American flag lapel pins

How to make lapel pins?

Custom lapel pins are one of the most popular accessories. What is more important, they are suitable for almost any occasions, For instance,

  • Awards pins
  • Recognition/membership pin
  • Convention trading pins
  • Religious pins
  • Awareness ribbon lapel pins
  • Badge holder lapel pins
  • School subject lapel pins
  • Sport lapel pins
  • Mascot lapel pin
  • Group& organization lapel pins
  • Wedding Gifts
  • Children’s birthday promotional events
  • Use as a badge of honor
  • Keychains
  • Challenge coins
  • Carnival / event

Lapel pin Category Introduction

Based on crafts and process, the lapel pins can be roughly classified into 4 categories:

Die struck pins; Soft enamel pins; Hard enamel pins; Printing pins.

Here are several customized lapel pin samples in different crafts for your reference. If you want to learn more about American flag lapel pins or any lapel flower pins,, please click here.

masonic lapel pin-perfectcraftsgifts

Hard Enamel Lapel Pins

masonic lapel pin-perfectcraftsgifts

Soft Enamel Lapel Pins

Screen printed lapel pins-perfectcraftsgifts

Printing Lapel pins

suit lapel pins-perfectcraftsgifts

Die Struck Lapel Pins

Lapel Pin Production Introduction

Step 1: Making artwork (mock-up)

Based on your design, photo, drawing, description, sketch, the artwork will be created by Adobe Illustrator. You can submit your designs in various file types (eg ai, eps, pdf, jpg, png, Words and so on). Design in eps, ai or pdf format will be of great help for graphic designers

Firegighter challenge coin artwork

We respect customers’ original designs and try best to 100% match customized designs. In most time, we did it. Anyway, if any design cannot be achieved in actual production, we will adjust the designs or the crafts.

For example, if the custom pin colors are too small to fill enamels, we will suggest simplify it or suggest proceed the job in the printing process. And when the pin holes are too small to cut out, we may suggest to make it in recessed metal.

Regarding color matching, Please provide the PMS color number to us if you have. Otherwise, we find out the closest PMS color number based on your design.

On the artwork, all colors are indicated with the PMS color number, as well as the size is indicated.

The artwork is the most important thing, which decides the products will look likes. Customers need to check all the details very carefully and approve by return.

Step 2: Making a mold

After you approved the artwork and the price, the artwork will be converted into a physical mold. In this process, we use advanced auto CNC machines to engrave mold. It can accurately convert very complex designs with fine lines into a mold. Both 2D and 3D designs are OK to proceed.

Engraved mold-perfectcraftsgifts

Step 3: Stamping or Injection molding

Depending on the shape of the pins, sometimes an extra mold is needed to cut out certain parts of the pins.

If the designs with small details and fine lines, we use High Process Pressure Machine. This ensures that you receive a high-quality lapel pin, challenge coins, keychains, badges, bottle opener, and others.

Engraved mold-perfectcraftsgifts

Step 4:  Outline cutting

Cutting molds are made separately, then cut to the exact outline of the design

The badges have been cut with a mold made for this purpose. An extra mold has to be made when there is an inner hole.

Outline cutout-perfectcraftsgifts

Step 5: Deburring

The sharp edge and small burrs are removed.

Step 6: Instal attachment.

Choosing the right attachment

Here are different very common used fasteners are available, so you have some choices here.

  • Butterfly caps: Gold/Silver/ Black/Yellow/Pink/Blue colors are available.
  • These caps are used for the classic pins. On the back of the pin is a straight needle, which is facing forward. These are stuck through the respective garment. On the other side of the fabric, attach the cap by sliding it over the end of the needle.
  • Safety pins are widely used on brooches, which are also referred to as “brooch pins”. They are attached to the back of the pins. The usage is similar to that of a conventional safety pin. Long needles with protective flap. The long needle with a protective cap is also similar to a safety pin
  • Keyrings for pins are always recommended when the buttons themselves are not worn on clothing but should serve as a pendant.
  • Magnet

For more attachments, please refer to the pin attachment.

Step 7: Polishing

First Step, We polish the lapel pins with grinding discs. So that the excessed enamels are polished out and the raising metal parts are completely visible.

Then the lapel pins are polished with wax until the pins get a shiny smooth surface.


