How to make a pinback button without a button machine

Written by rhondar
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How to make a pinback button without a button machine
Create your own pinback buttons, even without a button making machine. (Somalia flag button image by Andrey Zyk from

Pinback buttons are frequently used to show support for a cause, to make a statement of individuality, and also for identification. While usually made with an expensive button press, pinback buttons can also be made using simple, inexpensive materials.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Circle template
  • Chipboard
  • Scissors
  • Paper
  • Glue
  • Pens and markers
  • Polymer resin
  • Bottle cap
  • Newspaper
  • Pinback

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    Creating and Preparing the Button Design

  1. 1

    Trace a circle template onto chipboard or other heavy cardboard. Cut out the circle.

  2. 2

    Decorate the circle with paper, markers or paint for the desired look. Print text and graphics with a computer and cut to size. Use glue to firmly attach paper to the cardboard circle.

  3. 3

    Spread newspaper over your work surface for protection. Place the circle on top of the newspaper, balancing it on a bottle cap or other small, flat object. The object must have a smaller diameter than the cardboard circle so that it hangs over all the way around.

    Sealing the Design and Finishing the Button

  1. 1

    Mix polymer resin according to package directions.

  2. 2

    Pour a small amount of polymer resin onto the centre of the cardboard circle, until it spreads all the way to the edges of the cardboard circle.

  3. 3

    Allow the polymer resin to sit for about five minutes. It will level out by itself and any excess will drip off around the edges. At this point, small bubbles will appear on the surface of the resin. Blowing gently on these bubbles causes them to pop.

  4. 4

    Allow the resin-covered circles to sit undisturbed for 36 to 48 hours. Once cured, the resin and cardboard discs will be stiff and sealed together.

  5. 5

    Place the circle with the design facing down and glue a pinback to the back side of the button.

Tips and warnings

  • Be sure to work in a well-ventilated area when using polymer resin, as the fumes are harmful.

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