Enamel pins are the fashion trend right now, and almost every store sells them. There are many designs to choose from, but most of them are quite expensive. But what if you want to make your own designs, that’s cheap and affordable? Well, look no further! Today I’m gonna share with you an easy way on how I make my own enamel pins…
YOU WILL NEED…
The MOST IMPORTANT thing you must have in order to create your own enamel pins is shrink plastics! I got mine from CraftHaven.com.my, but you can also go to their physical store in One Utama Shopping Mall. It is advisable you get the sanded and clear shrink plastics because it’s easier to trace designs on them and colours will adhere better. I bought the Grafix Sanded Shrink Film, which retails at RM6.90 per sheet.
To colour the pins, you can use either Sharpie coloured markers or acrylic paints. Make sure you ‘thin out’ the acrylic paints with some water, or the colour will crack once you bake your pins!
You will also need some safety pins, a hot glue gun, and a clear sealer (preferably ModPodge Gloss Glue). I bought everything at Spotlight Malaysia. And of course, you need to have paint brushes, if you use acrylic paints.
STEP 1 – TRACE/DRAW THEM!
Print out your designs or simply draw them on the shrink plastic (on the sanded part). Trace the outlines of your designs carefully with a pencil or a marker.
As you can see in the photo above, my designs include Tina Belcher from Bob’s Burgers, a cat giving the middle finger, donuts, and a typewriter. Some of the other designs I made are Wednesday Addams from The Addams Family, Luna the cat from Sailor Moon, and Doctor Who‘s TARDIS.
STEP 2 – COLOUR THEM!
Sometimes, I find it easier to just use coloured markers. However, one thing about using markers is that you NEED to use oil-based markers. Otherwise, it’s difficult to fill the colours in your designs. Sharpies work on my shrink plastics, so feel free to experiment which markers would work for you.
But if I don’t have any particular colour I need on my design, I’d use thinned out acrylic paints. Mind you that once these pins are baked, the colours will tend to get darker. So don’t worry if the colours don’t strike out when you’re colouring them.
STEP 3 – CUT THEM!
Once you’ve coloured in your shrink plastics, cut them up according to the outline of your designs. Pretty straightforward, right? But just be careful when cutting the plastics, because they can be very sharp.
STEP 4 – BAKE THEM!
Place your cut out plastics on a piece of baking paper. Then, bake your plastics in the oven, with temperatures according to the instructions provided. Watch the plastics shrink in the oven. Don’t worry about them curling up because they will be flat again, once they’ve completely shrunk.
After they’ve done shrinking, take them out from the oven. Place another sheet of baking paper on top of them and then, press them out with some heavy books. This will ensure that the plastics cool down flat.
STEP 5 – SEAL THEM!
After the plastics are cooled, seal them with some Mod Podge Gloss Glue, or any other clear sealer. This will make them glossy and shiny, and ensure that the colours will stay longer.
STEP 6 – PIN THEM!
And finally, attach some safety pins at the back with some hot glue, and you’re done!
As you can see in the picture, mine turned out a little bit cracked because I didn’t thin out the acrylic paints enough. But no matter, I like how they turned out anyway!
Now, attach your DIY enamel pins on a denim jacket or a backpack, then you’re set! I hope you give this project a try at home. Happy crafting!