Button Maker Guide – Best Button Makers in 2022

2 button press machines with finished buttons in front with the title "the best button makers"

Use this guide to find the right button maker for you. Learn about all the different types of button makers from ones that can make different sizes to ones that can make fabric buttons.

Table of Contents

Note: Some links in this post may contain affiliate links, which means at no cost to you, I may earn a commission.

What is a Button Maker?

As the name suggests, a button maker is a tool that makes pin back buttons. The one caveat to this is the fabric button maker, which makes buttons that you can sew on.

They also get called a button machine, button making machine, or a button press. The reason it’s referred to as a button press is because the way it works is it presses the different parts together.

If you want to make professional looking buttons, you’ll need to use a button maker. There are different designs and prices, depending on the type or size of button you’re looking to make.

holding the finished large button with the AB Crafty logo

Plastic Button Maker vs Fabric Button Maker

There are two different categories of button makers – 1 makes plastic buttons and the other makes buttons with a fabric top.

The reason you need a different machine to use fabric is the fabric is pressed into the mechanism and secured differently. Since there isn’t a plastic piece covering the fabric, the press needs to secure the fabric a different way.

Fabric button makers typically only make buttons with a backing that you can sew on. These can be used for clothes, accessories, or upholstery projects.

Plastic button makers, on the other hand, typically make pin back buttons that can be secured to clothing and other items. However, these button makers can also make different items by using different types of backings such as magnets and bottle openers.

finished buttons of different sizes with the different sayings

How to Choose a Button Maker

There are a few factors you need to consider when choosing a button maker. Answering each of these questions will help you decide on the right one for you.

1. Do you want to make plastic or fabric buttons?

You likely already know the answer to this when searching for a button maker, but you first need to decide whether you’re looking for a plastic button making machine or a fabric one.

Are you trying to make pins or buttons that you can sew onto other projects? You’ll need a different type of machine if you’re looking to have buttons made with fabric and can be sewn on.

2. What type of backings do you want to be able to make?

Plastic button makers aren’t limited to the pin back backing. I’ve seen various backings that can be used including magnets and bottle openers. So if you’re interested in making different items you’ll want to get a regular button press and not a fabric one.

However, if you want to make buttons that can be sewn on, then you’ll want a fabric button maker.

3. How big of buttons do you want to make?

Once you know the types of buttons you’re looking to make, the next step is to decide how big of buttons you want to make. Typically button makers can only make a single size button. They typically range from 1-3 inches, but I’ve seen them as small as 7/8″ and as large as 6 inches.

Therefore if you know you only need to make a single size of buttons you can save some money and get a single button machine that makes one size.

If you need to make multiple sizes then you have 2 options. Option 1 is to get multiple button makers. Option 2 is to get one that can make multiple sizes. These come with different bases that you swap out to be able to make the different sizes. They’re naturally more expensive than a single button maker, but could be a good option if you have limited space or don’t want to buy two completely separate ones.

blue button maker with pins in front of it with the AB Crafty logo
green multiple size button maker with inserts to make multiple size buttons

4. What shape of buttons do you want to make?

Chances are the answer to this question is round. However, there are some button makers that can make different sizes such as squares or rectangles. These are more rare so your options are more limited, but there are options for non-circular shapes.

5. Do you want a sliding or rotating base?

This is more personal preference, but it’s still something to consider. The base of the machine will either rotate or slide. The only real tangible difference is during storage. If you have one with a rotating base, it’s only as wide as the base. However, if you have one with a sliding base, the slider is perpendicular to the base so sticks out further.

So if you have a strong preference for a button maker that doesn’t stick out further than its base, you want to look for one with a rotating base. 

pushing the side 1 side of the button maker to spin the base
pushing the left side of the button press to push the image under the machine

6. Lastly, how much money are you willing to spend?

There is quite a range in prices for button making machines. The more durable ones are made nearly entirely of metal, but these are of course going to cost more. Then there are cheaper ones that use some plastic parts to keep the costs lower, but they can be finicky.

My recommendation is if you’re making these buttons for fun and are trying to save money, there are great plastic options so go for those! If you’re going to make buttons frequently, it’s worth spending a little more for the durable metal machines.

