Buttons, Badges & Pins - People Power Blog

Button of the Week - Buttons to Make Your New Year Sparkle! December 21 2014

Custom Buttons for the New Year from People Power Press

Celebrate the New Year with a little sparkle! A glittery button like these make the perfect complement to your New Year’s outfit. Make them as a pinback button or as a flat back button with a magnet attached to prevent pinholes in your festive frock.

You can make buttons like the ones made by our designers by printing directly on Dura-Lar film and putting some festive paper underneath to match your party mood. You can even make buttons with some of that leftover wrapping paper!

Custom New Year;s buttons badges pins magents from People Power Press

Do you like these buttons so much you want some for yourself and your party-going posse? Are you a hostess who is thinking that these custom buttons will make great gifts for your guests? Why not let us make some for you in any style or quantity you would like!

Other ideas for great New Year’s buttons include resolution buttons and other messages that you would like to carry into 2015. You can use our templates here or create simple designs on Button Designer, a free online design program for buttons!

However you choose to start the New Year, start it with a button!

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The 2014 Gift Guide December 16 2014

It is time to shop for the holidays! Button makers, buttons and button supplies make great and unique gifts for the crafty person in your life. If you don’t know this yet – buttons make people very happy. And we are happy to bring you a gift guide to help you figure out the perfect button gift for that special someone. : )

Gift Idea #1: For the Kids (And Kids at Heart!)

A hobby button maker is great for anyone who likes to do crafts. The T150 and Orange Multi-Size Hobby Button Makers will both make fantastic gifts for kids and hobbyists who will not make a lot of buttons and won’t be selling their buttons as a business.

T150 Hobby Button Maker Kit

 

 

 

T150 Hobby Button Maker Kit - This machine has a plastic body and makes 2-1/4” buttons only. The kit comes with enough parts to get you started.

 

 

 

Orange Multi-Size Hobby Button Maker Kits - If you are looking at a hobby maker, but want something that is a bit more durable and offers a few different size options than the T150, then you may be interested in getting our new multi-size button maker kit. This machine’s body is metal (not plastic like the T150) and can make up to three different sizes!

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 Multi-size Hobby Button Maker Kit


Gift Idea #2: For the Artist or Budding Entrepreneur

Button making is loads of fun, but it can also be a successful business opportunity.

Button Maker Kits Badge Making Pin Machine

Professional Button Maker Kits - Make the investment in the one of the fantastic and oh-so-robust Tecre button presses and you can give a gift that will last long after the holidays are over. These machines can make thousands of buttons with consistent quality suitable for people who want to sell buttons as a business pursuit, to make some money as a fun side project or to showcase their fine artwork. Different sizes available.

Gift Idea #3: For the Musicians in Your Family

Button Making Kits – Get a button maker kit to help band members make buttons to support their music. Smaller sizes of button makers are recommended!

Pre-Pay for Custom Buttons – Know a musician who would love to use buttons to promote their music? Give the gift of custom buttons and we will make the buttons for you!

Guitar Pick PunchPick Punches – Musicians can make their own custom picks with this new guitar pick punch. They won’t have to worry about losing another pick with this handy tool!

Gift Idea #4: Personalized Holiday Keepsakes

Custom Buttons – We Make Them For You! - Buttons make great gifts, even if you don’t want to make buttons yourself. Did you know that we can make more than just buttons? Send us your custom button artwork or photos and will we make a special gift to give out this holiday season. We can even work with you to create your custom artwork by scratch.

Christmas Badge Making Supplies

Necklaces – One of our newest products, these magnetic pendants let your pop your custom design in and out to be always changing your look. Contact us for pricing!

Coasters – Make a truly personalized gift with a set of 3.5” round coasters this year.

Bottle Openers – Like giving practical gifts? Bottle openers can be fun, but also useful. Keyring and magnetic bottle openers are also available.

Magnets – Send out your holiday greeting or family photo as a fridge magnet this year. Different shapes are available.

Family Photo Silly Face Buttons – Create your own dry erase design so that you can make your own silly faces. Use outlines from real photos or your own graphics. Then draw, laugh, erase and repeat!

Gift Idea #5: A Gift to Yourself (Preparation!)

Make sure you have enough button making supplies for all your holiday button projects and parties.

