How to start a badge making business

Badge making – A home based business

Badge making can be looked upon as a part-time home business or as the foundation and stepping stone to bigger and better things. But there’s a lot of potential in starting a business of this type and the beauty of it is, it doesn’t need a very large outlay of funds to get started.

So first let’s take a look at what type of equipment and materials you are going to need to begin with, and what procedures are involved in making badges. Then we’ll consider how you use this business idea to make some money.

To begin with, anybody who is seriously considering going in to this type of business will need to know what type of equipment and materials are available and what costs are involved. First of all you are going to have to choose the type of badge-making machine you need based on the size and quantities you are aiming to produce. There are various types available. For button style pin badges (the round metallic type that have been around for decades) you will need a the type that assembles and presses the different parts of the badge together. (see video below) These can be found and purchased online. You can choose between reasonably low cost manual pressers or the more expensive electric assembly ones that enable you to achieve production in larger numbers.

A basic machine that can be used to produce badges manually can cost as little as £150 and usually comes with a small supply of materials to create around a hundred or so badges. The smallest ones can produce badges or around 25mm in size, but larger models are available that can produce badges in sizes ranging between 38 – 58mm.

The major drawback of these type of badge making machines is that they are slow to produce badges in large quantities. but it’s a good way to get started if you have limited funds. Components that make up the badges can be bought in quantities ranging from 250 – 10,000 or more.

The design that you want to put on to your badge is the next thing to consider. of course this will depend on who your customer is going to be. Badges are often in demand for various types of occasions including special events, fund raising events, exhibitions and so on. But you can also make up your own fun designs for making bades to sell to novelty shops and toy shops etc. You can design your own badges using graphic software such as Serif Drawplus or Adobe Photoshop.

To start with you will need to create templates for your design so that you can print a number of them on a sheet to save time and wastage. The designs also have to be produced within a certain area depending on the badge size being printed. Here’s a link to a pdf file that a UK supplier recommends as the sizes to use when creating your designs. Badge sizes for manual badge makers.

Notice that the innermost circle is a guide to where your artwok should go and the outer circle is the guide to where the design will be folded and hidden once the buttons have been pressed. Once the design ha been printed it will then be ready for cutting.

Your designs can be printed in full colour using an inkjet or colour laser printer on paper, preferably no heavier than 120gsm. The designs can be cut using a rotary cutter which is a machine that any good badge machine distributor should be able to supply. Using the cutter accurately takes a bit of practise but once you have the knack of using one it can be fairly quick. To save even more time, two or three sheets can be lined up and stapled together to cut two or three designs out at a time.

Better still, a graphic punch which is more expensive than a rotary cutter but can punch out many more circles in a shorter period of time is a worthy investment, particularly when you plan on making a lot of buttons for your customers. A graphic is easier to line up your graphics. All you do then is pull a lever to cut out the design.

There are other heavy duty machines that can produce much larger quantities, but as a fledgeling home based business they may be financially out of your reach so you may prefer to start small and when your business is well established and proves to be profitable, you can then consider the larger more professional equipment to expand your business and production capability.

Further expansion of your business is possible through offering a wider range of services. Photo ID cards are much in demand for business conventions, seminars and special events and exhibitions etc. Various types of machines are available for producing these too, including plastic card printers, magnetic strip encoder printers etc., and further information can be sourced online through some of the resources listed below.

Button machine and graphic cutter suppliers: (USA)

Enterprise Products (UK)

ID card machine printers:


ID card printers are available from specialist suppliers but can also be purchased through and