Button Making Workshops - Using button makers to entertain and to educate. July 10 2011

Using button makers in the classroom or day care centre.

by The Button Guy - He's the expert!

 Button making workshops are great for kids not just because kids love drawing and colouring.  Kids also get the idea of messages and then love making buttons themselves.  Button making is like your own printing press or publishing house! 


 Justin Bieber fan button button workshop  Kids make own button - workshop some kids excel at art in button workshop kids own button design in button making workshopkids maple leafs design for button making workshop

 Of course kids always want their favourite pop star or football team but you can encourage them to think beyond these limitations.  At my workshops they have to make a "Save the Planet" button and their second button can be anything they want.

 You can't get a lot of information on a button.  In fact designing good buttons is a great way to learn how to be concise and how to focus ideas.  You only have a small space so you have to get to the point and if you do it with humour and even a little word play these are the most effective messages.

Sexual innuendo to promote cyclingAn easy example with a sexual innuendo but gets noticed and makes people laugh.

Suggestive slogans do not need to outline the whole ideaSometimes you can make a big point with a little suggestion.

word play buttons work effectivelyWord play is very effective!


So whether it's for a classroom, summer camp or day care center button making rocks as far as kids are concerned and it helps them with art, language and critical thinking.


You will need a button maker similar to the one shown below.  You will also need the circle cutter but this is optional.  If you go without the circle cutter you will need a load of paper scissors to cut out your circles or a quantity of pre-cut paper for button making.  You will need button making supplies which usually include the shell (front) pin-back (back) and a clear plastic circle called mylar.  These 3 items you get in equal quantity when you order button making supplies.  You need lots of coloured pens and markers and you could get little stickers (cheap at the dollar store) with smiley faces etc.

Get it all together get the kids together and you're away.  Use a mylar sheet as a guide to cut out circles if you're using scissors.  When you give kids a circle to colour and draw give them a shell too.  Remember part of the paper will bend around the back of the button.  They need to keep their designs away from the edges.  A shell (or front) is ideal, that is the size of the final button.

A standard button making kit great for workshops

A standard button maker with the optional circle cutter,  Shows a few button making parts left.

You can replace the circle cutter with scissors or pre-cut circles if you don/t have one.  When you rent a button maker it should come with the matching circle cutter.



Shell Collet Mylar and Pin - Complete button partsImage shows a 4 part set of complete button parts.  Many types of button parts have only 3 parts where the spring pin and collet are combined into a pin-back.

These will vary slightly according to your button maker but fundamentally they are the same.



If you've got questions related to this article or on button making in general: 

Ask The Button Guy - He's the expert!Questions abou workshops and button makers in schools