Holiday Button Making Supplies Pins Badges

If you already have a button maker then you may already know about all of the creative ways you can use your button machine this holiday season. Make special gifts such as ornaments, jewelry, magnets, keychains, zipper pulls and bottle openers in addition to buttons.

 

 

 

Just make sure you order your supplies in time to make something for everyone on your list! We will be closed Dec. 24-26 and Jan. 1-2. We are not open on weekends. We recommend you place your order as soon as possible so that we have enough time to ship your order to you. Give us a shout so we can help you determine how long shipping will take to your destination.

Please call us today so one of our friendly sales team can answer all your questions and help you pick out the perfect button gift.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gift Idea #6: Gift Cards

Gift Certificates Make the Perfect Gift Button Makers

Still not sure? Give a Gift Card!

If you know someone who already has a buttonmaker and is passionate about buttonmaking, but aren’t sure what machine they have or what size of buttons they make, we now have gift cards that can be purchased and redeemed online.

Gift cards are also great if you think someone would like a button maker, but can’t afford to buy a whole kit. They will appreciate your contribution to the cost of a button making kit and supporting their button making dream.

You can even use them towards button machine rentals!

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Button of the Week - Happy Holidays! December 14 2014

Christmas Custom Buttons from People Power Press

Looking for a fun way to make your holiday celebrations a bit more festive? We have a few button ideas to help you with that!


Custom holiday buttons can be used in so many ways.

Ugly Christmas Sweater Custom Button from People Power Press
You can pin them to your favourite holiday sweater, tie or hat. How about an ugly Christmas sweater button to wear with your ugly Christmas sweater?

 

Christmas Ornaments with Button Making Machine
You can create button ornaments with photos of family or special holiday messages. Use mirrors to create something extra shiny.


You can create specialized button placeholders at the dinner table that serve as mementos for your family and guests to take home when the feast is over.

You can put buttons in homemade holiday crackers.

 

Christmas Custom Buttons from People Power Press


You can pin your buttons to gifts in place of gift tags.


There really are so many ways that buttons can be used to make your holiday season extra special. Have we missed something? We would love to see what you are creating this holiday season.

If you need help with creating your custom button artwork, we are here to help! Our wonderful design team is ready and full of fantastic ideas. Or try out the easy-to-use free button design program Button Designer to create your own artwork. Just give us a shout!

If you are in the Toronto area, you can also drop by the store to pick up your very own free holiday button of the week. So come by and let us share some button holiday cheer!

We are open Monday to Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. We will be closed December 24 to 26, 2014 as well as January 1st and 2nd, 2015.

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Introducing The People Power Award and the first winner! October 24 2014

 

Have you ever seen someone doing great work and think, “Man, I wish I could give that guy an award?”

That’s exactly what happened at here at the People Power Press office when we learned about Blake Morgan and the I Respect Music project. Blake is a recording artist, producer, and label owner who has created a campaign that asks people, including the music industry, digital economy and politicians, to treat artists like professionals and compensate them fairly. He is also asking artists to show respect and pride for themselves and their work.

And he is using buttons to spread this message, which is very cool!

This is a movement that the musicians and music lovers in our office really support. And others around the world are responding too. Just follow #IRespectMusic to find out!

Blake and his work with I Respect Music have inspired us to create the People Power Award. This is an annual award we will give to a grassroots organization that is working hard to make a difference and is using buttons to spread their message.

Many of our clients are charity, not-for-profit and campaign groups.

They often ask for discounts when placing orders. We want to help all the great work being done, especially with buttons, but to be a sustainable business we are not in the position to grant everyone discounts. We are hoping that with the People Power Award, we can have a greater impact for one group.

Along with a custom six-inch button award, the winner will receive a free order of custom buttons so that they can continue to spread their message! Through our promotion of the award and the recipient's work, we can help create greater awareness for the work they are doing.

Recipients of the award will demonstrate our own values here at People Power Press. We believe in the power of people working to create positive change in the world. Buttons are an effective, fun and low-cost way to share the spirit and message of any organization’s work.

So here’s to Blake Morgan and the #IRespectMusic campaign as the inaugural recipient of the People Power Award.

Congratulations and keep up the amazing work!

We cannot wait to start accepting submissions for next year’s award. You can find the submission forms here or contact us to find out more!

The People Power Award: For excellence in grassroots campaigning and inspiring positive change.

