Button maker

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Noisebridge has a 1 inch button maker machine. A mysterious benefactor donated it. Thank you! If you know the donor, feel free to edit this page and attribute them. It's currently kept in the sewing and crafting room on the top shelf opposite to the door.

Noisebridge button maker on shelf

Status: NEEDS MAINTENANCE as of 2020-03.

How to make button artwork[edit]

The artwork needs to be bigger than the button, because it wraps around the edge. The button diameter is 1 inch and the artwork needs to be 1.325 (one and three eights) inches in diameter. The artwork can be cut out with scissors, or with an X-acto knife around a 1.325 inch diameter acrylic template, or with the laser cutter (if you've been safety trained).

I often feel like my artwork doesn't look vibrant enough, so I like to print it on the big color Epson printer on photo paper.

What you need to make a button[edit]

Your button will be composed of 4 or 5 parts, from bottom to top:

  • plastic backing with pin
  • circle of cardboard to secure the pin from being wobbly -- OPTIONAL
  • metal cover (gives the button its shape)
  • artwork (printed on paper)
  • mylar cover
Noisebridge button maker supplies

There are a bunch of supplies left, only the mylar covers are almost empty. The plastic backings work best, but the metal workings do work too if you carefully align them. Please try to keep the supplies always together in one place with the button maker.

How to use the button maker machine[edit]

To make the button, follow the instructions written on the machine.

First, slide the white bar of the button maker so that you can put things in the left chamber.

In the chamber place:

  • metal cover
  • artwork -- if your artwork has an orientation, pay attention to how you orient it relative to the pin on the plastic backing in the next step.
  • mylar cover

Slide the now-loaded left chamber into the press. Press the handle down to secure the artwork and mylar cover onto the metal. The materials will be in the top of the pressing chamber after pressing.

In the right chamber place:

  • plastic backing (zig zag side of pin facing up)
  • cardboard circle -- OPTIONAL
Drawing showing how to stack the components

Slide the white bar of the button maker so that the right side is under the press. Press the handle down to secure the cover onto the pin backing.

Noisebridge button maker instructions written on machine

How to get more button making supplies[edit]

The last time more button making supplies was donated, it cost $87 for supplies for 2000 buttons: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M6V19AX

The cardboard circles are 2cm in diameter, and they were cut by the laser cutter.