Don’t forget to pin it so you can come back to it later!

two button makers with different sized pins with the AB Crafty logo around them and the title "7+ best button makers"

The Best Button Maker in Each Category

To make it easy, I’ve compiled a short list of the best button makers for different categories:

  • Best Overall Value: 1.5 inch Aluminum Frame (Amazon)
  • Best High-End Machine: UMakeButtons Machine (Amazon)
  • Best Machine for Multiple Sizes: 1+1.25+2.25″ Button Maker Machine (Amazon) – this is the one I have!
  • Best Fabric Machine: Fabric Cover Button Maker (Amazon)
  • Best to Make Different Items and Shapes: We R Memory Keepers Button Press (Amazon)

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Single Size Button Makers

All of these button makers can make only one size. Most can be purchased in different sizes so I’m showcasing the model type, but then you can choose the size you need.

UMakeButtons Button Maker

This is the button press I actually use to show how to make buttons. The company was nice enough to send me the 1.5 inch button maker machine to test out. It really is a great button machine with a pivoting base. It’s made of mostly metal parts so you know it’s going to hold up. It also requires little effort to press the buttons so it’s overall just satisfying to use.

It also comes with a CD containing a template, but as I no longer have a CD drive I wasn’t able to test it out. I ended up making my own button template that I’ve made free to download.

SIZES: 1″, 1.25″, 1.5″, 1.75″, 2.25″, 3″

PROS

  • Durable – It uses mostly metal parts and a thick rubber handle.
  • Alignment Lines – There are lines on the mechanism to help easily line the button image and backing.
  • Comes with a Circle Punch – The fact that it comes with a punch is great, but it can start to hurt your hand after a while.
  • Comes with a Template CD – This is a unique benefit as it lets you easily design your buttons to make sure they fit the machine.

CONS

  • Price – I would consider this a more high-end button maker since the price is on the high end.

American Button Machines - Tecre Button Maker

The Tecre button maker (or the American Button Machines button maker) is another great option for a high-end button press. The American Button Machines brand is probably the most famous brand that carries Tecre button makers, but they can also be found on Etsy and eBay. It has a pivoting base and it can come in different shapes.

SIZES: 7/8″, 1″, 1.25″, 1.5″, 1.75″, 2″, 2.25″, 2.5″, 3″, 3.5″, 4″, 6″

ADDITIONAL SHAPES:  There are also models that can make squares, rectangles, and rectangles with rounded corners

ProButtonShop tecre button maker

PROS

  • Durable – It uses mostly metal parts and a thick rubber handle.
  • Alignment Lines – There are lines on the mechanism to help easily line the button image and backing.
  • Lots of Available Accessories – There are plenty of accessories and different types of backings for this machine including magnets, zipper pulls, snap, and keychains.

CONS

  • Price – I would consider this a more high-end button maker since the price is on the high end.
  • Might Need to Buy Supplies Separately – Depending on where you get this one, it may not automatically come as a kit. You may need to purchase the button pieces separately.

Metal Sliding Button Maker

This is a great button press if you don’t want to spend hundreds on the fanciest machine, but still want something durable. This machine has a sliding mechanism instead of a rotating one. What’s unique about this one, however, is that the sliding part is metal while similar models (such as the Vevor button maker) feature a plastic slider. Therefore while similar models are in the same price range, getting the metal slider makes it more durable.

SIZES: 1.25″, 1.5″,  2″, 2.25″

orange metal button maker with sliding mechanism

PROS

  • Durable – It uses mostly metal parts and a thick rubber handle.
  • Comes with Circle Cutter – This makes it really easy to cut out your designs.
  • Price – Relative to other metal machines, this one is reasonably priced.

CONS

  • Plastic Backings – The backings it comes with are plastic pin backs, which aren’t as nice of quality as metal backings. Though you can purchase metal backings separately.
  • No Alignment Lines – There aren’t lines on the sides of the mechanism to help you align the button face and backing.

Plastic Button Maker

This button making machine is a great affordable option if you need to make a single size of button. This press is made of plastic, but it has a rotating base and comes with a circle cutter and supplies to make 500 buttons.

