same day. 

prong back button parts, rosette

Read more »

Buttons at the Toronto Vintage Bicycle Show July 26 2013

Come One Come All!

Get your exclusive Toronto Vintage Bicycle Show buttons this weekend at Trinity Bellwoods park in Toronto.

Just as Adrian for one!

Alternatively, you could also get a bike, bring yours in for repair, or just geek out with all us fun bike loving people.

The show, organized by the Community Bicycle Network was launched in 2012 and is the CBN’s featured event.

It runs from 12-5pm on July 28th, 2013 : )

See you there!

Read more »

Add Versatiltiy to 1" buttons with a Versaback July 17 2013


1 inch button parts, keyring

1" Button Versabacks

Convert 1" buttons into key chains or zipper pulls using a snap in versaback.  A versa back is a black plastic button part that snaps into the back of a 1" collet and replaces the lock pin.  Once the versa back is inserted it is a permanent and secure back with a 1/8" hole extending out from the back of the button.  Attach split rings, key chains or zipper pulls through the hole to add functionality to your 1" buttons.  

 1 inch button parts, versa back


 Split ring Keyring, Versaback

Split Ring Keyring with Plastic Tab Versaback. 
(Split Rings are too big for 1" button versabacks and require the use of a plastic tab).


mini split rings, zipper pulls, 1 inch buttons

Mini Split Ring and Zipper Pull Versabacks


snap hook keychain, chain keychain

Snap Hook and Chain Keychain Versabacks


** Versabacks are also available for 1-1/4" and 1-1/2" buttons - Happy Button Making!!


Read more »

Cut button making time in half with a graphic punch. July 04 2013

graphic punch

Button Making: Tecre Graphic Punches

Is it time to invest in a graphic punch for button making - we think so (it will cut your time in half). Graphic punches are used to cut out graphics, paper or photos for button making and are a faster method than traditional "adjustable cutters", scissors or quick cutters.  Tecre graphic punches are of all metal construction, have clear and easy visual centering, are compact and light-weight and require very little force to operate.  And an added bonus is that these graphic punches come with a manufacturer's life-time warranty and are useful for all sorts of fine-art related projects.


Cutting Paper Circles and Blank Paper:

cutting paper circles


 Cutting Custom Button Artwork:

 cutting button artwork


Cutting Magazine Images to make Buttons:

magazine image buttons


Cutting Patterned Paper to make Buttons:

patterned paper buttons

Remember to cut your paper, photos, magazine images or custom button artwork into strips so that they fit to the graphic punch. We carry graphic punches for all sizes of button making.   For a complete list and pricing click here.  Happy Button Making!

paper circle cutting


Read more »

oldies but goodies... July 03 2013

Vintage Button, Girl Guides buttons

Vintage Girl Guide Cookies Button - Pretty Sweet :)

Read more »

Fluorescent Up Your Day June 27 2013

fluorescent buttons 

Fluorescent 7/8" Buttons

Fluorescent buttons stand out but as we all know, printing fluorescent color can be next to impossible.  I decided to experiment using fluorescent paper and print my artwork on clearacetate, which is available in both Matte or Gloss and in various thicknesses.  Acetate also eliminates the need for using mylar.  It is fun to experiment with printing different colors on the acetate and see how they appear when pressed on top of the fluorescent paper or other colored paper (see example below).

Read more »

Metal and Magnetic Bottle Openers June 20 2013


I just wanted to add that we supply both metal and magnetic bottle openers for 2-1/4" button making machines.  The benefit of using the black plastic bottle opener is that it has a magnet insert which allows you to store it on the fridge or other magnetic surfaces. Both the metal and plastic magnetic bottle openers can accommodate key rings.

Read more »

New Pastel Circles... June 14 2013

Pre-Cut Paper Circles, Button Making 

Pre-Cut Paper Circles for Button Making in New Pastel Paper!

