Coloring Enamel Pins

 

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.

Enamel Pin

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:

  • Hard Enamel

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.

Hard Enamel Pins

  • Soft Enamel

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.

Soft Enamel Pins

 

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.

Materials for Enamel Pins

  • 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:

Metal Outlines

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.

Badge Size

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.

Enamel Badge Size

Color Pallete

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.

Enamel Pin Color Pallete

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.

Plating Choices:

  • Gold
  • Nickel
  • Dyed Black
  • Satin Nickel
  • Satin Gold
  • Antique Gold
  • Antique Nickel
  • Antique Copper
  • Copper
  • Black Nickel

Enamel Pin Plating

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.

Butterfly Clutch

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.

Butterfly Clutch

PVC Clutch

The functionality is like the butterfly clutch. Although PVC clutch is a more affordable option.

PVC Clutch

Deluxe Clutch

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.

Deluxe Clutch

Magnet Clutch

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.

Magnet Clutch

Bar Magnet

This backing option is designed for larger and horizontal pins. Bar magnet ensures reliable fastening for larger pins that require additional support.

Bar Magnet

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.

Ball Locking Clutch

Button Clutch

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.

Button Clutch

Safety Pin Clutch

Using a traditional safety pin, this clutch offers simplicity but comes at a higher cost compared to other options.

Safety Pin Clutch

Screw Back

Known for exceptional security, the screw-back attaches by screwing it into place.

Screw Back

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.

Bent Leg Clutch

Tie Bar

Primarily intended for males wearing ties, the tie bar backing adds sophistication and functionality to formal attire, ensuring a polished look.

Tie Bar

 

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.

Quantity

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.

Design

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

Size

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.

Thickness

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.

Enamel Pin Thickness

Mold

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.

Material

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. 

Pin Type

Each type of pin will have its own price. The price may vary depending on your manufacturer.

Color

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.

Attachments/Backing

You can choose what type of pin backing based on what we have discussed earlier and you will be quoted accordingly.

Packaging

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.

Enamel Pin Packging

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.

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