To make buttons you will need to make designs on a computer, print your designs on paper, cut out the paper, load the cut out and button supplies into a button maker, and PRESS!
In this video Becky Buttons gives you the button making skinny. She's like your bestie with a button maker. Listen to Becky. You won't regret it. Scroll down to read the print version.
We have button design software available for free. Just visit designer.buttonmakers.net and sign up. Or if you prefer to use Photoshop or Illustrator or some other design program you already know and love we also have free downloadable button design templates as well.
There are two main types of prints available to most people, ink jet and laser printers. They each have their advantages and disadvantages.
- Ink jet inkjet printers have super high resolution which is great for tiny buttons. But the resolution is dependent on the paper you use. You'll want to make sure to use "Graphics" or "Presentation" paper so that the ink doesn't spread but is also not super thick. Photo paper doesn't work well in many button makers. Ink jet printers are really affordable upfront but the cost of ink and paper can really add up. They're a lot slower than laser printers also, and if you're making buttons for a living, time is money. Additionally you have to let your prints dry fully, because if you make buttons from ink jet prints that aren't dry, your buttons can actually start to rust over time.
- Laser printers are our preferred method of printing buttons. However, to get prints that have comparable resolution to ink jet, the price of laser printers are out of the budget of most people. If you're a member of an organization or business and have access to a laser printer, that's the way to go. You can also get your prints done at a friendly local print shop, which are almost always laser prints. The quality of laser prints are not dependent on paper, so that saves you money in the long run. One downside of laser prints is the waxy buildup from the toner. It can cause your buttons to slip inside the machine which creates a little mylar bubble on the side of your buttons. It looks as though they mylar hasn't crimped all the way. You can work around this issue by adding some white space between the bleed line and the cut line of your graphic so that color doesn't extend past the button face.
We carry two main types of button graphic cutters, the ProMaker Punch, a graphic punch that works like a big hole punch and the MultiCutter, a multi size rotary paper cutter that works with 1 inch, 1.5 inch, 2.25 inch, 3 inch, and 3.5 inch buttons. If you're super crafy and budget conscious you can also use just scissors.
Button supplies are not created equal. There are many different sellers out there now who all have different sizes. The 2.25 inch supplies you get from one place may not work with the 2.25 inch machine you got from another place. All of the button machines we carry here work with US Standard size button supplies. If you got your machine here, our parts will definitely work for you.
Our button supplies are manufactured in the US and are made primarily of steel. All of the items sold as "complete sets" include mylar (the plastic covers). The only time you wouldn't get mylar is if you ordered something without mylar from the Bits-N-Pieces section of our site. This is where you can buy individual pieces in case you inherited a box of pinned backs and just need shells or something like that.
We also carry supplies to make magnets, key chains, and other fun stuff.
Finally, you will need a button making machine. Our ProMaker Professional Button Maker comes in several sizes to choose from and are very well made machines. If you are the type of person who would rather spend a little bit extra to receive a premium product, the ProMaker is what you want. You cannot change the size on the ProMaker, but honestly having the ability to change the size later isn't as great as it sounds and the trade off in terms of manufacturing quality is substantial. The MultiMaker has changeable dies and are recommended for lower volume production. This machine will work ok for a hobbiest or someone who might only make a couple hundred buttons here and there. It comes with an allen wrench for a reason and needs a little bit of babysitting to make sure it stays aligned properly.
We also bundle Machines with Punches and Supplies in the All-in-One Kits section. All of the machines we sell are compatible with US Standard size button supplies avaiable from ButtonMakers.net.
Friends don't let friends buy button makers from eBay or Amazon. These are marketplace sellers who have not dedicated their entire existence to buttons like we have. They sell weird knock off imitation machines that use wacky supplies you can't find anywhere in the US. At ButtonMakers, we've been around for almost 20 years. everything we sell conforms to US standard sizes. We know everything there is to know about these machines and take very good care of our customers.