How to Make Your own Custom Enamel Pins

One of the questions I get asked most often is how can I get my own custom enamel pins made? When I first decided I wanted to design pins for Girl Party I had the same question and felt overwhelmed scouring the internet for the best way to go about it. It’s actually quite simple and takes just a few weeks to get your pins. Keep reading to find out how you can get your very own enamel pins made in just five easy steps.

Step 1: Design

The first thing you’ll need is a design idea. What do you want on your pin? Is it a simple word or phrase? Maybe it’s your dog? An object? Whatever it is, the design needs to be compatible for an enamel pin.

Remember this thing is going to be just an inch or so tall, so keep your pin design simple. Complex or busy designs will not translate well once they’re in pin form. Stick to solid blocks of color (no shading) and bold line work. If you are familiar with Pantone colors, use them! Most manufacturers do Pantone matching. Try to keep the overall outline of your design a fairly simple shape.

Example design

Manufacturers prefer a PDF of your design to get started. You can hand draw your design, scan it and save it as a PDF, or if you are graphically savvy feel free to use any software to create your design and send them the digital file.

Not comfortable drawing up your own design? Girl Party offers freelance design services! Click here or email me directly at hello@girlpartyshop.com to get started.

Step 2: Material

Pins can be made with a variety of materials, however soft enamel and hard enamel are the two most common. So what’s the difference?

Soft Enamel Pins

The main difference in appearance is that the line work of your pin will be slightly raised, giving your pin a texture. Soft enamel pins typically can produce a broader range of colors, especially bright colors, and offer a little more room for detail. They are also usually more affordable than hard enamel pins. Soft enamel pins are not quite as durable as hard enamel pins. Over time they will show wear and scratches faster, so keep this in mind if durability is an important factor to you.

Soft Enamel Pin by the adorbs Honey and the Hive

Hard Enamel Pins

Hard enamel pins have a sleek and shiny finish. Unlike soft enamel, these pins will have a completely smooth surface. It can be harder to achieve super vibrant colors. Hard enamel pins are generally more durable than soft enamel and will hold up better over time.

Hard Enamel Pin by Girl Party

Other Materials to Consider

Most pin manufacturers also offer special add-ons like glow in the dark and glitter.

Step 3: Sizing and Backing

How do you decide what size to make your pin? Sizes range anywhere from .75″ all the way up to 2″ however keep in mind most people are not likely to wear a large enamel pin. The average pin size is anything under 1.25″. Also, the smaller the pin the more affordable the price.

Backing can be just as important as the front of your pin. By default a pin manufacturer will only place one pin-back on your pin. If your pin only has one pin-back it will probably spin upside down, sideways, etc after it’s been pinned onto something. I recommend asking for two pin-backs especially on pin designs that you don’t want to spin. It will also be much less likely to fall off and get lost!

Step 4: Quantity and Pricing

What does it cost to get your own pins made? It really depends on the manufacturer, material, and quantity. In my experience, to get 100 pins made typically costs around $120-200.

Manufacturers typically charge a die fee of around $40 per design. This is a one time fee to make your initial die. If you ever decide to get more of that design made, you wouldn’t need to pay the die fee and would only pay for the actual pins. Cost per pin can be anywhere from $0.50 to $1.50 depending on the material and quantity. Remember the more you order the better price break you receive.

Love is Love by Girl Party

The quantity of your pins really depends on what you plan on doing with them. Are you going to sell them? Are they for you and your best pals? Some manufacturers will require a minimum first time order of 100 pins. If you plan on selling your pins, I always recommend starting with a lower quantity. It’s nice to test the waters and see what sells before investing in a mountain of pins that end up sitting in inventory.

Step 5: Choosing a Manufacturer

Most pin manufacturers are based in Asia or the Middle East. The majority of them are located in China. There are pin manufacturers in the US, however it will cost you nearly twice as much to get your pins made in the US. Most of them outsource to China and then raise the price to make their profit. You will definitely get the best price if you work directly with a Chinese manufacturer, but keep in mind there may be some language barriers and limited customer service. That being said, Girl Party has used this manufacturer and I have had nothing but great experiences and high quality pins made.

