Manufacturer’s Guide on How to Make Enamel Pins
Starting your own enamel pin business may be a fascinating and rewarding experience. This article will walk you through the entire process of bringing your enamel pin ideas into reality. Whether you’re an artist or a company owner, this guide will help you understand the concept of how to make enamel pins.
What is an Enamel Pin
Enamel pins are colorful and long-lasting small badges made by fusing colored powdered glass into metal. These pins have gained popularity due to their eye-catching look and creative expression.
Different Types of Enamel Pins
Before we dive into the discussion of how are enamel pins made, it is important to consider what type of pin you want to produce. To start off, there are different types of pins/badges to choose from:
A hard enamel pin is a durable type of pin created by pouring enamel multiple times into the metal. This is then heated and polished to smoothen the surface, ensuring that the enamel is at the same level as the metal edges.
Soft enamel pins are created by pouring enamel once into the metal surface. This creates a textured and raised design which is preferable to many.
Step-by-Step Process on How to Produce Enamel Pins
Once you have chosen the type of enamel pin you want to make, we can now discuss how to make metal enamel pins.
Step 1: Brainstorm Design Ideas
The first step on how to make pins enamel is to imagine what resonates with you and consider what might appeal to a broad audience.
Step 2: Choose Your Colors
Now that you have a concept in mind, it’s time to sketch your design and choose the right colors. Select a palette that complements your design and resonates with your target audience. Think about the emotions you want your pins to evoke.
Step 3: Digitalize Your Design
Use graphic design software to create a clean, digital version of your pin. This step ensures precision in the final product.
Step 4: Select The Right Material
The quality of your enamel pin depends on the materials used. We often use zinc alloys and iron in producing enamel pins. On the other hand, for offset pin prints, we opt to use aluminum and stainless steel.
Step 5: Pick The Right Manufacturer
Research and connect with reputable manufacturers who specialize in enamel pin production. Ensure they understand your vision and can deliver a high-quality product. Communication is key in this collaborative process.
Step 6: Prototype
Before mass production, you can ask your manufacturer to produce samples for you. This step allows for adjustments and ensures the final product meets your expectations.
Step 7: Production
Once satisfied with the prototype, mass production can start. Have regular communication with your manufacturer to address any concerns.
Here’s a sample video on how to create enamel pins:
Step 8: Quality Control
Perform quality control checks to maintain consistency.
After knowing the steps on how to produce enamel pins, it is a must to learn about how enamel pins are designed for effectiveness.
Tips on How to Design Enamel Pins
As a direct producer of enamel pins, here are our top 5 tips on designing a stunning enamel pin:
A sleek metal outline prevents color from turning messy during production. Although, there are specific outline thicknesses to use depending on the type of lapel pin.
For soft enamel pin, the recommended outline thickness is 0.088 mm. However, for hard enamel pins, the default outline thickness is 0.176mm.
Enamel Color Fill
To create your desired design, a metal outline should be filled with enamel colors. However, the size of the infill area should be considered depending on the type of enamel pin.
For soft enamel, we recommend 0.43mm and for hard enamel pin, the recommended size is 0.35mm.
The complexity of your design should complement the badge dimensions. If your designs have too many details to focus on, go big. The right size matters. Go ask your manufacturer.
Colors can make or break your enamel pin badge design. One of the rules for choosing the right palette is to stick to solid colors. To make it easier, you can choose a solid color from the Pantone solid color chart and take your pick.
Choosing The Right Plating
Got a simple yet classy design, do for a unique plating. Play with different platings to see which best fits your badge.
- Dyed Black
- Satin Nickel
- Satin Gold
- Antique Gold
- Antique Nickel
- Antique Copper
- Black Nickel
Aside from our tips on designing, another thing to consider when producing your enamel pins is choosing the back fitting or accessory. Read further for different options on enamel pin backing.
Different Types of Enamel Backing/Accessories
Enamel pin backs are important in securing your enamel pins. Essentially, you should know what type of pin backing best fits your design. While the traditional butterfly clutch is popular, there’s still a range of alternatives to consider.
The standard enamel pin backing is simple and easy to use. This secures attachment while maintaining the pin’s lightweight nature. It is a versatile option perfect for various surfaces.