Note: This machine is made by tons of companies that add their own brand name to it. Some come with cutters or different backings and various number or pieces (for example this one has only 100 pieces, but has 5 keychain backings). The one I’ve selected comes with the most pieces at the lowest price. Be sure to look at the size and number of pieces when choosing the right plastic machine.

SIZES: 1″, 1.25″, 1.5″, 2.25″

green plastic button maker with rotating base

PROS

  • Comes with Circle Cutter – This makes it really easy to cut out your designs.
  • Price – Relative to the metal machines, this is very reasonably priced.

CONS

  • Not As Durable – Most of it is plastic so it can feel less durable when pressing down on the lever.
  • Plastic Backings – The backings it comes with are plastic pin backs, which aren’t as nice of quality as metal backings. Though you can purchase metal backings separately.
  • No Alignment Lines – There aren’t lines on the sides of the mechanism to help you align the button face and backing.

Badge a Minit Handheld Button Press

If you’re looking for an affordable way to make just a few of your own buttons, this button press is a great option. This machine is compact, but gets the job done. It only comes in one size (2.25″) and it’s a handheld button press machine, but considering how affordable it is, it could be a great option.

badge a minit handheld button press with pin backings and inserts

PROS

  • Price – Relative to the other machines, this button press is very affordable.
  • Compact – Because it’s a handheld machine, it doesn’t take up much space.
  • Comes with Designs – It comes with some pre-made designs that are ready to use.

CONS

  • Can Hurt to Use – Because you’re using primarily your own force to press the button, it can hurt after making a few of them.
  • Not Many Pieces – The kit only comes with  10 pieces so you need to purchase replacement parts.
  • Not as Durable – The parts of made of plastic so it’s not as durable as the metal machines.
  • Doesn’t Come with a Circle Punch/Cutter – If you want to make your own designs, you need to cut your own (you can use my free printable template to make it easy)

Button Makers that Can Make Multiple Sizes

These button makers can make multiple size buttons so you don’t need to worry about getting completely separate machines. They’re more expensive than a single size button press machine, but are a good option if you know you need to make different sizes.

Metal Rotating Button Maker

If you don’t mind waiting a couple weeks for a button press machine, this one from AliExpress is fantastic option. It has a rotating base (which is my personal preference) and you can swap out the mechanisms to make different sizes from ~1-3 inches. It also comes with a circle cutter and supplies to make 100 buttons.

SIZES: 25mm, 32mm, 37mm, 44mm, 50mm, 56mm, 58mm, 75mm

metal buton maker in yellow with circle cutter and supplies

PROS

  • Durable – It uses mostly metal parts and a thick rubber handle.
  • Can Make Multiple Sizes – Unlike the machines that can only make one size, this machine can make three different sizes of buttons. You simply swap out the bases and top piece.
  • Comes with Circle Cutter – This makes it really easy to cut out your designs.
  • Price – Relative to other metal machines, this one is reasonably priced.

CONS

  • No Alignment Lines – There aren’t lines on the sides of the mechanism to help you align the button face and backing.
  • Shipping Can Take Longer – Because it’s from AliExpress, it can take a little longer to arrive.

Plastic Multiple Size Button Maker

This is actually the button making machine that I have and reference in my post on how to make buttons. This button maker is an extremely affordable option if you want to be able to make different sizes of buttons. It comes with 3 circle cutters and supplies to make 100 buttons of each size.

Note: Just as with the single size plastic machines, it’s made by tons of companies that add their own brand name to it. Some come with cutters or different backings and various number or pieces. The one I’ve selected comes with the most pieces at the lowest price. Be sure to look at the size and number of backings when choosing the right plastic machine.

MAKES THESE SIZES: 1″, 1.25″, 2.25″

PROS

  • Can Make Multiple Sizes – Unlike the machines that can only make one size, this one can make three different sizes of buttons. You simply swap out the bases and top piece.
  • Comes with Circle Cutters – This makes it really easy to cut out your designs.
  • Price – Relative to the metal machines, this is very reasonably priced.