A quick Google or Alibaba search will tell you there are TONS of pin manufacturers to choose from. It can be quite overwhelming because it’s hard to tell which ones are reputable and have the best quality. Take your time and do your research! I recommend narrowing it down to 2-4 and then emailing them the following:

  • low res JPEG of your design (this way they can’t “borrow” your design)
  • specs for your pin (material, size, quantity)
  • ask how quickly the pins can be shipped once the final artwork is approved
  • ask for a cost estimate

Whichever manufacturer comes back with the best answers in a timely manner is the company you should work with. Once you’ve decided on your manufacturer, send them your final PDF. They will send you a proof along with a cost estimate. Once you approve the final artwork and pay the invoice, your pins will be manufactured and shipped. Typically your pins will arrive in just 2-4 weeks.

And just like that, BOOM. You’ve made your own custom enamel pins!

I hope this post was helpful to those of you interested in getting your own pins made. If you have any questions or input, please let me know in the comments below. Happy pin making!

Home Sweet Home

Buying a house unexpectedly has been an absolute whirlwind, but we are finally starting to feel settled in our new home! It’s been hard being absent from the blog recently, but buying a house and finalizing wedding plans on top of a full-time work schedule is no joke. We still have quite a bit of designing and projects to cross off our list, but suffice it to say it is really beginning to feel like ours.

One of my favorite styled spots in the house is where our bar cart lives. When Michael and I first started dating we drank negronis pretty much every date, and it quickly became a special tradition of ours. Now we can carry that tradition on at home, which makes it that much more meaningful. Plus a bar cart just looks good, am I right?

Ah yes, the room where we hands down spend the most of our time. The kitchen! One of our favorite things to do is cook dinner together, so naturally the kitchen is where you can find us most. We really lucked out buying a home with a fully renovated kitchen that we also happen to love, so the only thing it really needed was stools for the island. The island, by the way, has been a game changer. How did we ever live without one?

When we first attended the open house for our home a couple of months ago, I think our jaws literally fell open when we walked into the main room. Lined with wall to wall windows, the main room also looks over the “backyard” which includes a forest and a babbling creek. A forest! And a creek! Although Atlanta is an incredibly green city with an abundance of trees, it is rare to find so much nature and privacy on properties in the city. Sometimes it’s hard to leave the couch because I just want to stare outside all day! One of our big goals for the new house is to eventually build an outdoor living space. Then I really won’t want to leave.

We’ve had so much fun getting everything set up together and making this house our home. Stay tuned for future bedroom tours. Happy weekend dudes and dudettes!

Why I Deleted Instagram from my Phone

It sounds silly to announce it let alone explain why, but I recently decided to delete the Instagram app from my phone. I know, I know, get some real problems right? As much as my Instagram woes sound very much like a millennial first world problem, I think social media can negatively impact our daily lives and overall mental health and to me that’s a problem worth talking about.

I’ve been using Instagram as a marketing tool for Girl Party for years now. As a small businesses owner I’ve always felt pressure to stay engaged in social media in order to help keep my business thriving. Don’t get me wrong, Instagram has certainly helped Girl Party gain exposure and has introduced me to some really amazing people over the years. Plus I genuinely enjoy coming up with new content which also helps to keep me inspired. But regardless of the ways Instagram has positively impacted my small business, I can’t help but feel like it’s this void of nothingness that ultimately affects my well-being in a negative way. I find myself aimlessly scrolling at any given hour of the day for absolutely no reason at all. From laying in bed in the morning to waiting in line at the grocery store to sitting on the couch at night. Scrolling, scrolling, scrolling. Like I’m looking for something or waiting to see something that will make me feel a certain way, but in reality it just makes me feel anxious, unproductive, and generally emptier than before. I’ll feel guilty for wasting time scrolling, but then turn around and do it again. And then there’s the incessant checking for likes, comments, and messages. I find myself opening the app at the first chance my hands are free simply because I can, despite the fact that I just looked twenty minutes earlier.

I know I can’t be the only one who has encountered the social media blues at some point, especially as a small business owner.

I’ve gone back and forth about deleting the app or deleting my account altogether for a while now. I knew Instagram generally didn’t make me feel good, but I just couldn’t pull the trigger. I felt like I would be missing out in some way, or like Girl Party would suffer if I had less of a presence on social media. In recent months I’ve definitely gotten better about not checking my Instagram as often or overthinking posts that didn’t get as many likes as others, but I still felt that itch to open the app at the first sign of boredom. And I hated that. So here I am, deleting the Instagram app from my phone.