Read more »

Right Beside You: An Evening of Stories with David Delisca June 13 2013

Event buttons, performance buttons 

Custom Event Buttons for #RightBesideYou

Check out Right Beside You - an evening of performance presented by poet David Delisca and IFreeCan on Sunday, June 16 at  The Drake Hotel (doors open at 7pm and show starts at 8pm) The evening will feature poetry and story-telling, humor, live music and much, much more including special guest performers.  For more details, please see below:

#RightBesideYou  Facebook Event

#RightBesideYou Twitter

David Delisca  Facebook

David Delisca website

IFreeCan website  

Read more »

Get Your Bottles Open - Bottle Openers Just in Time For Summer!! June 06 2013

Bottle openers come in handy all year round but a bottle opener attached to your key chain is especially handy during the summertime.  It is simple to design and make your own custom bottle openers using button parts.  Here are a few examples using split rings, keyrings and keychains

  Split Ring Bottle Opener

  Mini Split Ring Bottle Opener

Chain Keychain with Split Ring Bottle Opener

Chain Keychain with Mini Split Ring Bottle Opener

 Pull-Apart Keyring Bottle Opener

Please note that the metal bottle opener button parts (the backs) are only available for 2-1/4" button makers and that the keyrings, keychains and split rings are sold separately and are available for most sized solid metal North American button makers.

Read more »

Matte Buttons Or Glossy! May 24 2013

 Matte Finish, Gloss Finish 

I wanted to post a photo that Illustrates the difference between a matte and glossy finish for button-making.  The matte button examples are pictured on the left, and the glossy buttons are on the right.  Notice how the gloss finish is reflective and allows the colors to "pop" or appear brighter and the matte finish produces a more subdued feel with very little sheen.  Which one you choose will depend on the effect you wish to achieve.

Gloss buttons are created by using standard transparent, high-gloss mylar over top of your artwork and matte buttons are created using laminated artwork (see below) and do not require mylar.  Button-making mylar is currently only available in high-gloss but we and button makers alike are hoping that soon that won't be the case.  Bring on the matte!

Lamination, Matte Finish

Read more »

Summer Fun Custom Mirrors May 22 2013

Custom Mirrors, Matte Buttons, Pinback-Button Parts 
Hooray! Summer is almost here and we all scream for Ice Cream!!
In preparation for summer, I decided to make 3" ice cream cone custom mirrors that are compact enough to travel to all your summer destinations : ).  I also took the opportunity to try out a matte finish on the artwork - which is achieved by laminating your artwork and not using mylar.  If you want the usual shiny finish then you use regular mylar

Custom Mirrors, Summer buttons

Summer Fun Custom Mirrors 
To make a mirror using pin-back button parts you will need: a shell, a collet, a shim and a mirror plus mylar if you want shiny artwork. Great for customized mirrors.
If you order from us don't worry, these parts ship complete!  We carry sets to make: 2-1/4", 3", 3-1/2" round, 1-3/4" x 2-3/4" Oval, 2" x 3" & 2-1/2" x 3-1/2" Rectangular Mirrors.  Click here for more info on parts or send us your artwork and we will be happy to make them for you. 
Read more »

New Online Button Designer Software just went live! Free online button designer! May 10 2013

online button designer

New online button designer from The Button Guy. Easy button design and button artwork creation.

We just went live! Checkout this simple button design software: it’s free. A great tool for designing buttons and creating button artwork.  It even takes your button design and lays it out on the sheet for you.  With a 2-1/4″ button you make your design and then you go to print and it puts 9 up on the page in a pdf, ready to print.  In your profile you can collect and save all your designs and then print 9 different buttons on each sheet if you wish.  Simple and effective.

Online Button Designer

If you’re a graphic designer then no problem, stick to Photoshop, Illustrator, Gimp etc. But if you are not a graphics person then you can instantly make your button artwork and then the system lays your button artwork out on a page ready for printing. Sweet!