Step 8: Plating

The custom lapel pin is washed with an acidic substitute. After this treatment, the pins are rust-resistant and the surface is clean for coloring and gilding. First, the custom lapel pins are washed again with an acidic substitute. Then pins are plated with metal colors, eg gold, silver, nickel, copper, black nickel, etc.

If your pins or pins have an antique or matt appearance, an extra galvanizing process is required.

For more plating color, please refer to article  plating color chart

Step 9: Fill enamel colors

The enamel colors are manually filled into the recessed area of the lapel pin according to the working drawing. For some complicated design and large orders, we use automated machines. Which is much more efficient, and do as good as man-handed filling enamel color.

Please note that for hard enamel lapel pins, Filling enamel color comes first, then polishing and plating.

fill enamel -perfectcraftsgifts

Step 10: Baking

The pins are baked in an oven and the enamel paints are hardened. This process happens color by color, that is to say, if it with ten colors, it needs to bake ten times.

Step 11: Epoxy coating

Optionally, the epoxy is applied to the surface of the pins. The epoxy can protect the surface from scratches, and this gives the pins a transparent ball shape. Hard enamel pins are luxury, do NOT need the epoxy. Usually, we add epoxy on soft enamel pins and print lapel pins.

The result is a high-quality pin, which is durable and scratch-resistant. Thanks to our careful working method and craftsmanship, we guarantee that you will receive a pin of top quality.

epoxy coating-perfectcraftsgifts

Step 12: Quality control and packaging

Last but not least, we ensure 100% quality assurance. we check the quality strictly in each production process from start to finish. Before the lapel pins, challenge coins, and keychains leaving the factory, they are fully inspected.

How to submit lapel pins orders?

It is quite easy, we call “order trilogy” :

  • Step One: Send designs

Please send the designs in the format of jpg, pdf, png, and Ai. And mark the size, metal color, and quantity you need, they are essential information when inquiry. Surely, the more quantity, the cheaper price.

If you have any special request, here are some samples list:

  • Install a rhinestone on the font of pins
  • Install a flashlight
  • make a glitter enamel pin
  • Cut out an inner hole

A special attachment, or any others, just list them clearly in your inquiry email. We would like to offer your professional advice and show it in artwork if workable.

  • Step Two: Confirm artwork

When you confirm the price, our talented artist will make production artwork for your approval. You need to confirm artwork including, size, Pantone color, cut-out, metal color, and all the details. It is an extremely important step because we will produce the products strictly on the artwork. If any mistakes on the artwork, the lapel pins will come out wrong.

As soon as you confirm the artwork, we will arrange the production. For any small order or easy jobs, we recommend arranging bulk production directly.

Surely, sample production before bulk production is permitted. This will help you avoid mistakes from the beginning. If you need a sample for approval first, please tell us freely when you confirm orders.

Usually, the sample production lead time is 7-10 days, and Bulk orders lead time is 10-25 days. RUSH orders are accepted without any RUSH fee.

  • Step Three: Arrange Shipment

Usually, We will send out the products by UPS/ FedEx/ DHL, 3-4 days delivery. the Cheapest courier will be chosen.

Before shipment, we will take pictures for approval first, when getting your confirmation, then we will arrange shipment.

How to recognize high-quality pins?

It is very easy to recognize good and bad quality lapel pins?  6 standards are enough.

  1. Finest workmanship
  2. Eco-friendly materials
  3. Nice colors and clear separating metal lines
  4. Shiny surface
  5. Smooth edge
  6. Good package protect products during shipment

Tips for choosing the suitable lapel pin

If you want custom pins, You need to know what you want to use the pins and buttons for?

Here are some tips on how to choose the ideal lapel pin among different process and craft.

  • Hard Enamel pin, which stands for the highest quality and it can be used as jewelry. Because of its high quality, it would be the best gift idea for giveaway gifts, wedding gifts, awards, and pin collections.
  • Soft enamel is the most welcome in the USA and some European markets, because of its modest price and good quality. Commonly used in Church lapel pin, convention trading pin, mascot pin, school theme pin, sports pin, and promotion gifts.
  • Printing pin is the cheapest lapel pin option. If your pin design is very complicated or with gradual color changes, printing a lapel pin probably is the best option.
  • Die struck lapel pins, When your design is simple in 2D design, without any color, die struck process is recommended.

If you have any unclear/ questions about the process, please see the video How custom pins made on the homepage

Or contact us freely, our sales will be happy to reply to you at the first time.

Looking For a Reliable Supplier For Custom Recognition Awards?

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