A Button Brother demo: decorating a button  

A visual guide to using our button machine to get you on your way!

It's pretty simple to use our button press. We know how to use it all by ourselves, but it's important to have an adult around to keep an eye on things. Please have an adult to supervise you when making your own special buttons! Have fun and be safe :)


You'll need:

  • Button press
  • Graphic punch
  • Paper for button artwork
  • Markers, pencil crayons, pens &c to draw your artwork
  • Button shell
  • Pin-back
  • Mylar
    image: button brother with button machine
  image: putting strip of paper into graphic punch  

Take a piece of paper you'd like to use for your button. A strip about 2.5" x 8.5" is a good size. It will fit a few circles on it.

You can use a blank piece of paper (to draw or write on), or use paper that already has a picture on it. Choose any colour you like! Don't use anything thicker than construction paper.

Slide the paper into the side of the graphic punch.

  image: pulling down handle of graphic punch   Pull down the red handle to cut the circle out.
  image: lifting the cylinder under the punch   Pop the circle out by putting a finger under the punch and lifting the silver cylinder.  
  close-up of button artwork  

Decorate your paper. Remember to keep your picture away from the edge of the circle, because that part will be hidden once the button is made. In other words, keep the important parts of your picture in the middle of the circle.

I wrote "Lamborghinis Rule" on mine (my favourite car).

  image: button machine position  

Now you’re ready for the button press. The red handle should be in the raised position.
There are two trays in the button press: one marked “1” and the other marked “2”. You can pivot the bottom part of the press change their positions.

Position yourself so that you are on the side of the button press that’s opposite the side with the red handle.
  image: tray #1   Pivot the trays so that you can see Tray #1. (Tray #2 should be directly under the press, i.e. on the side with the red handle.)  
  image: placing the shell into tray #1   Put a button shell into Tray #1. The convex side, i.e. the side with the raised curve, should be facing UP.  
  image: placing the button artwork into tray #1   Put your artwork on top of the button shell, face-up.  
  image: placing clear plastic mylar into tray #1   Put the Mylar on top of the artwork. (The Mylar is the clear plastic circle.)  
  image: pivoting the trays   Pivot the trays so that Tray #1 is directly under press.  
  image: the trays have now been pivoted so that tray #1 is under the press, and tray #2 is facing you   In other words, Trays #1 and #2 should switch positions, so that you can now see Tray #2.  
  image: grabbing the red handle of the button press   Grab the red handle.  
  image: pulling the handle down   Pull the handle down, toward your side.  
  image: pressing down on the handle   Press down hard!  
  image: lifting the handle back into the up position   Once you’ve pulled the handle all the way down, lift it back up again.  
  image: placing the pin-back into tray #2, with the sharp pin side down   Put the pin-back into Tray #2. The side with the sharp pin on it should be facing DOWN.  
  image: pivoting the trays so that tray #2 ends up under the press   Pivot the trays so that Tray #2 is directly under the press.  
  image: the tray positions have been switched. tray #2 is under the press, and tray #1 is facing you   In other words, the two trays should switch positions, so that you can now see Tray #1.  
  image: pulling down the handle   Pull the red handle down hard, toward your side. Once it’s gone all the way down, lift it again.  
  image: removing the finished button from tray #2   Pivot the tray out, and voilà! Your handmade button is ready for you to wear!  
  image: buttons pinned to a t-shirt   Wear your creation with pride!  

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