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How to Make Enamel Pins

By Life, Family Fun Team


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Chances are, if you have set foot inside a local gift shop over the past five years, then you have been witness to the rise in popularity of the enamel pin. After all, there’s lots to love about these small accessories. Not only can they be applied to a variety of belongings, but they are also a wonderful way to express ourselves and send the world a message about the things we truly care about.

custom enamel pins

On that same note, sometimes we can feel limited by the enamel pins that are available in the shops. If you would like to create an enamel pin that truly speaks to you, the best way to do that is to create your own.

It may seem overwhelming to create your own enamel pin, but the good news is that it is actually a lot easier than you might think. Whether you are looking to craft some pins for yourself and your friends, or are considering the initiation of a side business, then this guide will help you have a better understanding of how to go about making enamel pins.

What You’ll Need to Make Enamel Pins

It’s hard to make one simple list of the supplies that you will need in order to create an enamel pin, especially considering that there are so many different types of enamel pins out there. However, in general, these materials won’t hurt to have around:

  • A digital sketch program
  • Paper, pen, and pencil
  • A ruler
  • A computer
  • A strong creative drive, and a lot of ambition!

How to Make Enamel Pins by Type

Enamel Pins From a Non-Digital Sketch

If you are a skilled artist, then you may have wondered about how you could turn your beloved drawings into a wearable fashion item. The good news is, thanks to the advent of certain technologies — or should we say, one certain technology in particular — it is now easier than ever to do so.

This technology that we speak of is called Sketchbook. Like something straight from the future, this service will allow you to have your own designs manufactured, i.e., painted and custom cut. The end result is undeniably professional and store-ready!

Enamel Pins From Shrinky Dinks

Remember shrinky dinks? If you were a child or teen in the 90s or 2000s, then chances are that you and your friends spent some time creating these curious shape-shifting trinkets. But did you know that the adult version of shrinky dinks is turning shrinky dinks into an enamel pin?

Yes, it’s true — and thank goodness, because the name is so fun to say. A comprehensive tutorial on how to turn shrinky dinks into enamel pins is available here.

Hand-Painted Enamel Pins

While it can be tempting to create an enamel pin that is glossy and professional-looking, there is something to be said about a enamel pin that doesn’t try to hide the fact that it is a DIY project. This is especially true if you are trying to give your enamel pins away as a gift to friends and family, or if you are planning to sell your creations at an art fair.

Plus, don’t let the homemade aspect fool you. Hand-painted enamel pins can actually turn out quite stylish, as is the case in this tutorial from Rad Megan.

Enamel Pins From a Digital File

In recent years, digital art programs such as Procreate have garnered quite a following of loyal customers. If you find yourself drawn to a digital medium, it might delight you to know that you can actually turn these digital creations straight into enamel pins.

At least, it’s possible to do so thanks to this clear step-by-step guide that is available on Pinlord. This guide is especially handy for anyone who is considering the possibility of selling their enamel pins professionally.

Make Enamel Pins WIth Text

If you are planning to put a catchy phrase or inspirational quote on your enamel pin, we salute you. However, we do feel like we should let you know that there is a particular type of challenge that comes along with incorporating text within your enamel pin design.

Despair not, though — here is a tutorial from Vivipins that outlines all of the best practices that you should follow when putting together an enamel pin that features text of any degree. It will even help you with font considerations, as well as considerations regarding the size of your actual pin.

Ideas for Enamel Pins

While chances are that you have arrived at this article thanks to some degree of interest in enamel pins, it would be wrong of us to assume that you already have ideas set out for your enamel pins. After all, there’s a good chance that you may be associated with a business or brand that is looking for a way to advertise through enamel pins. Or, you may simply be interested in the concept of enamel pins but are unsure of where to start when designing one for yourself.

In the next section of this article, we will go over the types of designs that work most often for an enamel pin.

Pins Related to a Hobby or Interest

For many of us, the things that we fill our day to day lives with go beyond what could just be called “hobbies”. Instead, many of us consider the things we like to do to be a part of the core of our personality. So, it comes as no surprise that some of us may want to wear our hobbies on our sleeve — literally, with enamel pins.

Whether it’s sports, animals, or creative pursuits, the possibilities are practically endless when it comes to interest-based enamel pins. We particularly love it when these kinds of pins think outside of the box. For example, if you are creating a pin that is catered towards writers, consider using not a book but instead something more unique, such as a typewriter.

Pins With a Funny Quote or Phase

Earlier, we talked about the particular challenges that come along with adding text to a pin. For one thing, doing so requires a sort of precision when it comes to the creation of the pin itself. Otherwise, the text could turn out ineligible, or worse, could read something completely different than you intended.

However, when done properly, a text pin can be incredibly intriguing, and can motivate many folks to want to give it a permanent place on their backpacks.

Pins With Animal Faces

Accessories or clothing items with animals on them truly never get old! In that same vein, it’s safe to say that we never get too old for them. In fact, in recent years especially it’s become more and more common for people to sport animal-themed items well into adulthood.

From a creator’s perspective, animals are a great target. For one thing, you do not have to necessarily worry about copyright infringement, since animals are a product of nature. For another thing, the possibilities are nearly endless, and could incorporate either the pattern of the animals (like cheetahs or leopards) or cartoon versions of the animals themselves.

Pins for Your Product or Organizations

Enamel pins can be a cost-effective way to advertise your business or product. In fact, in some ways, procuring a set of enamel pins can be much less expensive than ordering other promotional items such as tote bags or t-shirts.

Even if you are not working for a marketing department, you still may want to create an enamel pin of your own to show your school pride, or your membership in an organization.

The Popularity of Enamel Pins

As we mentioned earlier, enamel pins are gaining in popularity, and this trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. Some of the theories behind their popularity include things like celebrity influence, an influx of creative designs, and the fact that enamel pins are a relatively inexpensive accessory to own.

Where Can I Sell Enamel Pins?

If you are looking to produce enamel pins for commercial reasons, you’re not alone. The good news is that there is no shortage of avenues when it comes to selling your enamel pins.

While sites like Etsy and Redbubble remain popular, the best site for you will truly depend on your particular audience, as well as the type of pins that you are selling. Some individuals find they have more luck offline, through selling their pins in local shops within surrounding neighborhoods.

However, it should be said that there is also worth in making enamel pins not to sell them, but to use them for personal use. For some crafters, an enamel pin is just another fun outlet for their creativity. After all, who wouldn’t want to have a backpack filled with one-of-a-kind trinkets?

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