How to Make Buttons

finished buttons with the different sayings and the title reads "how to make buttons"

Learn how to make buttons in just a few steps! Make personalized button pins like a pro!

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

Table of Contents

One of my favorite toys growing up was actually a button making machine. I got it as part of a focus group and loved making my own pins. They’re surprisingly easy to make and it’s so much fun coming up with new ideas for them!

I’ve also made it even easier by including free printable button templates of various sizes so you can make sure your design fits perfectly. There’s also a link to the digital version to edit it directly in Canva.

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

finished buttons of different sizes with the different sayings and the title reads "how to make buttons, abcrafty.com"

Materials to Make Buttons

Free Printable Button Template

Download this button template to make it easy to design your buttons. There are templates for the most common sizes of button makers – 1 inch, 1.25 inch, 1.5 inch, 2.25 inch.

You can download it below or from the shop.

image of a 1.25 inch button template with guide lines

Download the Free
Button Template

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How to Make Buttons

Create Your Button Design

The first step in how to make buttons is designing them. I’ve made a free printable template to make the process super easy. The template has different sizes, depending on the size of your button maker.

You can either print out the template and draw directly on it or I’ve also included a link to the digital template within Canva.

The yellow dotted line shows what will be included on the button face – anything outside of the line will be cut off. The line is simply a guide so be sure to delete it before you print the page!

Note: When printing – print at full size, without margins.

screenshot of Canva showing the AB Crafty button template with one of the buttons filled in with the AB Crafty logo

Print and Cut the Button Designs

After you make your design, delete the yellow line and print the page at full size, without margins.

Then use a punch or circle cutter (such as this one) to cut out your button designs.

using a button punch to cut out the AB Crafty logo from a piece of paper with the logo printed across
using a circle cutter to cut out the AB crafty logo from a piece of paper on a cutting mat

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Press the Buttons

You’ll need a button maker for this next step. This the one I’m using, but I’ve also tested multiple machines and they all work similarly (here’s my full button maker guide). Some have a rotating base like this one and others have a base that you slide under the pressing mechanism, such as this one.

To start, place the pin base (the plain disc) on side one of the machine.

Note: When you get a button machine, it should come with all the pieces to make the buttons, but just in case you can order additional pieces. There are 3 parts – the button base, the mylar circle, and the pin backing.

placing the button base onto the button maker
pointing to the button base placed into the button making machine

Then place your cut out button design on top.

Note: You’ll notice lines on sides – use those to center your design.

placing the cut out AB Crafty logo into the button maker

Next, place the clear plastic mylar circle on top.

holding the mylar circle over a hand
placing the mylar circle on top of the cut out AB Crafty logo in the button making machine

If you’re using a rotating machine like this one, rotate the base so that your design is under the pressing mechanism.

If you’re using a sliding machine, slide it under the mechanism (this is the one in the second image).

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

Hold the base in place and pull down on the lever.

Note: On most button making machines, you don’t need to pull the lever all the way down. Pull it just until you feel resistance.

pressing down on the button press

Next, take one of the pin backings. Notice there are two different sides – one has the pin and the other will have a zig-zag wire or sometimes a metal bar. You want to have the pin side facing down and the zig-zag or bar facing up.

showing the pin back part of the button
holding the back piece of a button showing the zigzag backing

Then place it into side 2 of the machine. Again, use the lines on the machine to center the backing.

Note: Side 2 will be the side that’s available since side 1 will be under the pressing mechanism.

pointing to the lines etched on the sides of the button making machine

Then rotate the base (or slide it if using a sliding button machine) so that the backing goes under the pressing mechanism.

pushing side 2 of the button maker to make the base spin
pushing the right side into the center of the button press

Just as before, pull down on the lever just until you feel resistance.

pushing down on the handle of the blue button press

Then rotate (or slide) the base to reveal your button.

turning the button maker base to show the finished button with the AB Crafty logo

Remove the button from the machine and pin it to whatever you’d like!

If you make your own buttons, I’d love to see them. Tag me on Instagram @ab.crafty!

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holding the finished button with the AB Crafty logo

I absolutely love making buttons and creating new designs. For the Friends fans out there, I made a “Pivot!” button and for the Schitt’s Creek fans, I made an “Ew, David” and “Fold in the Cheese” button.

Another great pin to make if you happen to be attending a bachelorette party is a “Buy the Bride a Drink” Venmo pin – similar to the bracelets I made.

finished homemade buttons with the different sayings, including an "ew, david" button, a "pivot!" button with a couch, "fold in the cheese" button with a cheese block, and buttons with "wtf" "lol" and "nope" and the AB Crafty logo

How to Make Buttons of Different Sizes

If you want to make buttons of different sizes, you’ll need either multiple button makers or get a button maker that can make multiple sizes. For example, I have this one which can make a 1 inch, 1.25 inch, and a 2.25 inch button. I just change out the molds to switch button sizes. Here’s the full list of button makers I recommend that can make different sizes.

Related: Button Maker Guide

finished buttons of different sizes with the different sayings
two button makers with different sized pins with the AB Crafty logo around them

How to Make Buttons Without a Machine

The easiest way to make buttons without a machine is to get fillable plastic buttons such as these. It comes with two pieces – a front and back piece that has the pin backing.

Simply cut out your design and then place it face down into the front piece. Then snap the back part on. They aren’t as professional as using a button machine, but if you want to simply make some easy pins for cheap, this is the way to go.

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finished buttons of different sizes with the different sayings and the title reads "how to make buttons, abcrafty.com"

How to Make Buttons

Learn how to make buttons in just a few steps! Make personalized button pins like a pro!
Yield 1 Button
Project Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins

Materials
  

  • 1 Button Maker
  • Button Template
  • Circle Cutter or Punch
  • Paper
  • Button Base and Backing and Plastic Cover that comes with the Button Make

Equipment

  • 1 Scissors or Circle Cutter

Instructions
 

Make the Button Design

  • Download the button template and create your design.
    You can either print out the template and draw directly on it or I’ve also included a link to the digital template within Canva.
    Button Template
    screenshot of Canva showing the AB Crafty button template with one of the buttons filled in with the AB Crafty logo
  • Print the page at full size, without margins. Use a punch or circle cutter (such as this one) to cut them out.
    Circle Cutter or Punch, Paper
    using a button punch to cut out the AB Crafty logo from a piece of paper with the logo printed across

Press the Buttons

  • Place the pin base (the plain disc) on side 1 of the machine.
    Button Base and Backing and Plastic Cover that comes with the Button Make, 1 Button Maker
    pointing to the button base placed into the button making machine
  • Place the printed design on top.
    placing the cut out AB Crafty logo into the button maker
  • Then place the plastic mylar circle on top.
    placing the mylar circle on top of the cut out AB Crafty logo in the button making machine
  • Rotate the base so it's under the press and pull down the lever.
    pressing down on the button press
  • Place the pin backing on side 2, with the pin side face down.
    pointing to the lines etched on the sides of the button making machine
  • Rotate the base so it's under the press and pull down the lever.
    pushing down on the handle of the blue button press
  • Spin it back around to reveal the finished button.
    holding the finished button with the AB Crafty logo

Notes

Download the button template here for free to make your own button designs.
Keyword Accessory, Button, Pin

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