Author Archives: Joe

Welded up Eye


“Have you found an inexpensive source for the welded up eye?”

I get asked this quite a bit, so for those of you in search, I get my supply through the People Power Press.

They’ve even got a blog post on it!





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Hey Button Guy! I like your blog even though I’ve never made a single button/pin(apparently) – but I want to.

I am an incredible knit designer and I specialize in Canine(K9) doggie sweaters. I am a master certified Groomer/Handler and dog trainer… Well, moving on, I am developing a line of NCAA/NFL geared sweaters for dogs.

I would love to be able to make team themed shank sized buttons (fabric) or myler if the backing can be safely sported by a pup. Any recommendations on where to start?


Thanks for reading and enjoying my blog!

The safest option for doggies is (drum roll …..) Bull Dog Clip Buttons! 🙂

Rather than a pointy pin, these clip on with an alligator-like mouth. No sharp points. That being said, they do run the risk of getting knocked off the sweater, unless strategically placed … so…..

You might want to sew the button directly onto the sweater using a Center Hole Button with Welded Up Eyes. I think that’s your very best option.

If you need supplies, the fabulous folks at People Power Press  can get you set up 🙂


It is certainly confusing when writing about buttons.  At People Power Press we call pin-back buttons “buttons” and we think of them as buttons but more commonly the word “buttons” refer to what do up your shirt.  This is the kind of button that I am about to write about (and yes, you can make them using pin-back button supplies and a button maker).


Using pin-back button supplies and a button maker you can make your own buttons for clothing, accessories and furniture.

What You Will Need:
– Shell
– Paper artwork and Mylar OR Fabric (no mylar necessary)
– Center Hole (the back)
– Welded Up Eye (goes through the centre hole)
– Button Maker
*Note: Welded up eyes have a strange name but are a great little attachment for button making and a simple way to add a loop to a button for an assortment of crafting.
1. Place shell and artwork in pick up die of button maker.
2. a) Place centre hole face down in the crimp die of button maker. b) Place welded up face down into center hole.
3.  Press.


Once pressed sew thread through the metal loop of the welded up eye onto your desired surface.  This is a great way to customize your jacket, pillows or couch, and other accessories.



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Color Combinations


Ahhh, once again we’ll chat a bit about designing your own buttons.
A great website for helping you choose colors that compliment each
other is a great site called the Color Hunter you can upload any photograph you like (whether you took it yourself, or if you saw it on instagram and just loved that hipster filter on it), and it will pick out the colours in the photo and come up with your very own custom palette.

This will help give your button a professional well thought out design.



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Using Salvaged finds..


button guy header image

Even if you have zero design skills, you can still make some pretty
cool buttons using items from your house.
A cool idea for a craft night with you and your friends is to gather
clippings from magazines, old books, dictionaries, encyclopedias, old
National Geographics, maps, or even your grandfather’s stamp
Make sure the paper quality isn’t too heavy like card stock.


Have fun with it!



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Mix Matching- Parts & Machines

Do button makers need specific buttons for them to work? For example, if I bought a 1.25inch button maker then can I get 1.25inch buttons from anywhere and still make buttons or do the buttons need to be from the same company that sold the button maker? This is the only thing keeping me from buying something on eBay (where the brand isn’t necessarily listed) Thanks!


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Button Designer

So, you received your button machine in the mail and you’re ready to start making buttons…  but you don’t even know where to begin when it comes to deigning.

Below is a little guide for you on using the free button designer website to help relieve all your stress when it comes to setting up your designs. You may remember our post from a couple years back on the launch of the new free software, but let’s recap here.




It’s been a long day, and you still have a bunch buttons to design for that super important thing tomorrow.

Most people would start brewing that late-night cup of coffee, and get ready to hunker down for the long haul…

But not you! You head over to


It’s a website that makes it really simple to whip together button designs. And best of all? It’s freeeeeee 🙂

The website allows you to add an uploaded image, text, icons, etc. to a button template of any size. Once you’re done, the button design is saved as a PDF print sheet, and is ready to be cut and pressed.



1. Go to

2. Create a Free Account

3. Select the size of button you are going to design. We carry the button parts and presses for ALL sizes that button-designer offers.


4. If you would like to upload an image, Click on “Image Upload” and select your file.

5. Click on any element of the button that you wish to change. For example, to change the maple leaf icon, click the icon on the button template.

