Mylar or no mylar?

button finishes

button finishes

 

Photo above: White People Power Press button is using standard mylar, Yellow People Power Press button is using lamination, Purple People Power Press button is using a thicker paper with no mylar at all. Shiny buttons is with using the Dura-lar technique which I explained last week.

 

Hi Button Guy,

 I recently purchased a Flex 2000 Kit. Made some buttons, and all works great. I have a question about the mylar inserts. Is there such thing as multiple finishes, such as matte or gloss? Seems like I can only find information on using the standard glossy mylar.

There are a few more options you could try to make the buttons you desire without using the standard glossy mylar.

  1. You could laminate your button designs before cutting the papers. Use a thin laminate such as 1mm or 2mm.
  2. You could use a thick paper like card stock and not use the mylar at all.
  3. You could put a matte tape over the design before cutting the papers. This might be the cheapest and easiest way to do it, but it could also be the weakest and the tape could tear or rip.

For information on printing on Dura-lar, check out my post last week

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Filed under Button artwork, Button design, Button Making, Button Making Business, Button Making Ideas, custom buttons

Making buttons with the Flex1000 Hand Press

flex1000-holiday-start-up-kit_1024x1024

flex 1000

Hi Button Guy,

We purchased the Flex1000 press and finally had some time to try out making buttons.  We started with 2.25″.  The press we have is somewhat different than the one in the videos

Our best button was one that sort of went together but fell apart after 5 minutes of use.  We identified a few possible areas for error.  Maybe you can give us some pointers regarding what we are doing wrong.

1) We found the cutter made circles that are just slightly too big.  We corrected for that be doing extra careful trimming and this seemed to help.

2) There are three plastic rings in the 2.25 die whereas the 3″ die does not have any.  The booklet talks about using 1 plastic ring.  We tried with three and it didn’t work.  When we tried with one we got a button that lasted 5 minutes.  Should we be using the plastic rings?

3) Any other pointers you can give us?

4)  Is there a particular weight of paper we should use? We are kind of frustrated.

 

 

Sorry to hear you’re frustrated.

Here’s a video that shows the machine you have. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUFjU1MNYiY

  1. The paper circles are supposed to be bigger than your button shell because they will wrap around the shell as the button is pressed together. You do need to be careful when cutting the paper circles and make sure the cutter doesn’t move positions on the paper. The mylar and paper circles will fit very tightly in the left die tray and there should not be much wiggle room.
  2. The 3″ die does not come with a plastic ring. It should work without the ring. It is just the 2-1/4″ die set that needs 1 ring (and you have 2 extra included in case you lose the ring).
  3. If you are still having troubles check out the videos email me pictures of the buttons you made and that will help out a lot in trying to figure out a solution.
  4. A standard, 20lb paper will be fine. The machine may have trouble with thicker paper (photograph paper), as it could have difficulty crimping around the pin-back

Also, there is always some spoilage or button mistakes when hand pressing buttons. So the FlexPress will not work perfectly every time.

 

 

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Printing on Dura-Lar

NYE_Buttons_2015_2_large NYE_Buttons_2015_3_large

I just love the principal behind those New Year buttons  (buttons by people power press)– I think I understand – print on the transfer, instead of a printed button template, cut out a gift wrap or even a Christmas Card OR use silver/gold napkin paper and then print on the Dura-Lar film, using it as the the cover instead of the round Mylar – did I say that correctly???NOW! my question – can I assume this Dura-Lar film is like a transparency? and you must use a Laser or copier – where the pattern, words or design is burned into the film instead of an ink jet printer????

 

These are sheets much like transparencies, you are right, that you place into your printer like paper. The People Power Press sell them in single sheets (so you can test it) and in packs. You would then cut the circles as you cut your other printed designs. http://peoplepowerpress.org/products/dura-lar-film-for-printing-and-button-making

You can also use brightly coloured acetate for extra bright colours: http://peoplepowerpress.org/products/acetate-for-printing-and-button-making

It is best to print so that the black text is inside the button so it won’t be scratched off. Yes, the printer matters. You need a laser printer for Dura-Lar as both sides are shiny and an Inkjet printer needs a textured side to have something for the ink to adhere to. I’ve also have found having a dehumidifier nearby helps the ink attach to the sheet much better too. (That is an important shop trick I have learned over the years!) That being said, you can get transparent sheets from a store like Staples that you can use with an Inkjet printer – just be sure that one side is textured and print on that side or else the ink will just smear when it hits the shiny side.