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Bomacaron est la première boutique en son genre au Québec. October 10 2014

fabriquons tous nos produits la première boutique Macarons Macarons Montreal Quebec

La boutique ouvre officiellement ses portes le 11 octobre 2014.

Bomacaron est la première boutique en son genre au Québec. C’est aussi l’atelier dans lequel nous fabriquons tous nos produits.

Voici quelques photos qui vous donneront un petit aperçu de l’endroit. N’hésitez pas à venir nous voir et nous questionner, il nous fait toujours plaisir de partager notre expertise et notre passion!

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Button Guy in Montreal at the new Custom Button Store in Quebec October 08 2014

I hopped in the car and took the trip to Montreal to see how Joel and Nic are doing setting up their custom button store in Montreal.

It’s very cool.  They are not setup yet but their opening party is this Friday in Montreal.  They’ve got it all: Button Making Machines, Button Parts and a really fast setup for Custom Buttons.  Nic is after all the fastest button maker on the planet!

Here are some pics:

custom buttons in Montreal

Button Store Montreal

Bomacaron Button Shop Quebec

Bomacaron Button Shop Quebec

 

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Buttons for Peace! September 19 2014

People Power Press is proud to be the official custom button maker of the 2014 #OneDayForPeace in Toronto - an event spreading hope, love, positivity, and awareness through music and in support of Amnesty International.

Hosted by the One Fire Movement (an organization dedicated to peace and change through art since 2009) and in collaboration with Canadian and international artists, One Day for Peace is launching as an annual celebration and taking place at Revival this year in Toronto to raise funds for Amnesty's great work in building a better tomorrow through a commitment to protecting and promoting human rights internationally.

Performers include:
- Ania Soul & The St. Royals
- Christian Bridges
- Brendan Albert
- The Responsables
- Jessica Speziale
- Dean West
- Alissa Vox Raw

Join in on the One Fire Movement and their message of peace at 8pm on Sunday, September 21st 2014
@ Revival (783 College Street)

Like One Fire on Facebook and tweet using the #OneDayForPeace hashtag on Twitter

Do you want buttons or other message boosting swag for your own fundraiser or music event? Send us your design or an idea you have. We can make them for you and workout solutions for any budget! You can even rent our machines and make the buttons yourself :)

For more info, visit our custom button page or give us a call.

 

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A new button store opening in Montreal. Custom Buttons galore on Ste Catherine Est! September 17 2014

Great news for  all button makers and button people in Montreal.  The guys from Pinscity and Bomacaron have got together to open a button store on Ste. Catherine East in Montreal.

Nic and Joel are making custom buttons right there in the store and both are experienced button makers who can help and advise on any button making project.  Ontario has had a button store for some time, in Toronto, but this is the first button store I have heard of in Quebec. They are stocking button makers, button machines and button parts right there in downtown Montreal.

This is what the store looked like in August 2014 and this is what it still looks like on Google street view.

New Button Store opening in Montreal

New Button Store opening in Montreal

Yes I don’t see a button shop either.  But this is Google street view, it’s always out of date!

The new store is the one with the “Bieres” sign and next time I’m in Montreal I’m going to swing by and see how Joel and Nic are doing.  I will provide a new update with the current picture soon.  In the meantime lets support these guys and their brave new venture!

Macaron Machine Inc.
dba Bomacaron.com & Pinscity.com
4204 Ste-Catherine East
Montreal, Quebec
H1V 1X3

Tel 514 334 7000  Ask for Nic or Joel  Checkout their websites, I know they are being updated but worth a look.  Joel’s site is  http://Bomacaron.com

and Nic’s site is http://PinsCity.com

They are coming together as Macaron Machine Inc.

 

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Buttons on the Fringe! August 19 2014

Chase Padgett (6 Guitars) and Stacey Hallal (Curious Comedy) are touring their musical sketch comedy show Chase and Stacey Present: Joyride. Joining them on the road are their custom fringetastic buttons, a perfect way to bring the comedy home with you and show your Fringe colours all year long!

Featuring sketches and songs about time travel, elderly crime sprees, and ribbon dancing, Joyride is a hilarious exploration of life, spontaneity, and the choices that define us!

Selected as Patron’s Pick, Orlando Fringe 2014 and Best of Fest, Ottawa Fringe 2014. CBC Manitoba gives it 4 stars!

If you're in Edmonton or Vancouver this summer, check them out. And pick up a button!