Remember your button design is key.  Once you have a good button maker, making buttons is inexpensive and pressing them is easy.  Coming up with great button artwork or a really good button design is not so easy.  Invest time in your designs.  It will pay off.  Remember a few tips:

  • More is less!   Do not clutter your button.
  • Bright but simple works well
  • Button designs with white backgrounds work very well on buttons.
  • One bright colour works well on buttons. eg. Black white then a splash of red.
  • If you’re using multiple colours ensure they hang together well.
Read more »

Making Metallic Buttons May 03 2013

Metallic Buttons, Silver Buttons, acetate

Add Some Shine to your Buttons!

We've also been experimenting with making silver buttons.  The process is very simple: Print your artwork on acetate transparency or use Dura-Lar Film for printing and button making  in reverse, cut it out and press - and let the silver shine through.  Press the button with your artwork shiny side up as the printed image will scratch off. 

You print your image in reverse and put it ink side down when making the button.  This stops any chance of the ink scratching off the button once it's made.  The ink is inside and protected.

Put the acetate print side down on a naked button to get the silver effect.Simple.  Want to make gold buttons?  Lay a metallic gold paper under the acetate.  Fluorescent?  Yes you can use fluorescent or glow in the dark papers!

You can buy acetate or clear dura-lar on our website.  Also bright gold sheets!

Read more »

Copper Buttons with optional embossing April 30 2013


embossed copper pin-back button

Hey Guys - Check out our latest discovery!!!  You can make creative buttons out of copper sheet metal.  Use the copper sheet metal as your artwork instead of paper and you do not require mylar and you get a really nice copper finish.  In the above example we embossed the copper with an old embossing machine.  It marks the soft copper and gives a kind of old fashioned typewriter effect.

This is just another example of different ways to make art buttons.  You can really get creative with your button machine!

Read more »

Gold and silver pin-back buttons – Button Making Ideas! April 20 2013

The problem is quite simple.  How do I make buttons that are fluorescent?  My printer cannot print fluorescent colours.  How do I make gold or silver buttons? My printer cannot print gold or silver.  Well the fact is very few printers can print fluorescent colours or gold.  Even bright pink is difficult to reproduce so this article explains how to get around the limitations of printing and put really bright colors on a button. So if you want bright pink buttons just use this idea and substitute the gold paper for fluorescent pink or whatever color you choose.

I will use the example of gold because no printer can print shiny reflective gold.

What do you need to make really shiny gold buttons:

  • Gold foil paper
  • Printable acetate transparencies
  • Circle cutter, printer and button maker (Just like you need for any button making job)

Make your artwork just like you would for any button and then reverse it. Then simply print the reverse image on a transparency.  Lay the transparency over a sheet of the gold foil paper and cut out the gold sheet and acetate together. If you have trouble with the gold foil you can always cut it separately with scissors and put it under the acetate.  It only need show through where there is no colour printed on the acetate.  You don’t even need to cut very accurately.  Now put acetate with gold backing into the button maker and press as normal. Voila!

Another tip is to print the image NOT reversed and lay the acetate over the gold foil print side down.  This way the print side is protected.  Depending on your printer and acetate combo the ink may scratch off.  This way your print is protected.

acetate for button printing

A printed transparency with the image showing through the clear acetate. The printer printed on the reverse of this transparency to protect the print surface.

printed acetate sheet for pin-back buttons.

The printed sheet is placed over a gold foil sheet with printed side down but image showing correctly through the acetate. Note the photo here cannot reproduce the shiny gold as per the actual gold leaf. You need to see this button. It shines!


Die cutting gold leaf pin-back buttons

Here we cut the acetate and the gold leaf die simultaneously using a cutting die. If you are using a graphic punch to make your buttons then cut the acetate with your punch and cut the gold leaf with scissors.

Eye catching gold leaf buttons

Finished buttons with shiny gold showing through the acetate. A great way to make visually striking buttons. This photo here cannot reproduce the eye catching gold.
Make one yourself and see what I mean.

Syndicated article from The Button GuySyndicated blog from TheButtonGuy.net This article is reprinted with permission. http://TheButtonGuy.net/
Read more »