Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Button Pin Badge

The one-inch button has enamored me for quite a long time now. A staple of any fanboy convention scene, they are used to proudly decorate and describe oneself without the need of words.

But are they out of place at a wedding?

I haven't sported the button pins on a regular basis since I left college and joined the professional realm, and as fun as they are, I'm pretty sure Sak would give me a eye roll and a two-letter word starting with "n". Especially when the price tag for a button machine is over $200. That's not exactly a purchase one makes on a whim.

But then I see things like these -

(source) This one is cool since each button is personalized for the respective guest!

(source)Even Martha gives the button pin a nod!

And I think, "Hey - why not?"

However, I'm not sure what our non-twenty-and-under crowd would do with them, even if they were the coolest or cutest of designs. They might wear it for the night, and then toss it the next day. And that would make me sad. I know my mom would probably pin it to her favor backpack, but that's only because she's cool and hip. Would others do the same? Most of our friends are conventioneers themselves, so I know they would appreciate a good badge or two. My sister, I know, would be ecstatic, seeing as she single-handedly blew all her allowance on button pins at last year's anime convention.

While I'm at it, let's just pie-chart our possible guests -

It seems to be a pretty even split. And I automatically gave a "no" vote to anyone I don't really know (like some of Sak's extended family). Overall, I think most guests would be down with the buttons. Maybe they'd even keep them if I kept the designs versatile enough.

Now, to find a happy medium I could always just have buttons made and skip the up-front cost of machine buying. Etsy has some pretty affordable options. But if you know me at all by now, you know that part of me wants to own the whole process. And I know I would use the machine post-wedding - so it wouldn't be a wedding-only splurge. It is on my master wish list of tools to own in the future. Right next to the laser cutter and 3D printer (a girl can dream, right?). Comparatively, this is a more affordable option. Re-fill costs are fairly low, which is a plus.

I guess it just comes down to - am I justifying unnecessary spending by using the "wedding" excuse? It certainly sounds like it. I'll have to sit on this one I think.

Anyone else having some hot-button-action at their wedding? And does anyone know where I can find a cheaper 1-inch machine?


  1. I can't remember the cost, so I can't justify it for you, but I can give you my review:

    I actually have the 1-inch machine, we use it to make Buttons for Steam Crow (the FSIL's joint webcomic with her husband). It's amazing to use, although it can be a bit tiresome. I think a group of 3 or so can make approximately 500 buttons in an hour :o)

  2. Oh and we're making Arizona in August buttons too for our wedding! :o)

  3. I'm sure you've got a Mech-E friend lying around w/ a 3D printer, no? :]

    LOVE the pie chart. haha. Oh I was thikning that you could leave a bucket and a SIGN by the door (which ur guests would exit) that say, please KEEP your button if you want to, but if you don't, put it in here! So at least that way they won't get THROWN away. Which is sadder than getting rejected. And I'm sure your bagjillion fans on WB would want one? HAHA. :-P

    And. I think you can outsource for button a lot cheaper than DIY-ing them... and investing in a button machine.

  4. My only concern with the pins is that most girls do not wear dresses to wedding that we can pin!! (Think nice fabrics)... I'd be bummed if I had a cute dress and couldn't wear it!!

    Otherwise, I LOVE the idea and I think its cute! Our university actually has a button making machine that students can use all the time... there have got to be a few hanging around town!

  5. @az - that's a good time yield! and yay for az buttons! i want one if you have any left over ;)

    @alvina - haha there's a public workshop on the peninsula that has a 3d printer, laser cutter and everything. i think i might join after the wedding. it's a monthly fee like a gym or something. :) and I really like the idea of a bucket. i think i'd feel better getting them all back rather having them tossed!

    @gator - true true! they'd have to put them on their chair bag or something i guess. and that's really cool that you have a machine at school! resources, resources!

  6. you can rent button machines--I did it for my wedding at and it turned out fabulous!!

  7. i know this is an old post.. but i can help you with cost factor... save bottle caps from beer..spray paint them white.. super glue a pin back to the flat side.. and then modge podge your image on..