August 14-August 24 @ Edmonton Fringe
August 4-September 14 @ Vancouver Fringe

www.chaseandstacey.com

Want your own custom buttons for plays, improv, festivals, musical shows, fundraisers, or any other event?

Give us a call or Order online :)

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How to make a button with the new Multi Size Button Maker July 15 2014

Making buttons is easy with this simple, solid metal, multi size button maker. A new multi die or multiple size button maker that works!

Interchangeable Die Button Maker

The new multiple size die button maker kits

Whilst this machine is not as fast as a pro button maker if you need buttons in smaller quantities but in different sizes this is an option. The difference in cost is substantial. The multi machine at $400 is equivalent to 3 pro button makers at $1200 – $1600. Pro machines are faster but if you are not running a button business or producing bulk buttons this could be a low cost solution.

Multiple Dies available

Interchangeable dies for button making. Picture shows 1″, 2-1/4″ and 3″ dies.

Currently this machine is available with dies in 1″, 2-1/4″ and 3″. 1-1/4″, 1-1/2″ and 1-3/4″ dies will be available by the end of the year. Additional die sets with a matching circle cutter are around $100 to $150 depending on size. To swap dies simply pull the pin out and remove the die carrier. Once you have replaced the die carrier with the size you need you slot it in place, slip in the pin and you’re away. With this style of button maker there are no upper dies which are harder to replace and often consequently do not line up correctly causing poor quality buttons. With this multi machine you should have no trouble.

interchangeable die button maker

interchangeable die button maker

As I have said before the method of using the dies is slower but it does seem to be reliable. The method is a little bit like Badge-A-Minit except these are inexpensive standard button parts and the dies are solid metal and not plastic. To make a button you flip the dies and press the button in sequence. Here’s a detailed instruction on making a 2-1/4″ pin-back button using a multi size button maker:

Before you begin check that you have everything you need!
Your machine parts:

multiple die button press base

The basic press. This machine will press dies from 1″ to 3″.

Die table with 2 dies for button making.

Die table with 2 dies for button making. Pickup die on the left and crimp die on the right. The first press uses the left hand pickup die. The second press uses the right hand crimp die.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The positioning ring

Positioning ring

The positioning ring (bottom view) Do not use this way up.

The positioning ring

The correct side of the positioning ring – Always use this way up in both the left and right hand dies.

The pressing die

Pressing die

The pressing die. Use this way up for the first press.

Flip side of the pressing die

The pressing die (View of the flip side) Use this way up for the 2nd press.

White plastic spacer rings for 2-1/4″ only

Spacer Rings

Spacer rings – Only necessary for making 2-1/4″ buttons. Not supplied for other sizes.

Spacer ring for 2-1/4" pin-backs

Adding the plastic ring when using the 2-1/4″ die is just a question of laying the ring down before inserting the pin-back

 

Button parts – Remember each die set will make a specific size button.
Match your buttons to the die set you are using.

button parts

And you will also need your button parts

And you will need your button image or artwork cut and ready to go.

Artwork ready to cut

Artwork ready to cut first before pressing

Remember that you can also make magnets, key-chains, mirrors as well as all kinds of items. They usually involve changing the back button part, the front remains the same. Just follow these instructions but for example for a fridge magnet use a magnet back instead of the pin-back.

Once you’ve checked you’ve got everything you need you can begin making buttons.

 Place the button maker on the solid surface and turn the die table so you can access both dies.

Place the button maker in front of you with the dies easily accessible on a solid table so you can begin button making.

 

Place shell in pickup die

Place a shell in the left hand or pickup die. The edge of the shell slots into the circular slit in the pickup die. The shell fits exactly into the slot.

 

Add paper circle to die in a multi die machine

Add your pre prepared artwork or image over the shell. It should fit snugly in the available space. Now cover your art or image with a circular sheet of clear mylar.

 Note! Adding the white plastic spacer ring is only necessary for the 2-1/4″ die set.

Spacer ring for 2-1/4" pin-backs

Adding the plastic ring when using the 2-1/4″ die is just a question of laying the ring down before inserting the pin-back.

Multi die button maker

Place your pin-back, pin facing down and make sure your pin-back and the direction of your art match as per the photo. You want the pin to end up at the top of your art. So you now have your button maker loaded with shell, image and mylar in the left die and pin-back in the right die.

