Hey Button Guy, I've tried some pictures off the internet that don't turn out too bad, but where can I find high-quality pictures for better quality buttons?
Yes there is the question of image resolution. Internet images are 72 dpi. When you print images on your printer they should be 300 dpi. You can sometimes, depending on the image get away with 150 dpi but for excellent quality you need a full sized image. 300 dpi @ 3” x 2” means your image has 300 dots per inch over a size of 3” x 2”. If you want to print that image at 6” x 4” then at that size you only have 150 dpi.
So if you’re still following and to answer the question: To get high resolution you can forget the internet. Try:
Taking your own photos.
Drawing your own images, then scan.
Designing high resolution images in Photoshop or Illustrator or using something like http://button-designer.com (It’s Free)
Find images in magazines, books, newspapers or anywhere in print and scan them at 300 dpi.
Whether taking images from print or the internet there are still copyright issues.
Are there any alternatives to mylar? I saw on the Pure button site that they boasted a matte finish to their buttons. I was wondering if you know what they use and where I could find it. They look great and I would love to make buttons like theirs.
To make a matte button you simply print out your art in the normal way and then instead of cutting out the circles using a rotary cutter or a graphic punch you laminate the entire uncut sheets. When laminating you can get various finishes. Matte, Gloss, textured. Your choice is as wide as you can find laminating sheets or rolls.
Certain images look better laminated matte particularly when you have a white background. The gloss laminate enhances images with black or dark backgrounds and like everything diy it is best to experiment.
The issue with laminated artwork is it is harder to cut. You will blunt the blade on a rotary cutter faster for sure. You are not just cutting paper you are cutting plastic as well.
As well you need a good lamination machine for rolls of laminate. This can be expensive. Yet another machine to buy. For small quantities or to test just take a few sheets to your local printer, they usually have a laminating service. Test first, not all images are improved with lamination.
I need to find a manufacturing source for pin backs with a safety latch to make me custom pin backs. I need one that is 3/4 inch but has a wider distance between post and pin when latched.
The smallest size button that I have seen with a pin-back is 1-1/4”.
The smallest size button is 7/8” but both 7/8” and 1” buttons use a collet back and locking spring pin NOT a pin-back.
I have also never seen a pin-back button where the pin is wider than the button. Sorry.
Hi button guy! I recently start using my cutter (Dynamo Hand-Held Graphic Punch Cutter) but only after only 5 button pins the cutter doesn't work properly and the paper doesn't pop up as it should no mater the pressure used. Please take into consideration I haven't made any for a couple of months however I still can't believe it doesn't work at all. Is that normal? What can I do now? I tried using some aluminium foil to sharpen it without good results. Any advice?
Hi Sorry no advice. The problem is the Dynamo Hand-Held Graphic Punch Cutter. I see these on the American Button Makers site but they are NOT American. They are made in China/ Maybe Korea and are just not the quality of the actual American made products.
You cannot sharpen this kind of cutter. I can only suggest getting a good cutter. Good cutting makes good buttons but you need a real graphic punch “Made in USA” and you will have no problems. Get good tools and you will never look back.
Like most “cheap” products this one is destined for the landfill I expect.
Hi I wanted to see if there was any way of making these type of buttons without using a machine. You see I always buy them on eBay and I thought maybe I can cut down on the cost and make them myself
Hi Button making requires 2 machines. The circle cutter and the button press. For small quantities you can get away without the circle cutter and cut with scissors but for the button pressing you need the correct mould shape and you need to apply pressure that is only possible with a press.
Hi, Do you know anything about button presses made by a company called QLT Imaging Inc? I can't seem to find any information about that company (button making wise), but I see what looks like a pretty nice one on ebay. Thanks
I see a used 3-1/2” button maker on ebay.
QLT Imaging BP-200 Button Press
Problem is it does not appear to have any button parts. This looks like a made in China machine but I cannot be sure. If it is it means the button parts will be very expensive if you can get them at all. It is unlikely this machine takes standard North American Parts.
If this machine takes standard North American Button Parts it could be a sweet deal but the only way to find out is to test it.
With Button Makers its all about the supplies. You can’t make buttons with it without supplies.
It sadly won't let me post links in your ask box so here! Go to ebay and copy and paste this in: "25mm 1" Changeable Mould Button Maker Badge Material KIT" it's the very first one! All black All metal!
Unfortunately as soon as I see the 25mm I know it’s made in China. I have had some very poor experiences with made in china button makers. Especially those with interchangeable dies.
Also look at the prices of the button parts. These chinese button makers take 25mm NOT 1” parts. Ouch!
hi! i have a tecre model 100 button machine and my handle is stuck! it will only depress when the machine is set to the collet back side. i can't figure out how to get it unstuck!
We have a video. “How to unjam your button maker.”
This will fix it.
Hi Button Guy, My little button business is growing and i'm having to buy pack after pack of epson presentation paper matte. I was wondering if you know of any bulk paper suppliers, a company where I could buy in larger quantities and at a lower price?
I would look for a brilliant white photo copy paper. The epson special papers are not really necessary especially once you put mylar over the top.
Make a few different buttons and compare them.
Hi Button Guy! Really enjoy your site and blog, so much great info! I would like to ask you about making fabric buttons. Are there any special considerations for making these? Will a standard hand punch work for cutting out fabric circles, or would you recommend a heavier duty circle cutter? Also, I would want to skip adding in the mylar in order for the fabric to be exposed in the button, have you found this to be an issue? Any advice or tips would be appreciated, thanks a lot!
A standard hand punch or graphic punch will not work as a graphic punch does not have a blade. A rotary cutter works well and the blades can be replaced easily. Scissors will also work fine but for small quantities.
Many fabrics will work well but not all fabrics. You need a tightly woven fabric. Test fabrics. Some will work better than others.
Yes and you can make fabric buttons without mylar. But test your fabric, some will fray at the edges. Tightly woven works best.