6. Use the check boxes to turn off the elements you don’t want or turn on the elements you do want.

7. Click and drag to move the elements on the button face.

8. Once you’re happy with the button design, click the save button. To view the buttons you have saved, go to the button gallery. From there you can print a single button, or create print sheets of one OR multiple designs! 


9. Make your buttons

10. Wear you button proudly and get many high-fives and compliments! 



If you are ordering custom buttons from People Power Press, you can use the Online Button-Designer to create the artwork. All you need to do is provide us with your user name and the image title 🙂 We will retrieve your artwork and produce your custom order!




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Cutters… advice




Hi button guy! I recently start using my cutter (Dynamo Hand-Held Graphic Punch Cutter) but only after only 5 button pins the cutter doesn’t work properly and the paper doesn’t pop up as it should no mater the pressure used. Please take into consideration I haven’t made any for a couple of months however I still can’t believe it doesn’t work at all. Is that normal? What can I do now? I tried using some aluminium foil to sharpen it without good results. Any advice?

The problem is the Dynamo Hand-Held Graphic Punch Cutter.  I see these on the American Button Makers site but they are NOT American.  They are made in China/ Maybe Korea and are just not the quality of the actual American made products.

You cannot sharpen this kind of cutter.  I can only suggest getting a good cutter.  Good cutting makes good buttons but you need a real graphic punch “Made in USA” and you will have no problems.  Get good tools and you will never look back.

Like most “cheap” products this one is destined for the landfill I expect.

For an idea on pricing for quality cutters, check out People Power Press’s website They have various sizes of punches, and rotary cutters, that will make your life so much easier.


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Tecre Machine….. Durable?


Could you tell how durable the tecre buttomakers are? How many buttons do you think we could get out of one?

Is the Flex button maker a better option for durability?


The Tecre machines are very durable. They are made of surgical steel and have a lifetime warranty from the Tecre company in Wisconsin.

The Tecre machines are for production level quantities of buttons (about 100 an hour) and require minimal maintenance.

Tecre Button Machine

Tecre Button Machine



The Flex machines are more of a hobby machine for doing dozens of buttons at a time. I would not recommend this machine for doing large quantities of buttons. Both machines use the same parts called “Standard” parts.

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

Flex Machine




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Designing your buttons

vintage pin back buttons

The most important part of your button is the design.

What is the message you are trying to get across to your audience and how are you going to do so in a creative way. Always keep in mind when designing, “is this a button that I would wear?”

Personally, when I am designing my buttons I tend to get inspired by vintage pin-back buttons that have been created in the past. I love the colour schemes, typography, composition and placement; these are all things you should keep in mind when you start designing your buttons. Don’t forget to look at the end product; the physical size of the button is part of the design.

For some quick advice on design look at this great article “10 Rules of Composition All Designers Live By” and if you need some design inspiration I like to use I find looking at work from other graphic designers help me come up with my own concepts, but be sure to not copy other people’s work. Inspiration and copyright are two very different things.

Sometimes simple designs are all you need. Too much information on a button can lose the attention from your audience and lose the message you are trying to get across altogether.

If you feel as if designing something yourself is totally out of your realm and you need advice or an expert. Hire a graphic designer, there are so many talented designers whom would be pleased to help create a great logo or design for you. It may not be cheap, but your end product will be well received.

You can find a designer in Canada using this directory here. Or just google search your city and graphic designer and see what local talents pop up.

Happy Designing!

pin designs

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The importance of lubricating your button presses


button machine

Button Press


I bought a 1″ press and am experiencing some problems. It seems to be working fine except for when the button is finished there is a slice in the Mylar on the edge of the button and the slice appears to be in the same spot on every button. From what I can tell there isn’t anything in the seams or edges of the machine, please let me know if you have any ideas of what the problem would be.


The issue that you’re having is something that I’ve definitely seen many times before.  The first thing that I would try to remedy the situation, is applying some lubricant to the machine. This simply helps the mylar slide along the metal die instead of getting caught on (usually microscopic) metal bits.

Below is a link to a video on our website that walks you through button press maintenance. The part that I’m suggesting you try out is the the die lubrication. (I’ve also heard that a tiny little drop of vegetable oil basically does the same thing…)



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