Place the positioning ring over your image

Place the positioning ring over your image so that the centre of your image shows through. Make sure the positioning ring has slotted into the lower die and is firm or it may be upside down.

 

Placement of the pressing die

Place the pressing die on top of the positioning ring. Note how most of the pressing die is sticking out of the positioning ring making it higher.

positioning ring and pressing die

So remember, in this order: shell, image then mylar. Positioning ring and then pressing die. To see which way up they go see above.

 

Pick up die first press

Now swivel the die table so that the left hand die moves to a position under the press and press your button. You will note with the first press that you feel the handle give as it presses your button. No force is necessary just pull the handle down.

 

First press on multi button maker

Make sure you go all the way down but force is not necessary.

You should have now successfully completed the first press. Now we will transfer the button over to the crimp die to make the second and final press. You know you did it correctly if you got that give in the handle as it shaped your button.

 

Flip the pressing die

Once the first press is complete remove the pressing die and flip it as you put it down ready for the second press. Remove the positioning ring from the left die and you will see your image pressed into the ring ready to move to the right hand die and to match up with the pin-back.

Positioning ring

This illustrates your positioning ring from the underneath. Your shell is pressed into the ring with your image and mylar. Note the edge of your art and the mylar around the edge ready for the pin-back.  Move carefully to retain the correct position.

 

Move the positioning ring to the crimp die

So carefully remove the positioning ring with your art from the left hand die and place it over the pin-back in the right hand die. Match the top of the back to the top of your image.

right hand multi-size die

Remember: The position of the art to the pin-back makes a difference to your final button.

 

pressing die into positioning ring.

You already flipped your pressing die so place it on top of your art. It should slide into the positioning ring. Make sure the curved or button shape surface is face down.

swing the die table

Now you’re ready for the second press. Swing your die table under the press to complete the second press.

 

Swing the die table

This is not far enough. Swing the die table all the way to the stop. Watch it doesn’t bounce back a little.

Make sure you're in the center of the die

Make sure you’re in the center of the die.

 

Second and final press

Pull the black handle down all the way in the centre of the die. There is no give on the second press. No force necessary. Just a steady pull all the way down.

 

button press complete

Once you have completed the second press you can remove the pressing die and the positioning ring and your button will be revealed. Check the pin lines up at the top of the art so the button is straight. If not watch for this on the next button. Make sure you line up the art and the pin. Happy button making!

 

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National Bike Day - and our new Button of the week May 21 2014

"I thought of that while riding my bicycle." ~ Albert Einstein on the Theory of Relativity

National Bike day is May 26th, 2014.    About 50% of our staff cycles to work daily, some all year round.  We're really into biking here so of course we wanted to celebrate Bike day, Bike month and ride your bike to work day with custom bike buttons as our button of the week.   In our online collection we have additional transportation buttons, or talk to us about making a custom bike button for your event.

Some awesome Toronto Cycling communities have more information on Bike Day 2014 and Cycling in Toronto:

CycleTO is kicking off Bike Month with a bike to work group commute and pancake breakfast at Nathan Philips Square, and other events throughout the GTA can be viewed at bike month.

Our friends at Community Bicycle Network are a registered non-profit organization founded in 1993 on the belief that bicycles are a powerful tool for positive change.  We agree! 

 Custom bike buttons

"The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart."

Iris Murdoch, writer (1919-1999) 

"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race."
H.G. Wells

"When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope seems hardly worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a good spin down the road, without thought of anything but the ride you are taking."
Arthur Conan Doyle

HAPPY BIKING!!!

And for more awesome bike buttons, visit our Pinterest board!

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Victoria day buttons- May long weekend! May 15 2014

Happy Victoria Day!  Or May 2-4 :-) as it's affectionately known. 

We will be closed on the holiday Monday- May 19, 2014, so take the day off from button making, kick back, and celebrate with Queen Victoria and a beer and go see some fireworks!

Queen victoria with a beer magnet
 

 Our custom buttons of the week are Queen Victoria buttons and are available for free at the shop this week.

More fireworks button

Victoria Day Buttons

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Sakura in High Park - Cherry blossom buttons! May 12 2014

Cherry blossoms have begun to open!  My favorite time of year and just steps from our office.  You can track the progress of the blooms in High Park.   Also, according to the High Park site, the Toronto Islands also have 30 Cherry blossom trees on Centre Island! 