Then you place a glittery holographic paper that you can buy in rolls from a craft store underneath the Dura-Lar, but you can place whatever paper you would like under there. Sometimes, if I want the background to be silver we just let the tin shell show through.

 

view our similar post in 2013 for any additional questions you may have

 

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Filed under Button Making, Button Making Ideas, custom buttons, Uncategorized

….i’m back

Oh, I know I’ve been gone for so long.

But guess what,  I’m back and ready to answer all the questions that may be floating around in your heads!

I’ll start with an email I recently received regarding machine maintenance.

Hello,

These are pictures of my 2.25″ machine. You can see the mylar jammed in. I was looking for advice in how easy it would be to take this apart to clean and put back together. 1

You can clear rust with WD-40 but it also removes grease and all lubricants.  So once cleaned of rust, you need to thoroughly grease and lube the machine.

If the mylar does not pull out with pliers undo the screw in the upper die and take the die out. Separate the shaft to remove mylar, lube and then put back together.

 

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Filed under Button Makers & Kids, Button Making, Button Making Business, Button Making Ideas, Button Making Parts, Buying A Button Maker, custom buttons

Bomacaron est la première boutique en son genre au Québec.

fabriquons tous nos produits la première boutique Macarons Macarons Montreal Quebec

La boutique ouvre officiellement ses portes le 11 octobre 2014.

Critical Buttons Montreal est la première boutique en son genre  au Québec. C’est aussi l’atelier dans lequel nous fabriquons tous nos produits.

Voici quelques photos qui vous donneront un petit aperçu de l’endroit. N’hésitez pas à venir nous voir et nous questionner, il nous fait toujours plaisir de partager notre expertise et notre passion!

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Button Guy in Montreal at the new Custom Button Store in Quebec

I hopped in the car and took the trip to Montreal to see how Joel and Nic are doing setting up their custom button store in Montreal.

It’s very cool.  They are not setup yet but their opening party is this Friday in Montreal.  They’ve got it all: Button Making Machines, Button Parts and a really fast setup for Custom Buttons.  Nic is after all the fastest button maker on the planet!

For Custom buttons in Montreal & Quebec call 1-866 996 1984

Here are some pics:

custom buttons in Montreal

Button Store Montreal

Bomacaron Button Shop Quebec

Bomacaron Button Shop Quebec

 

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Filed under Button Making, Buying A Button Maker, Magnet Buttons, Multi Die Button Makers, Small Business Start Up

A new button store opening in Montreal. Custom Buttons galore on Ste Catherine Est!

Great news for  all button makers and button people in Montreal.  The guys from Pinscity and Bomacaron have got together to open a button store on Ste. Catherine East in Montreal.

Nic and Joel are making custom buttons right there in the store and both are experienced button makers who can help and advise on any button making project.  Ontario has had a button store for some time, in Toronto, but this is the first button store I have heard of in Quebec. They are stocking button makers, button machines and button parts right there in downtown Montreal.

This is what the store looked like in August 2014 and this is what it still looks like on Google street view.

New Button Store opening in Montreal

New Button Store opening in Montreal

Yes I don’t see a button shop either.  But this is Google street view, it’s always out of date!

The new store is the one with the “Bieres” sign and next time I’m in Montreal I’m going to swing by and see how Joel and Nic are doing.  I will provide a new update with the current picture soon.  In the meantime lets support these guys and their brave new venture!

Macaron Machine Inc.
dba Bomacaron.com & Pinscity.com
4204 Ste-Catherine East
Montreal, Quebec
H1V 1X3

Store closed.  In the meantime get custom buttons made  1-866 996 1984

Checkout the website!     Critical Custom Buttons in Montreal

You can also buy button makers, get supplies for button machines or get buttons made.  Serving Montreal amd Quebec

 

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Filed under Anime Buttons, Button artwork, Button design, Button Designer Software, Button Makers & Kids, Button Making, Button Making Business, Button Making Ideas, Button Making Parts, Button vending, Buying A Button Maker, custom buttons, Fundraising, Fundraising with Buttons, Interchangeable Die Button Makers, Magnet Buttons, Multi Die Button Makers, Multiple Die Button Makers, printing buttons, Printing custom buttons, Selling Buttons, Small Business Start Up, Starting a custom button business

How to make a button with the new Multi Size Button Maker

Making buttons is easy with this simple, solid metal, multi size button maker. A new multi die or multiple size button maker that works!

