Over the summer, I had the pleasure to work with “The Farmhouse Sanctuary” in creating a thousand buttons for their upcoming event, “NEPA Vegfest.”
While slightly tedious, button making can be set in a nice pattern and groove once deep within the process. The first step comes in some simple mathematics. I needed to print out a thousand of her designs: 500 of the Vegfest, and 500 of The Farmhouse Sanctuary. To get the most out of the paper, 30 designs were printed per page (5×6) and 17 pages were printed out. That gives me 510 designs, leaving only 10 to spare just in case some buttons malfunction and ruin the paper.
Above, you can see the equipment I used to create each gem: the paper trimmer, the paper cutter, and the button machine. To begin, I needed to trim the paper so it fit into the paper cutter. The best and most efficient way from 5×6 dimensions would be to trim in rows of 5, so that I have 6 designs in 5 sheets instead of 5 designs in 6 sheets. Every small detail can be a huge time saver, especially when making a thousand buttons.
Next, the sheets needed to go through the paper cutter, where a lever is pushed down to cut out a circle of the design. It can then be pushed up, and the next design is ready to go. To be more efficient, it’s best to cut all of the designs at once, then proceed to the next step of constructing the buttons.
Each button has four parts to it: the shell, the clear mylar, the pinback, and of course the design (older buttons vary in parts). In the button maker there are two slots to place those parts in. The first includes the shell, the design, and the clear mylar in that order, while the other only needs the pinback. The lever from the machine needs to be pushed down for both slots in order for the button to be made. For that one button, it can take 5-10 seconds if in the mindset.
It took me several hours to complete, but once I finished, it’s always satisfying to see a thousand buttons in a bag. It’s interesting to imagine why the commissioner chose a local printing shop instead of a big company to create these buttons. While it either had to do with money, time, or compassion, it’s always nice to see people supporting their local friends.
NEPA Vegfest is an all ages event based on promoting compassion, health and wellness in our community. This event will include craft and artist vendors, plant based food vendors, speakers, music, yoga, fitness education and children’s activities all based on promoting wellness!
Please leave a comment below if you have any critiques or comments, or simply just LIKE and SHARE!