Help your kid make a statement with this guide to making DIY pins! The opportunities for creativity and personalization are endless with this craft.
DIY pins and buttons are great homemade crafts projects for anyone. Whether you call them button pins, fashion pins, flair pins, or lapel pins, DIY pins are fun and simple.
Kids especially love these. They can make something trendy and stylish. Maybe even trade them with friends.
Even better, they are affordable. In fact, you probably have some of the materials already. There are dozens of tutorials out there for DIY pins.
Though, they all involve creating your base pin using your selected media. And then you fasten the pin back. Let’s take a look at a few tutorials.
Remember that the images we use as examples are just that, examples. Follow your inspiration and switch it up as you wish!
Shrink Film Lapel Pins
If you’re old enough to know this reference, these are basically DIY Shrinky Dinks. They are still as much fun now as they were then.
- Acrylic Sealer or Decoupage
- Baking Sheet
- Parchment Paper
- Printable images meant for coloring
- Acrylic paint
- Hot Glue Gun
- Paint Brush
- Pin Backers
- Shrink Film
- Sand Paper (fine grit)
1. Prep the Shrink Film
Gently sand the shrink film and wipe off any dust. This helps the paint to adhere to the plastic.
Pre-sanded shrink film is also available, though it is clear. You’ll have to paint the back after you shrink it so that the pinback doesn’t show through.
2. Trace and Color Your Design
Any image will do here, as long as it’s a line drawing meant for you to color in. They should be about 3″ wide. You can resize them before printing if need be.
Place the shrink film on top of your images. Then trace with your marker.
After you finish tracing, paint your designs. Thin out your acrylic paint with a few drops of water.
This ensures even coverage. It also prevents the pain from clumping as the film shrinks.
You may end up with a pretty watercolor paint effect. The colors will be darker as the plastic shrinks. After you paint, you may want to go over your black lines with the Sharpie if it needs a touch-up.
3. Cut Out Your Shapes
Once the paint is dry, cut out your images. Cut along the black marker line. Don’t leave any white space on the outside.
4. Shrink Your Images
Heat your oven to 250. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place your images on top.
Place the sheet in the oven for about 5 minutes. The pieces will curl as they shrink. Though, they will flatten out once they are finished.
5. Add a Clear Top Coat
Let your images cool completely. Then add a clear topcoat to them using your sealer. This makes them shiny but also protects the paint. Let dry.
6. Glue on Pin Backs
Use your hot glue gun to attach pin backs. Let cool.
That’s it! Snazzy DIY pins to fit anyone’s style.
Make Sticker Pins
If that first project was a little too involved for your kids with all the drawing and paint, try making DIY pins out of stickers. Your older kids may want a professional look.
Better yet, they want pins showcasing their favorite movie or TV show. Custom team pins are another popular theme. In that case, ready-made stickers are the way to go.
- Clear Resin
- White Acrylic Paint
- Pin Backs
- (optional) – A doming tray or Perler bead tray
1. Peel and Stick Your Stickers
Peel your stickers and place on the tips of your doming tray. The tray is made up of plastic spikes, so your sticker will float (so to speak) about the tray.
This is how you position them for resin doming. Perler bead trays also work here. If you don’t have either, you can use a small measuring cup or can top to support your stickers.
The goal here is to have all sticker edges off your work surface. They should be level and not touching anything else.
2. Prepare Your Two-part Resin
Mix the two-part resin. Let it rest for a few minutes, so it gets a little bit thicker. Slowly pour a little resin onto each sticker. Give it time to level itself and create a dome.
Surface tension keeps the resin from flowing past the sticker edges. Mini science lesson for you and the kids! If your stickers have odd shapes, use a toothpick to drag the resin to the small areas.
3. Cure the Resin
After you dome your stickers, cover them with some kind of a lid. This keeps the dust off. Allow them to cure overnight.
4. Paint the Backs
Once your domed stickers finish curing, pop them off the tray. Paint the back sides with two coats of your white paint. Let dry.
The paint helps to balance out the color. The resin saturates the sticker. Any white areas look darker because of it. If you don’t see a lot of bleed-through, you may be able to skip this step.
If you accidentally get paint on the front of the sticker, don’t worry. Once it dries, you can run a fingernail along it. It will come off.
5. Seal the Backs
Mix another batch of resin. Repeat step 2. Though, you won’t need as much resin because you don’t want to dome the backs. Use enough resin to seal them.
6. Affix Pin Backs
After you pour the resin onto the backs, let them rest for 20 minutes. Then push the pin backs into place.
The resin will begin to overlap the pin back. This seals them in. For larger stickers, you may want to use two pin backs or a bar pin instead.
And that’s it!
These are just two quick DIY pins tutorials for you to try. You can swap out the medium for any number of things.
For example, you can use wooden shapes, bottle caps, or clay. Instead of resin, you can use Modge Podge or Decoupage to design and seal.
If you have made DIY pins, please leave a comment. Also, keep reading for more articles on kids’ crafts.