DIY Pinback Buttons

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My family recently celebrated my Grandmother’s 90th birthday. She actually turned 93 but because of a few white lies and her youthful charm, none of us knew she was turning 93 and we had missed celebrating her 90th three years ago. Anyways, long story short, my Grandma is an amazing woman and I wanted to do something to make her party extra special. I thought, what better way for the family to show our love and support than for us to all sport personalized buttons, touting her awesomeness? Great idea right?

Well, finding a way to make the buttons turned out to be a pain in the behind. Sure, you can order real buttons online but you have to do that well in advance and order a minimum amount. I only needed 20 or so. And you can buy button making kits in craft stores but they usually only come with 10-15 buttons and the kit is $20 a pop. So I took to pinterest of course. I came across a tutorial for DIY buttons using wooden shapes and Modge Podge.

Do you think I could find wooden shapes suitable for this project? No. I found lots of ones shaped like butterflies and stars, etc. Great if you’re just going to Modge Podge on some fabric or an image but I wanted text as well. So, it was back to the drawing board.

I was rummaging through my craft cupboard when I came across a sheet of 2″x2″ ceramic tiles. I tested one to make sure that once pinned on, they wouldn’t be  too heavy and they were perfect…surprisingly light!

So here’s what you need:

  • your printed design
  • 2″x2″ ceramic tile (they come in a sheet of 36 for approx $5 at local hardware/tile stores)
  • a craft knife and self healing mat
  • pins
  • Modge Podge and sponge brush
  • glue gun
  • card stock (optional)

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Here’s what you do…

1. Make a design for your pin and print it out. I found a fun 1920s font at dafont called “Market Deco.”

A few tips: Laser printers work better with Modge Podge because sometimes ink jet ink bleeds. I had mine printed at Staples. For 50 cents or whatever it was, it was worth it. If you are going to print your design somewhere else and if you use a fun font from the internet you should make your designs in Powerpoint and save your slides as jpegs. Then copy and paste the images into Word or Powerpoint and save it as a document to print. Otherwise when Staples opens your document, chances are they don’t have that fun font on their computer and your design will be ruined.

2. I used a piece of card stock to create a stencil so that I could cut my designs to fit the tile easily. You could just trace the tile over the design and then tweak it as needed.

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3. Using a sponge brush, put a layer of Modge Podge on the tile, the stick your design on and coat with Modge Podge. I did three coats.

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4. Once they’re dry, use the glue gun to glue the pins on the back. I put the pin on the top third of the tile so that they wouldn’t sag once on.

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And that’s it, you’re done! If kids will be wearing them you can get pins with safety closures. They aren’t heavy and once you have them on you hardly notice that you’re wearing one.  The 2″x2″ surface is also a nice size to work with. Needless to say, my Grandma LOVED them. Having everyone wear one definitely made her feel special. 🙂

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