Whether looking to publicize your candidacy in a local school election or show your support for a favorite presidential candidate, making campaign buttons at home is an easy and creative way to demonstrate and build support for a candidate. By following simple and fool-proof instructions, you can produce an original and professional button that takes your campaign to the next level.
Brainstorm for the image that you would like to place on your button, and sketch the design using free online graphic design software or by hand. A political mail flyer or even a small image from a T-shirt can be used to create a distinctive button.
Print out the finalized design on any ink-jet or laser jet printer. A higher quality printer will produce a higher quality image for your button.
Cut out your image. Many websites recommend that you buy a circular cutter to cut out your images, but this is not necessary. All images can be cut out by hand. Only invest in a circular cutter if you plan to mass-produce buttons for your cause.
Place the silver metal shell in the button holder cup that is to the left of the button maker lever. Load the materials into the machine facing up, as they would look if you stacked the layers of the button on top of the table.
Carefully insert the the cut-out image on top of the shell.
Position the collet (plastic Mylar cover) on top of your image, pull the lever all the way down and release. You do not need to move the section that holds the button to the center for the machine to put it together. The machine moves it for you.
Set the metal pin-back section of the button in the button holder cup to the right of the lever. Place it so the safety pin is on the bottom.
Pull the lever down one more time, and release. After the second lever pull, the button will be completely assembled.
- ['Collet (Mylar plastic cover)', 'Colored markers', 'Metal button shell', 'Metal button pin-back']
The button-making kits recommended for making medium-size batches (less than 50) are kid-friendly and simple enough to be assembled by a 5- to 6-year-old child with adult supervision.
If you plan to make fewer than 50 buttons, a small homemade button kit is appropriate. Small homemade button kits include basic supplies to make 10 buttons. If you are making more than 50, a professional button maker will be more useful and can be found at online stores that specialize in button-making supplies. A professional button maker allows you to make more buttons in less time and spend less money per button made.
If you used material produced by a campaign, contact the campaign for permission to use the image. Many campaigns have strict rules when producing buttons (such as ensuring all buttons are made by unionized laborers). Any deviation from campaign principles could put the campaign at political risk. Ask for permission, or turn the design into something completely original.
- liberia flag button image by Andrey Zyk from Fotolia.com