Call them buttons or badges or pinbacks or pinback buttons, there may well come a time in your life that you need yourself a hell of a lot of these awesome little accessories.
Perhaps you decide to start an indie band.
Perhaps you want your zine to go viral.
Perhaps you play Roller Derby. The Bleeding Heartland Rollergirls are looking for some fresh meat, I hear.
If you have any reason, ANY reason at all, to want a large number of pinback buttons, I doubt that you want to pay shipping to have them mass-produced in some sweatshop on foreign soil, or receive a bunch of cheap, poorly designed crap in exchange for your hard-earned moolah.
A button machine isn’t for everyone, but if a button machine is for you, then you should know that there are lame machines and excellent machines. My American Button Machines 1″ Button Maker is one of the excellent machines.
Now, the American Button Machines machines are pricey. I about had a cow when I bought my button machine years ago, ponying up that kind of money when the majority of my other craft fair expenditures come from the dumpster or the thrift store. Let me tell you, I knew exactly the moment at which I’d sold enough buttons to pay off my machine, and then I had a little party and lowered my prices a tad.
You also have to know what you want when you buy an American Button Machines machine. My 1″ Button Maker, although it has the accessories to make magnets or key chains or a whole bunch of other junk, does not make 1.5″ buttons. It does not make 2″ buttons. It does not make 3″ buttons. It makes 1″ buttons. Fortunately, I really like 1″ buttons, and I think that other button sizes are tacky. You may have to develop similar loyalties if you plan to spring for a specific button maker from this company.
These button makers, however, have two very large advantages to basically every other button machine that I’ve seen on the market. First of all, they’re super-sturdy. My button maker is compact and easy to transport, but it’s also made of steel, with a rubber grip on the handle. It can get banged around in the trunk of my car or in my luggage on an airplane or in the bottom of a Rubbermaid bin on the way to a craft fair. With no plastic parts at all, my button maker is in no danger of harm.
My button maker is also extremely easy to use. There are two steps to perform, and five parts to put together. If patrons at a craft fair see me making buttons and want to try it out, I let them, and they’re always successful. My five-year-old can make buttons completely independently with the 1″ button maker. So can my three-year-old.
I’ve made pinback buttons from everything from vintage paper doilies to Entertainment Weekly, although lately I’ve been on a big comic book kick. And also cassette tape covers, the kids’ artwork, vintage wallpaper samples, road maps…
12 CommentsLeave a Reply
I do not agree with the following review. I purchased a 2.25″ machine and the machIne broke twice within a 6 month period. American button machines does not fix the machines on site so they have to send it to their supplier,TECRE, and they have to send it back. Each time I was without my machine for 3 WEEKS, which is unacceptable. Also, customer service is horrible if the machine is defective in any way.
First off, thank you for posting the comment above. At the volume we sell machines, it is always difficult to touch base with everyone after their purchase, so we appreciate any insight into how customers feel about their experience.
Secondly, we apologize for any inconvenience you may have been met with; and frankly, it’s a bit surprising. We pride ourselves on a 48-hour turnaround time for repairs, so certainly if yours took 3 weeks then that is unacceptable. Please contact us if you see this reply so we can figure out what may have gone wrong, including any potential miscommunications along the way, and make it right. If something correctable occurred, we certainly want to prevent it from happening in the future.
Thirdly, is it okay if we take it as something of a compliment that three weeks without your button machine was so unbearable. 🙂 We can’t imagine being without ours for three weeks either!
Again, thank you for leaving this comment so we’re aware of the issue. We encourage everyone to contact us whenever an issue arises, and we will handle it promptly.
Happy button making!
I have an OLD button maker- worked before storage- and am wanting to sell it, as I haven’t had time in a long time to use it, and wondered if you might tell me where I might find someone with an interest in it?
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I am trying to decide between the two different cutters (basic or professional). Any advice on which one is easier for mass production?
I’d go with the Professional simply because the circle cutter is better. More bang for the buck!
I have a well used machine that has been a work horse. Last time we used it was a year ago. I would like to sell it. I also have some supplies.
Hi John – We’re not a space for selling used craft supplies, but soon we will have classifieds where you can swap or give supplies away! They should go live in the next few weeks, so keep your eyes peeled!
American Button machines is a distributor for Tecre who manufactures the various sizes and the supplies. I use to buy from ABM until I found out the Tecre website… I saved over $100 on 2000 ea. 1″ complete button sets.. ABM charges about $15 more per 1,000 pc. set and the shipping charges are quite over inflated. So if your in business it only makes sense to go with the cheapest supplier.
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