According to updates, they have started to bloom, with full bloom in the next few days.  But be sure to hurry before it rains!

 Cherry Blossoms in High Park, Toronto

To celebrate Sakura- we're giving away cherry blossom buttons as our button of the week!  Come in and get a free sakura button :-)

 

 

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Mother's day custom buttons and Rosettes! May 08 2014

world's best mom button

 

Want to show your mom that she's the greatest?   You can make her a custom mother's day button!  Don't have a button maker?  All buttons are for sale in our store, come on by and pick one up!

Or really go fancy with a rosette.   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.  We can also make custom buttons with rosettes in the shop.  

We also have a more gender neutral button that can be appropriate for alternative families.  

 

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Bright interactive button installation for Not Myself Today - A mental health button campaign. January 20 2014

In the summer of 2012, Blok Design took over Yonge and Dundas square in Toronto. They created a a button installation of 31,000 buttons, over 30 ft long to bring awareness to the Not Myself Today” Campaign  for Partners for Mental Health an organization dedicated to transforming mental health in Canada.

The installation was intended to draw people into a conversation about mental health by encouraging people to select buttons directly off the wall, describing various moods.  Buttons ranged in emotions-'up, moody, wired, edgy' etc. 

 


 

Mental Health Campaign Buttons

 

As well as being brilliant and effective, these mental health campaign buttons looked extremely cool!  What a fantastic idea.


Mental health Button Campaign
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Who's going out for New Year's eve? Throwing a party? Make 2014 buttons! December 20 2013

Add a festive touch to your celebration with these glittery New Year's buttons! 

2014 New year's magnets and buttons

 

The sparkly buttons are made by printing the text directly on a sheet of mylar, being see-through, you can use any shiny paper you'd like underneath.  Another great option to recycle wrapping paper. 

Don't want to pin on to your clothing?  Use a rare earth magnet back and a flat back on your button, and no holes in your fancy clothes! 

 New Year's buttons

 

Let our New Year's resolution be this: we will be there for one another as fellow members of humanity, in the finest sense of the word Goran Persson

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

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Pretty button ornaments! December 17 2013

Have a button maker?  Why not start a new tradition and make some fancy button ornaments over the holidays? A great way to recycle some pretty wrapping paper and easy to make. 

These ornaments pictured are made using a 1.75" button maker with a keychain back, chain tabs (without the chain), some metallic wrapping paper and a light mesh wrapping paper.   The image is printed on Dura-lar (available through our store) instead of paper.  

 

 Christmas button ornament with Duralar

 

Christmas button ornament with Duralar

What you need:

 

Shell and keychain backs

Chain tabs

Your design, or paper

Ornament hook

 

The other way to make Christmas ornaments is covered here

 

Santa Christmas ornament with button maker

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Comicon! This weekend! December 10 2013

This weekend we're super excited to have a booth at Comicon Toronto where we will have a photo booth for portraits, and be creating custom buttons for you, on the spot. 

Comicon is at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (South Building) on Sunday, December 15th, 2013 from 11am to 5pm.  It's a special holiday edition of Toronto Comicon / AnimCon. Admission is only $10 at the door and that gets you into BOTH events! Two Show for the price of one! Kids 12 and under are FREE with paying adult.

Our team will have various sizes of custom buttons for you to make, as large as 6" buttons for photos.  We will also have our gumball vending machines for buttons, and button makers of all sizes.   (If you are behind on your Christmas shopping, pick up a button maker for someone you love!)

Here we were this past summer at Fan Expo, and if that was any indication, this weekend should be a blast.    We'll have a similar set up, and a photo booth! Event photos of Comicon to follow...

Fan Expo

 Button making at Fan Expo

 

 Come by and say hi, get a photo taken, and get your art on!

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Community Bicycle Network celebrates 20 years! December 05 2013

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 anniversary

Preview 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!

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Help with a sticky Graphic Punch for Button Making December 03 2013

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!!

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Cauldron's Brazil's lost Tour 2013 November 29 2013

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!

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Congratulations to our very own designer Mariel! She made pretty custom wedding buttons! November 06 2013

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!

 

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Rusty Buttons? Why do my buttons rust? Button Rust? September 20 2013

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
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Button Vending Machines – Put your button sales on automatic – Gumball machines for buttons! September 07 2013

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

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.

 

 

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