There’s a very real lack of boundary when you have social media at the touch of your fingertips, which is something I’m hoping to establish by deleting the app from my phone.

From here on out I’ll only use Instagram on my iPad during studio hours strictly to post Girl Party content. No more endless scrolling, no more opening my phone every ten minutes to check likes and comments, no more stories that I’m pretty sure no one actually cares about, and no more social media at night or on the weekends. Honestly I feel lighter and more focused just thinking about my freshly dumbed down smart phone. Maybe Instagram will bury me in its algorithm, but then again maybe that wouldn’t be such a bad thing after all.

We’re Homeowners!

It feels so surreal to say it, but we bought our first home together! We’ve been looking at homes casually online for months now, but we never had the intention to actually BUY any of them. At least not yet. The plan was to get married in May and buy a house in the late summer. When we saw this mid-century house newly listed online, we thought we had to at least go take a peek at the open house. I mean, we didn’t have to buy it right? That same night all of our plans went out the window, and we decided to put in an offer. Like we always say, when you know you know.

We are beyond excited to be moving into our new home in less than two weeks, eep! For now, we are re-painting the entire interior of the house (please send your thoughts, extra pizza and wine) and putting our own little touches on things. There’s a lot of work to be done, but we’ve never been more excited about a new adventure. Stay tuned for the big reveal!

Five Essential Ways to Style Enamel Pins

So you’ve started collecting some really cute enamel pins because well, they’re stinkin’ cute. But what exactly are you supposed to do with them? Keep reading to see my top five favorite ways to style pins.

First up is the oh so classic jean jacket look. I like to pin mine on the front towards the top so you can really show them off, but you could also place your pins on the collar or even on the back of a jacket. Sometimes I just place one or two pins to keep it simple, but if you want to spruce up an otherwise basic outfit you can pin a whole cluster of pins.

Another favorite way to style pins is to place a few on a handbag or a backpack. I often buy solid color handbags so I can mix and match them with my outfits easier, and by placing some pins on them from time to time they feel like a whole new purse!

A quick, easy way to show off your pins before heading out the door is to pin one or two to the collar of a shirt. I love being able to color coordinate my pins to certain outfits, and this Beat it Creep pin was a match made in heaven with one of my striped tops.

Easily one of my favorite ways to style those darling pins is to stick one on a favorite hat. I am a sucker for berets (I have five, no big deal) so that tends to be my go-to, but enamel pins look great on beanies, baseball hats, really any hat that is thin enough to stick a pin through!

Sometimes life gets hectic, and there’s just not time in the day to go around picking out and arranging enamel pins to stick on your hat or your jacket. And that’s where a hanging pin display really comes in handy! I made one very quickly and inexpensively using a small wooden rod and a piece of felt (stay tuned for a pin display DIY coming soon!) Hang it on your wall at home or in your office, and you can drool over your adorable pin collection all day without lifting a finger. Plus it makes really cute decor!

I hope this helps get those cute pins out of your jewelry box and into the world! Do you have a different favorite way to style your enamel pins?

Galentine’s Day Gift Guide Under $35

Galentine's Day Gift Guide Under $35

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, but more importantly so is Galentine’s Day! Whether you’re doing it up with a bottomless mimosa brunch or just hanging on the couch with your besties this year, this gift guide is sure to have something your gal pals will love. Plus, it features some of my favorite small businesses so you can feel good about where you put your dollar this Galentine’s Day. Cheers ladies!

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Welcome to the blog

Hello! My name is Kelly, and I am the one-woman show behind Girl Party. From designing products, photographing and editing product listings, neatly packaging and shipping your orders, and even website management and marketing, it’s all done by little ole’ me. And now I can add blogger to the list!

I’m so excited to be starting a Girl Party blog! Here you’ll find regular posts from behind the scene looks into Girl Party, tips for running an e-commerce shop, easy DIY projects, lifestyle posts, outfit posts, and yes, finally those highly requested hair tutorials. Is there something YOU would like to see on the blog? Let me know in the comments below!