The functionality is like the butterfly clutch. Although PVC clutch is a more affordable option.
This type of attachment is like the butterfly clutch but with a premium finish. The deluxe clutch has a flathead design with a polished finish that enhances the appearance of the pin.
If you want to avoid fabric damage, then a magnet clutch is the perfect choice. This option securely holds the pin without piercing the fabric. Yet, for thicker fabrics, the magnet backing strength is compromised.
This backing option is designed for larger and horizontal pins. Bar magnet ensures reliable fastening for larger pins that require additional support.
Ball Locking Clutch
For higher-end pins, ball locking clutch is a good option. This features a click-upon-insertion locking mechanism that seems to be satisfying to the end user.
The button clutch, resembling the butterfly clutch, adds a professional touch by locking the needle in place. It provides a more refined option compared to the butterfly clutch.
Safety Pin Clutch
Using a traditional safety pin, this clutch offers simplicity but comes at a higher cost compared to other options.
Known for exceptional security, the screw-back attaches by screwing it into place.
Bent Leg Clutch
The bent leg backing, a simple design with straight pins, may cause puncture marks on the fabric over time. The legs can wear down and break, presenting a potential drawback.
Primarily intended for males wearing ties, the tie bar backing adds sophistication and functionality to formal attire, ensuring a polished look.
How Much Does it Cost to Make Enamel Pins
If you are an artist or an entrepreneur, knowing how to make your own enamel pins gives you an advantage. Nonetheless, knowing the tips and tricks alone is an incomplete narrative. A keen understanding of financial subtleties emerges as a critical consideration.
Making a customized enamel pin depends on different things. These include design, quantity, size, thickness, mold, material, type of pin, color, attachments, and packaging. Each batch of orders is unique. Hence, the cost will be different. We’ll discuss each factor to consider below.
The base cost of a pin is determined by quantity and size. The bigger the quantity you order, the lower the price. Likewise, the bigger the size you order, the higher the price.
With Relia Metal, your artwork is FREE. Granted that you give us your ideas on what would you like your enamel design to be. Although there might be some revisions here and there, it’s also free of cost.
Here’s a sample design created for one of our clients
In relation to price, the bigger the pin, the higher the price. The reason is more material is needed on how to make custom enamel pins. Also, the bigger the pin the thicker the pin needs to be so it will not bend. Pins range from .75 inches to 2 inches. There is a big increase in the base price at 1.5 inches and then again when you go over 2 inches.
The most common size of lapel pin is 1 or 1.25 inches. If you are creating a trading pin you probably want to go 1.5 to 2-inches as bigger is better.
The size is the primary determinant of thickness. Typically, 1-inch pins are 1.2mm thick. Typically, 1.5-inch pins are closer to 1.5mm thick. A thicker pin, on the other hand, adds more solidity to the quality.
The mold is the reason why we don’t sell single customized pins. The mold costs the same whether you create one pin or 10,000 pins. A mold/setup fee of $50 is normal for the average pin. As a result, even if just one pin is required, we charge a minimum of $50 to cover the mold/setup costs.
We use materials like zinc alloy, iron, stainless steel, and aluminum to create enamel pins. Even when you don’t see the difference in what kind of material is used, there will be a significant difference in the cost.
Each type of pin will have its own price. The price may vary depending on your manufacturer.
Here at Foison, we offer up to 8 colors for free. Professionally speaking, you don’t want to go above 8 colors for the sake of design cleanliness. Yet, if you pass the 8-color limit, you may need to pay roughly $0.04 cents extra per color per pin.
You can choose what type of pin backing based on what we have discussed earlier and you will be quoted accordingly.
Since most pins are used as promotional products, adding nice packaging will make your presentation. For enamel pins, we offer different kinds of packaging options. From paper backings, and poly bags to velvet boxes.
Choosing The Right Enamel Pin Factory
In mass-producing custom enamel pins, it is important to choose the best manufacturer. Relia Metal is a direct Chinese factory that knows how to make metal lapel pins for business owners like you. With years of experience, we have worked with thousands of international clients who marked us as their top supplier of enamel pins.