Trawling Etsy.com this week, I cam across this shop. This person makes pin-on buttons and sells most of them for $1.00. For fifty cents more, you can have the button made into a magnet. Some of them are cute and the whole thing reminded me of the button covered jean-jackets and purses that were popular in the ’80′s.
All you need to get into this business is a ,a href=”http://www.amazon.com/Inch-Machine-Complete-Starter-Kit/dp/B004492BPA/ref=pd_sbs_t_6″>button maker. You can get machines that make different sized-buttons, ranging from small one-inch buttons to large, three-inch models. You just put your design between the plastic front and metal back parts of the button and then apply pressure with the handle to mash the parts together and seal the button. Voila: One button.
You also need some creativity. You’ll need to be able to generate some funny sayings, silly jokes, or cute pictures to put on your buttons. It’s best if you generate your own content because using sayings, quotes, logos, or pictures from movies, TV, professional sports, or companies without permission can get you sued. If you have some graphic design or art experience, that’s a plus. You can create your own images to go with your sayings.
What can you put on/in your buttons? Anything you want, including:
- Political statements
- Original artwork
- Fabric swatches
- Children’s artwork
- Short poems
- Characters that you create
- Holiday themes
- Religious statements
In addition to selling buttons online at sites like Etsy.com or eBay, or through your own site, you can sell them at local craft fairs, state fairs, or church bazaars. If you specialize in a certain theme, you can sell at events that cater to that theme. For example, if your buttons are all Civil War related, you could sell at re-enactments. You can even host your own button house party.
To increase your income from this venture, you can sell your skills to local organizations, party planners, and political groups. Buttons are great for local candidates, fundraising groups, businesses/websites, booster clubs, weddings, birthdays, reunions, parties, or school groups. You can use a design or photo that the organization provides or you can, for a little more money, offer to create a custom button just for them.
You probably won’t get rich making buttons unless you create a design, character or saying that catches on. Even if you don’t get rich, this can still be a fun hobby that can net you a little side income. You can set your prices according to the button size, with the larger buttons costing more. You can also sell them in sets, or offer specials such as five for $4. Be sure to charge enough to offset the cost of your supplies. If you’re creating custom buttons for an organization, you’ll charge not only for the button itself but also for the time it takes you to create the artwork or saying that will be used on the button. As you get better at button making, you’ll get faster and you’ll be able to crank out more buttons in less time, increasing your profit margin.