How To Create An Enamel Pin

How To Create An Enamel Pin

Jordan L.
5 minute read

One of the most common questions we get is "how do you create an enamel pin?"
Today we're going to run through our process, hopefully helping you along the way. 


If you've thought about making your own enamel pins, but always thought it was too difficult, you've come to the right place!

1- DRAW YOUR DESIGN

The first step is to get your idea out of your head and into an actual drawing. It can start with a simple pencil sketch, or you could choose to go straight into digital. Either way, you need to have a starting point to work from.

Next you need to take a few things into consideration:

- Is my design relatively simple? (Enamel Pins typically require minimal detail. Overcomplicating can lead to a messy final product. In most cases, less is more.)

- Do my lines create sections where I can use block colours? (Think of using the paint bucket tool. If a section isn't lined off, the colour will fill the whole area.)

- How many colours am I using? (Enamel Pins with more colours cost more to produce. If you see an opportunity to use the same colour twice instead of 2 similar colours, it can save you some $$ overall.)

With these in mind, go over your design and tweak anything that doesn't quite align. At this point it's best to take your design into a digital program such as Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop etc. If you're not sure about your design, reach out and we'll do our best to help you!

2- PICK YOUR METAL

Enamel pins are made from metal (commonly iron or nickel) which is cast from a mould in your pin set-up. This metal can be either plated or dyed to make your enamel pin design look great.

There are many possibilities for colour, however the most popular are Black, Gold, Silver, Rose Gold.
It's important to choose a colour that compliments your design. You can preview this roughly by changing your lines to your chosen colour in Illustrator, Photoshop, or whatever program you're using. It might not be an exact representation, but you'll know straight away if the colour takes away from your design or not. 

3- HARD OR SOFT ENAMEL

The most common types of pin are Hard Enamel or Soft Enamel, but what's the difference?

Hard Enamel pins are created by heating to a high temperature and then polishing to create a smooth hard surface. Hard Enamel pins often appear more refined and solid. We'd recommend this for designs that require a "professional" or "elegant" look. 

Soft Enamel pins are created by lining the gaps with enamel paint to give the pin a textured surface, due to the lines of the design being raised. This gives Soft Enamel pins more 3D effect, often with the centre of the colour being slightly more raised that near the lining. If you want your design to appear more "fun" or "cartoon" this is probably the type you'll want to go for. 

4- SIZING 

The size of a pin is always determined by the longest/widest length. A common size for an Enamel Pin is between 1-2.5 inches.

MM to INCH conversion chart

We personally aim to make our pins around the 1.25inch size (31mm). Having most of our pins around the same size makes it easier for our customers to wear them as a collection. 

One thing to consider with the size of your pin is how much detail you're trying to squeeze in. Like we said earlier, less detail is effective for Enamel Pins because they're often so small. However if you're making a massive pin that's 5 inch, you'll be able to fit in a lot more detail without it being as overcomplicated.

5- SECURE YOUR PIN

To attach your pin to clothing etc. you'll need a pin backing to secure it. There are a range of options, with the most common being rubber, silver metal clasp and gold metal clasp. They're all great options but most often we choose to go with the rubber backings for our own pins.

If you really want your pin to hold in a certain way, you can also opt to have 2 or more pin backings. This ensures the pin won't rotate while attached to something. It can also be a good measure to prevent accidental losses, just in case 1 of the backings came off. 

6- ORDER QUANTITY

Enamel Pins have to be ordered in bulk. The most common quantity for a new design is 100. This is also the minimum, with maximum ranging in the 1000s. 

We'd recommend starting with just 100 for your first design, this way you can gauge how well your audience receives it. You can always re-order more of the same design, but it can be hard to clear out hundreds of a pin that not many people like. 

7- ORDER

By this point you should have almost everything you need, so next is sending off your order.

The easiest way is to fill out the Enamel Pin Form on Yourstuffmade.com (our partner brand).

Otherwise, we're always happy to help if you just want to contact us!



Hope this helps you turn your Pin Ideas into reality!

- Jordan L

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