CONS

  • Not As Durable – Most of it is plastic so it can feel less durable when pressing down on the lever.
  • No Alignment Lines – There aren’t lines on the sides of the mechanism to help you align the button face and backing.
  • Image Can Shift – I found that the image would shift, even when I put the image perfectly straight. This would mean the backing would be attached at an angle. To fix this I marked the angle the image was at to create my own alignment lines for the backing. It’s not a big deal, but still a step I would prefer to not have to take.
  • Need to Use Gaskets – It comes with gaskets that you need to remember to put into some of the bases. It’s again an extra step that is minor, but still can be annoying if you forget and ruin a set of supplies.
using a permanent marker to mark the sides of the button maker

We R Memory Keepers Button Press

This button press is truly an all-in-one button maker machine. It comes with pieces to make 3 different sizes as well as its own punch. It only has materials to make 10 buttons of each size, but you can purchase additional accessories to make various shapes as well. You can get it on Amazon, but I’ve seen it for less on Oriental Trading Company when you use a coupon.

MAKES THESE SIZES: 0.98″, 1.45″, 2.25

ADDITIONAL SHAPES:  You can get additional inserts to make squares and hearts, without having to purchase an additional machine.

we are memory keepers button press bundle

PROS

  • Can Make Multiple Sizes – Unlike the machines that can only make one size, this one can make three different sizes of buttons. You simply swap out the bases and top piece.
  • Comes with Cutter – It comes with a cutting device that you insert directly into the machine to cut the perfectly sized circle.
  • Alignment Lines – There are lines on the machine to help easily line the button image and backing.
  • Price – Relative to the metal machines, this is very reasonably priced.
  • Additional Accessories – Because it’s an all-in-one tool, it comes with some great accessories such as keychain backings and rosette ribbons.

CONS

  • Not As Durable – Most of it is plastic so it can feel less durable when pressing down on the lever.
  • Cutter is Built In – In order to use the cutter that it comes with, you need to use the machine itself. This means you need to precut the paper so that it fits in the machine.
  • Non-Standard Sizes – The button sizes are non-standard so you have to use the brand’s accessories.
  • Doesn’t Come with Many Supplies – It only comes with materials to make a few buttons and additional supplies can add up quickly.

Fabric Button Makers

All of these are to make fabric buttons. They are sometimes referred to as cover button kits or cover button machines. They create buttons that you can sew on to other items.

Dritz Craft Cover Button Kit

This technically isn’t even a machine in the classic sense, but this kit is a cheap and easy way to make fabric buttons. The “machine” is really just two pieces of plastic that look like bottle caps and you place the pieces in and press it by hand, but it gets the job done!

SIZES: 3/4″, 7/8″, 1-1/8″

dritz craft cover button kit in 3/4 inch

PROS

  • Price – Because there aren’t a lot of pieces and a large machine, this is an incredibly affordable option.
  • Comes with a Template – It comes with a plastic disc to make it easy to draw on the fabric and cut out the perfect size circle.

CONS

  • Can Hurt to Use – Because you’re using your own force to press the button, it can hurt after making a few of them.
  • Not Many Pieces – The kit only comes with  18 pieces so you need to purchase replacement parts which can add up (the largest pack I could find was this 60 count pack).
  • Only One Size – The kit can only make one size of button. If you need to make a different size, you need to get a completely different kit.

Metal Fabric Button Maker

This metal fabric button maker can make 3 different sizes of fabric buttons. This kit comes with 300 pieces (100 of each size).

Note: This button machine is made by many companies that put their own logo on it. It doesn’t really matter which one you buy so I recommend looking for the cheapest with the sizes that you want and with the most additional supplies. At the time of writing this, the one I’m linking to is the best option. And if you don’t mind waiting a few weeks for it to arrive, the cheapest option is from AliExpress which will likely be less than $20.

SIZES: 18mm, 25mm, 30mm

green fabric button press with 3 inserts

PROS

  • Durable – It’s made mostly of metal so it’s extremely durable.
  • Comes with a Template – It comes with a plastic disc to make it easy to draw on the fabric and cut out the perfect size circle.
  • Not Painful – Relative to the handheld option, this machine makes it incredibly easy to make fabric covered buttons, completely pain-free.
  • Additional Accessories – You can get additional inserts to make different sizes of buttons.

CONS

  • No Circle Cutter: It doesn’t come with a circle cutter so you need to cut the fabric yourself.

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