Interchangeable Die Button Maker

The new multiple size die button maker kits

Whilst this machine is not as fast as a pro button maker if you need buttons in smaller quantities but in different sizes this is an option. The difference in cost is substantial. The multi machine at $400 is equivalent to 3 pro button makers at $1200 – $1600. Pro machines are faster but if you are not running a button business or producing bulk buttons this could be a low cost solution.

Multiple Dies available

Interchangeable dies for button making. Picture shows 1″, 2-1/4″ and 3″ dies.

Currently this machine is available with dies in 1″, 2-1/4″ and 3″. 1-1/4″, 1-1/2″ and 1-3/4″ dies will be available by the end of the year. Additional die sets with a matching circle cutter are around $100 to $150 depending on size. To swap dies simply pull the pin out and remove the die carrier. Once you have replaced the die carrier with the size you need you slot it in place, slip in the pin and you’re away. With this style of button maker there are no upper dies which are harder to replace and often consequently do not line up correctly causing poor quality buttons. With this multi machine you should have no trouble.

interchangeable die button maker

interchangeable die button maker

As I have said before the method of using the dies is slower but it does seem to be reliable. The method is a little bit like Badge-A-Minit except these are inexpensive standard button parts and the dies are solid metal and not plastic. To make a button you flip the dies and press the button in sequence. Here’s a detailed instruction on making a 2-1/4″ pin-back button using a multi size button maker:

Before you begin check that you have everything you need!
Your machine parts:

multiple die button press base

The basic press. This machine will press dies from 1″ to 3″.

Die table with 2 dies for button making.

Die table with 2 dies for button making. Pickup die on the left and crimp die on the right. The first press uses the left hand pickup die. The second press uses the right hand crimp die.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The positioning ring

Positioning ring

The positioning ring (bottom view) Do not use this way up.

The positioning ring

The correct side of the positioning ring – Always use this way up in both the left and right hand dies.

The pressing die

Pressing die

The pressing die. Use this way up for the first press.

Flip side of the pressing die

The pressing die (View of the flip side) Use this way up for the 2nd press.

White plastic spacer rings for 2-1/4″ only

Spacer Rings

Spacer rings – Only necessary for making 2-1/4″ buttons. Not supplied for other sizes.

Spacer ring for 2-1/4" pin-backs

Adding the plastic ring when using the 2-1/4″ die is just a question of laying the ring down before inserting the pin-back

 

Button parts – Remember each die set will make a specific size button.
Match your buttons to the die set you are using.

button parts

And you will also need your button parts

And you will need your button image or artwork cut and ready to go.

Artwork ready to cut

Artwork ready to cut first before pressing

Remember that you can also make magnets, key-chains, mirrors as well as all kinds of items. They usually involve changing the back button part, the front remains the same. Just follow these instructions but for example for a fridge magnet use a magnet back instead of the pin-back.

Once you’ve checked you’ve got everything you need you can begin making buttons.

 Place the button maker on the solid surface and turn the die table so you can access both dies.

Place the button maker in front of you with the dies easily accessible on a solid table so you can begin button making.

 

Place shell in pickup die

Place a shell in the left hand or pickup die. The edge of the shell slots into the circular slit in the pickup die. The shell fits exactly into the slot.

 

Add paper circle to die in a multi die machine

Add your pre prepared artwork or image over the shell. It should fit snugly in the available space. Now cover your art or image with a circular sheet of clear mylar.

 Note! Adding the white plastic spacer ring is only necessary for the 2-1/4″ die set.

Spacer ring for 2-1/4" pin-backs

Adding the plastic ring when using the 2-1/4″ die is just a question of laying the ring down before inserting the pin-back.

Multi die button maker

Place your pin-back, pin facing down and make sure your pin-back and the direction of your art match as per the photo. You want the pin to end up at the top of your art. So you now have your button maker loaded with shell, image and mylar in the left die and pin-back in the right die.

Place the positioning ring over your image

Place the positioning ring over your image so that the centre of your image shows through. Make sure the positioning ring has slotted into the lower die and is firm or it may be upside down.

