Pins & Pinback Buttons

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  • Learn More About Pins & Pinback Buttons

    Whether attached to jackets, vests, backpacks, and coats, pins and pinback buttons are a fun way to express your world views, club memberships, or funny phrases that encourage a belly laugh. A few well-placed lapel pins instantly broadcast your sense of humor, your favorite sports team, the causes you care about, the school you go to, or your go-to emoji to the people you meet. Just like graphic tees, buttons and pins are wearable billboards for the messages you want to communicate, only much smaller.

    One of the most traditional styles of pins is the button, also called a pin back button. They are usually made from metal and feature a safety pin fastener that is secured to the back. The first pin-back buttons were made in 1896 in the United States for the presidential campaign of William McKinley. Contemporary buttons have practically the same design as pins made over 100 years ago—why mess with a good thing? In fact, button pins are so durable that decades-old pieces are still going strong. From casual buyers to avid collectible button enthusiasts, many people enjoy the hunt of finding vintage pins that were once prizes in kids’ cereal boxes, protest messages from the ‘60s, and rock concert souvenirs from the ‘80s.

    Another popular style of pin is the lapel pin or enamel pin. There are two types of enamel pins: soft and hard. The biggest difference between them is their finished texture. Soft enamel pins are not as smooth, are typically more affordable, and allow for the use of more designs and colors. Hard enamel, also known by the French term “cloisonné,” is more durable and has a higher quality finish.

    Both button pins and enamel pins can act as blank canvases for customization, whether you want one for yourself or 1,000 for your company picnic. Custom enamel pins tend to be more durable than button pins, while custom buttons are often a more affordable option.


    Consider your design to determine the type of pin that’s right for your personalization needs. For example, you can have photos printed on buttons, which is difficult to do on enamel pins—something to keep in mind if you want to surprise a relative by having all the guests at their birthday party to wear buttons sporting their high school photo. From novelty family reunion mementos to advertising your business, sellers on Etsy can create a variety of customizable button options to help you make your ideas a reality.