Button Collection!

Buttons are not just a novelty they are a physical representation of your cause, your brand and your social ideas!

Photos of Crysta's button collectionIf you’ve ever questioned whether or not buttons or a button maker would be a good investment, people will keep the pins long after an event and remember your cause or brand–we’ve got the answer. They will! We had the pleasure of borrowing Crysta’s button collection (our 1” Button Guru here at BB!). These are from Canada mostly and we decided to highlighted a few interesting ones…

Collection of buttons, Elmer's Glue & South Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority Bottom Left: Elmer and I never forget button – Elmer the safety elephant mascot was an attempt to teach young children street and road safety. The character began in 1947, in Toronto. The illustration you see was done by Charles Thorson.
Next to the Elmer’s pin, we have the South Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority which started around 1951 in order to, well, conserve. Mostly water!

Vote Carly Button from SCI HighschoolSCI’s SAC BALLOT button – This one is from Crysta’s time at high school when her friend Carly was running for class president

Canada’s fitweek 1988 pinback button Canada’s fitweek 1988 button – As the button says, it was held on May 20th 1988 by Fitness Canada. 7.5 Million Canadians nationwide participated.

Let’s Talk Jerky & Federal Express Olympics buttonTop Right: Let’s Talk Jerky! button – We’re not sure of the origins of this one but we are sure that they wanted to talk to you all about jerky 🙂 Mmmm…Bottom Right: Federal Express Olympics button – Always interesting to see a big brand’s progression from one name to another. This was for the 1988 Olympics before Federal Express rebranded to FedEx!
Top middle: Anyone else remember KMart?

Red Rocket Button & OthersTop Left: Ride the Red Rocket Toronto button – Did you know Toronto, Canada has a huge streetcar network? It started way back in the 1860s with horse drawn carriages and quickly grew to electric powered streetcars. This button makes memory of the beloved red rockets.

Buttons are like diamonds, with proper care they can last forever. Keeping your cause, brand or social idea in mind-decades later!!
Tips:

  • Keeping them from getting rusty by avoiding unnecessary moisture
  • Keep out of direct sunlight to avoid your colours bleaching
  • For the button maker, start with good quality materials like ButtonBiz parts, acid free paper and high quality inks
    All these will help with the longevity of your pins!

So do you have a button collection, what is your favourite? Share in the comments below!! 🙂
– Megan // Bayleaf Buttons

Button Making At Your School – Ideas and Tips!

 

The new school year is full swing! You’ve never had a better excuse to add a button maker to your school. Button makers are affordable; they last a lifetime, and will be the buzz in the student activities office. With buttons you can fundraise for your school or class trips, promote your schools sports teams, and raise school spirit!

Teacher looking at button making systems from Buttonbiz.com

 

Think about it!! Try some of these ideas:

  • Generate buzz within your school, have a design contest to get students involved. Once the winner has been chosen, make that button available for sale and fundraise for your school!
  • Offer custom buttons for parents whose children are doing exceptionally well on a team or in academics. Encourage parental pride!
  • Students attending off campus competitions can easily be recognized with your school’s logo on a large button.
  • Charge students a small fee for making custom buttons to promote their candidacy while running for student council.
  • Make a special line of buttons for the big football game, encourage school spirit, and give a lasting memento from the game for years to come.
  • Team up with your favourite local charity, sell buttons to fundraise for them and add your schools moto or mascot to the buttons. It’ll encourage charitable giving while showing the local community you care.
  • Buttons make a great keepsake for graduating students; they’ll look back on the pins fondly.
  • Give your honor roll students a reward; make a customized button just for them. They will know that are grades important and feel appreciated at the same time!
  • Having Staff or Parent volunteers wearing a button can make it easier for others to identify them!
    Picture of buttons reading Parent Liaison, ASK ME!

    Example of some ‘Ask Me’ Buttons, great to use for parent volunteers or teachers-Easily get conversations going with the help from buttons!

These are just a handful of ideas that you can use…your school’s creativity is the limit.
Button Biz has a great selection of button making systems to suit your school’s needs, check them out here!

 

Till next time!
– Megan // Bayleaf Buttons

 

How To Cut Buttons Faster With the Rotary Circle Cutter

A couple weeks ago, Jack sent us a review of the button maker after having it only a week. Today, he sent us some feedback on how he speeds up the process of cutting out graphics with the Rotary Circle Cutter.


When I make a quantity of 2.25” buttons, I use a different Cutting Mat for the Circle Cutter, (different from the one we showed on your blog).

Cutting Circles Fast with Rotary Circle Cutter

I have an 11” by 17” cutting mat purchased from the craft store for less than $8. I can cut an entire sheet of button artwork without moving the sheet around.

Also, it is easy to cut three sheets at once. If nine images are on each sheet, then I can cut 27 images without moving the sheet on the mat. This is a dramatic speedup processing the button-ready artwork.

Eventually, the mat will become scored. I have produced hundreds of button artwork using this mat and it is still in good condition. I consider it low cost and eventually expendable.