 

Placement of the pressing die

Place the pressing die on top of the positioning ring. Note how most of the pressing die is sticking out of the positioning ring making it higher.

positioning ring and pressing die

So remember, in this order: shell, image then mylar. Positioning ring and then pressing die. To see which way up they go see above.

 

Pick up die first press

Now swivel the die table so that the left hand die moves to a position under the press and press your button. You will note with the first press that you feel the handle give as it presses your button. No force is necessary just pull the handle down.

 

First press on multi button maker

Make sure you go all the way down but force is not necessary.

You should have now successfully completed the first press. Now we will transfer the button over to the crimp die to make the second and final press. You know you did it correctly if you got that give in the handle as it shaped your button.

 

Flip the pressing die

Once the first press is complete remove the pressing die and flip it as you put it down ready for the second press. Remove the positioning ring from the left die and you will see your image pressed into the ring ready to move to the right hand die and to match up with the pin-back.

Positioning ring

This illustrates your positioning ring from the underneath. Your shell is pressed into the ring with your image and mylar. Note the edge of your art and the mylar around the edge ready for the pin-back.  Move carefully to retain the correct position.

 

Move the positioning ring to the crimp die

So carefully remove the positioning ring with your art from the left hand die and place it over the pin-back in the right hand die. Match the top of the back to the top of your image.

right hand multi-size die

Remember: The position of the art to the pin-back makes a difference to your final button.

 

pressing die into positioning ring.

You already flipped your pressing die so place it on top of your art. It should slide into the positioning ring. Make sure the curved or button shape surface is face down.

swing the die table

Now you’re ready for the second press. Swing your die table under the press to complete the second press.

 

Swing the die table

This is not far enough. Swing the die table all the way to the stop. Watch it doesn’t bounce back a little.

Make sure you're in the center of the die

Make sure you’re in the center of the die.

 

Second and final press

Pull the black handle down all the way in the centre of the die. There is no give on the second press. No force necessary. Just a steady pull all the way down.

 

button press complete

Once you have completed the second press you can remove the pressing die and the positioning ring and your button will be revealed. Check the pin lines up at the top of the art so the button is straight. If not watch for this on the next button. Make sure you line up the art and the pin. Happy button making!

 

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Filed under Interchangeable Die Button Makers, Multi Die Button Makers, Multiple Die Button Makers

Button Vending Machines – Put your button sales on automatic – Gumball machines for buttons!

Selling your button designs in stores can be a great way to launch your button business.  But buttons are a low cost item that can walk very easily if you have them in a jar on the counter or on a board.  Packaging buttons is a good way to go.  You can make sets of matching buttons and put them on a display card or 4 in a bag with a header card.  I will be writing a separate article about button packaging in due course.  Another way to ensure you don’t loose buttons to pilfering is sell them using a button vending machine.

These machines are traditional gumball machines converted to take capsules.  You can then add multiple buttons in a capsule or also put a special offer or a coupon code in the capsule.  People enjoy putting in a coin and turning the handle to see what they are going to get.  There is a nostalgia surrounding the gumball machines.  Everyone remembers them from their childhood.  Button vending machines work for you whilst you are somewhere else, maybe making or designing buttons, maybe at home tucked up in bed with a good book.  Put your button sales on Automatic!

Beaver Meridian Gumball Machine

Beaver Meridian Gumball Machine

Button Vending Machine

Button Vending Machine uses capsules

 

This is the flagship!  The Beaver Meridian Gumball Machine is a very cool retro style solid metal machine in bright red and designed like a globe.  I think it looks very cool.  As with all these machines there are some options for the coin mechanism.  You can go for a coin mechanism that takes a quarter, two quarters or even 4 quarters.  If your in Canada you can have a loonie or toonie coin mechanism.  You can even have 2 x $1 or 2 x $2.  All these machines also have the option for TOKENS or FREE VEND options.

Beaver Coin Mechanism

Coin Mechanism for a Beaver Meridian Gumball Machine

 

The above Button Vending Machine – Meridian is quite pricy ($600 – $800) and at 70 lbs it’s quite expensive to ship.  But there are other options:

Northern Beaver Vending Machine

Northern Beaver Vending Machine

The Northern Beaver takes 1″ or 2″ or 3″ capsules.  You can fit 3 1″ buttons or magnets in a 1″ acorn capsule.  You can fit 3 buttons or magnets up to 1-3/4″ in a 2″ acorn capsule.  The 3″ capsules are a quarter each so I find them a bit expensive but they do take a few 2-1/4″ buttons.  The 2″ acorn capsules are only 5 cents each, the 1″ acorn capsules go down to 3 cents each. I see more opportunity in those than the 3″ buttons.  Get more information on vending capsules here.

