How to Design Your Own Button Pins for Children

Written by mary davis
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How to Design Your Own Button Pins for Children
Make button pins for or with children. (traffic light smiley image by Brent Walker from

Children love to wear button pins. Round pins in sizes from one-inch to several inches in diameter can fit any theme or practical need. Often called badges, the pins are made with button-making kits that contain a metal backing with a pin or child-safe clip, blank templates on which to create button designs, a plastic pin cover and a press to attach the button pin pieces together for a completed project. Kids can also make almost-free pins without a kit or pin-maker press. Choose the method that works best for your group of kids.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Paper button circles
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Small colouring pictures (optional)
  • Button pin backs
  • Badge button maker
  • Plastic or metal button frames
  • Plastic button covers
  • Plastic 3-inch lid (optional)
  • Cardboard circle (optional)
  • Metal frozen juice can lid (optional)
  • Plain paper
  • Scissors
  • Craft glue
  • Clear self-adhesive plastic
  • Hot-glue gun
  • Safety pins (optional)
  • Child-safe pin clips (optional)

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  1. 1

    Prepare a paper circle for the button pin. Have the kids colour a freehand design or write a message on a button with crayons or markers. Or provide circles with images already printed on them for the children to colour.

  2. 2

    Place a pin backing, pin side down, on the bottom portion of the two-part button press.

    Position a plastic or metal button frame over the pin backing, with the rounded side facing upward. Arrange the paper circle over the button frame. Place a clear plastic button cover over the picture.

  3. 3

    Push the handle of the button-maker downward to press the button pieces together. Press firmly, enough to curl the plastic cover in place over the top and sides of the button.

  4. 4

    Pull the handle back to its starting position. Check to see whether the button pieces are attached. If they are not, stack and press the pieces again. Use a different pin backing or plastic cover, if needed.

  1. 1

    Trace a plastic lid, cardboard circle or metal frozen juice can lid onto plain paper. Cut the circle out, leaving no extra selvedge along the edges.

  2. 2

    Have the children draw and colour a design or picture on the paper circle. Glue and trim a photo or picture on the paper circle rather than drawing a design, if desired.

  3. 3

    Glue the paper circle onto a plastic lid, metal juice can lid or sturdy cardboard circle. Make sure the design side faces outward.

  4. 4

    Cut a circle from self-adhesive plastic covering slightly larger than the front of the button pin. Cover the front of the button with the plastic. Press the excess plastic around the sides and onto the back of the button to secure the pieces together.

  5. 5

    Use a hot-glue gun to fasten a safety pin or a child-safe clip on the back of the button pin.

Tips and warnings

  • Use a photo of a child to create any type of button pin.
  • Write the child's name with a dark marker if you wish to personalise a photo or other type of button.
  • Read the instructions that come with the button maker.
  • Use plastic or metal clips instead of pins for younger children to prevent injury.

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