Jack Fisher
Roswell, New Mexico

Jack Fisher

Teaching The Hunger Games with Buttons

Hunger Games Lessons with ButtonsTeachersPayTeachers is a marketplace with over 700,000 free and paid teaching resources. One of those resources uses buttons to teach a popular novel.

The Hunger Games has taken America by storm, and many elementary school teachers have their students read the novel. This kit, developed by teacher Tracee Orman, contains a variety of activities related to the novel for students to complete. It can be used to review the novel in a fun, creative way. Included are badges and buttons which mimic those worn by characters in the novel. They can be used to reenact scenes from the novel or as reward tokens for students. Also included are worksheets and blank templates, so students can make their own buttons and badges.

The badges and buttons are pre-made and can simply be printed and cut. However, a button maker would be a great tool to incorporate into making these! A button maker would ensure a more exact final product and cut down on time. Plus, students could learn how to operate an interesting new tool. You are able to use a button maker of any size with the templates. Buttons and badges are not the only uses for this kit. The templates can be cut and affixed onto magnets to put up in the classroom or can be printed on label paper to create stickers.

If you’re looking for a way to engage students and get them excited about reading, Tracee Orman’s Hunger Games Badges and Buttons Activity and Templates Kit seems like an excellent choice. Not only a great supplement to the novel, this kit is a fun way to introduce students to the art of making buttons and using a button maker.

Try Pixelmator 3.0 for Button Graphics

Make button graphics with Pixelmator

Creativity is a must have for button makers whether designing for fun or profit, but thinking up ideas is only half the process. If you have a knack for imaginative ideas but no artistic skills, it is time to get some help. Programs like Pixelmator allow you to create fantastic button graphics without needing to be a professional artist.

Pixelmator is an affordable answer to Photoshop and is favored over the other graphic editor because its easy to use. Previous versions of Pixelmator have existed since 2007 and were used to correct color, retouch photos and create shapes. These functions are available in the latest version and let button makers work off an existing photo or create their own design to adorn a button. The new version has plenty of new features whether your buttons consist of cartoons, shapes, real images, words or a combination. This is a great way to try advanced photo editing software without spending a ton of money.

Button making beginners often use a simple quote or picture along with snap-in buttons. This is a sensible way to learn, but you will get more notice and sales if your buttons look polished and high quality. Pixelmator has new layering options that allow you to elevate basic designs by adding shadows, reflections and shading. Presets are available for those who have no photo editing experience.

It can be hard to get an image to look like the vision in your head without any natural artistic ability, but you can use the new liquify tool to clean images or shape them to your liking. You can make small tweaks or dramatic adjustments with one tool. This is also valuable for those who want eye-catching, unusual designs because the tool can twist, warp, pinch and manipulate normal images until they look completely different.

Editing to correct mistakes and make final enhancements is necessary with any project but is often boring when you are excited to start showing off your buttons. Pixelmator created a new editing software that combines many programs into one system. This makes the software respond better so that it takes fewer steps to edit an image. The software can now edit images in half the time it used to, which allows you to be more productive.

Using a button maker and coming up with ideas is something anyone can do. There are many options for buttons in stores and at craft shows. You need new and interesting images to draw people to your buttons. Pixelmator is a simple way to quickly improve the look of your buttons. Making buttons as a hobby or job takes commitment, and editing software allows you to become more skilled at this craft.

Pixelmator has create a page dedicated to tutorials. Over the coming weeks, we hope to add some tutorials on how to use Pixelmator to create graphics for your buttons.

Pixelmator is currently $29.99 and available at the Mac App Store.

Tips for Making Buttons Fast

Now you have your button maker and need to make a lot of buttons for a customer or event, use these tips and you’ll be making them lightning fast!

 

Cut out your button images first:

Having all your button images cut and ready to go will help you speed through the button making process. As you are cutting your images make sure to put them down in the same direction. This will eliminate you having to rotate or adjust the image when you put it on top of the shell.

Cut Your Buttons First

 

Keep everything within arm’s reach!

Setup your button press on a sturdy table and have a comfortable place to sit, and then get your supplies ready! Put a handful of shells on the left side of your button press, and the pinbacks on the right. This makes putting buttons together quickly as everything is close by.

How to Make Buttons Fast

I personally like to have a few image circles in my left hand, and have the mylar on top of them instead of taking them out of the bag or laying them on a table. Take the image circles from the back, then take the mylar from the top.

 

Find a position!

By that I mean find your preferred button making method. If you like to work horizontally with your button maker like so.

Find a Position

 

Or vertically like this- that’s great! Just remember your method and keep at it-soon you won’t really have to think about how the parts go in, you’ll do it automatically.

fin2009

Don’t get distracted!

If you are in the middle of making a button and your phone rings, finish your button! If you get distracted enough and forget you have part of a button in your upper die, and go to make another one— you could inadvertently jam your machine and we don’t want that!

 

Maintenance Tip#1

Notice you button making not moving smoothly when you rotate the die table? You’ll need to use some silicon lubricant to get it moving just right!