Round Beaver Button Vending Machine

Round Beaver Button Vending Machine

The Round Beaver has all the coin mechanism options but is only available for 1″ vending capsules.  The stand is also an optional extra.  They sit nicely on the counter and come with fixtures for bolting down or attaching a security wire (as do all Beaver vending machines).  The Round Beaver you can pickup for around $150.

Marketing and promotion options using a Button Vending Machine.

Above I’m talking about selling buttons but there are also other uses.  These machines have interchangeable coin mechanisms.  Those coin mechanisms can have some interesting possibilities. The FREE VEND option is a coin mechanism that requires no coin.  Just turn the handle and out pops the capsule.  Why is this useful?

Think of putting a machine in a local venue like an art gallery or a café.  When someone turns the handle they get a free button and an ad.  That ad could lead potential clients to your store, your website or to your latest special offer.  A great way to get customers coming to you.

What about TOKEN VENDING?  Our mechanism takes a 0.984″ token which is a pretty standard token size.  You can get tokens personalised, stamped with your website or your logo.  You can send a token to your mailing list, give a token out at trade shows or even walk the streets and hand out your token.  It will bring people to your store or event.  Event and party organisers can use tokens to distribute “random” capsules that are a kind of lottery.  What about a party where you have to find the person with the matching button.  The Button Vending Machine keeps the mix random.

How do I promote my website or business with a Button Vending Machine.

Depends on your business ….. but let’s say you have a bicycle store for example.  Come up with 5 or 10 slogans about cycling.  I love my bike!  Cyclists do it better!  Watch for cyclists!  etc.  Make some cool designs, add a button or magnet business card so there are 2 buttons in the capsule.   Get a Button Vending Machine with a $1 mechanism and set it up in your cycle shop.  Your customers will like the slogan, buy the button and take home your business card for the fridge.  If it cost a $1 they will appreciate it – If you give them away we all know how many end up in the garbage!  Entertain your customers AND promote your business.  The $1 coins will pay for the buttons and the machine in no time.  This method can be adapted to almost ANY BUSINESS and it works.

1" Acorn Capsules

1″ Acorn Capsules can take 3 1″ buttons or magnets

All machines take the 1″ capsules.  If you want larger capsules take a look at the Northern Beaver.  If you can go with the 1″ capsule then the Southern Beaver below is the low cost option at under $100.  It also has the full choice of coin mechanisms and you will have to refill the capsules and empty the cash more often as it is smaller.  But it works.

Southern Beaver

The Southern Beaver is the low cost option.

Button vending machines are useful for selling buttons, fundraising with buttons promoting your button business or really just promoting any business.  There are few businesses that would not benefit from a solid button campaign.  Want to run a button campaign?  Ask The Button Guy.

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New Online Button Designer Software just went live! Free online button designer!

online button designer

New online button designer from The Button Guy. Easy button design and button artwork creation.

We just went live! Checkout this simple button design software: it’s free. A great tool for designing buttons and creating button artwork.  It even takes your button design and lays it out on the sheet for you.  With a 2-1/4″ button you make your design and then you go to print and it puts 9 up on the page in a pdf, ready to print.  In your profile you can collect and save all your designs and then print 9 different buttons on each sheet if you wish.  Simple and effective.

Online Button Designer

If you’re a graphic designer then no problem, stick to Photoshop, Illustrator, Gimp etc. But if you are not a graphics person then you can instantly make your button artwork and then the system lays your button artwork out on a page ready for printing. Sweet!

Remember your button design is key.  Once you have a good button maker, making buttons is inexpensive and pressing them is easy.  Coming up with great button artwork or a really good button design is not so easy.  Invest time in your designs.  It will pay off.  Remember a few tips:

  • More is less!   Do not clutter your button.
  • Bright but simple works well
  • Button designs with white backgrounds work very well on buttons.
  • One bright colour works well on buttons. eg. Black white then a splash of red.
  • If you’re using multiple colours ensure they hang together well.

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Filed under Button artwork, Button design, Button Designer Software