Sometimes I forget I don’t have to make a project completely at home for it to be successful. I’m lucky I have a ton of supplies and gadgets around to use for most my projects, but how about if you don’t? Well the perfect example of this is these 40th birthday buttons I made for my pal Dean.
If you have ever looked into make custom buttons before, you would know that proper button makers (or badge machines) are ghastly expensive. $300 bucks is a serious investment for me. I would need to be making a whole lot of buttons to justify that price.
And that’s where online shops that specialize in this sort of thing come in. You create the artwork and have them make the button, t-shirt, phone case or whatever you are looking to make. It is as simple as that. For this particular project, I used Zazzle but there are tons out there specializing in this service. I recommend typing “custom BLANK” into the search bar of your internet browser to find the right vendor for you.
And now on to my button project… about eight months ago, my friend Dean told me he wanted a button for his 40th birthday that said “Lordy, Lordy, Dean is 40!” He was so specific with the wording that I typed it into an alert on my phone to remember later.
As his birthday approached, my phone awesomely reminded me of the plan. I did a little research on my options and got started working out the details with his finance to surprise him at his Bday BBQ.
For the design, I created a gingham pattern to give the button a nice retro vibe reminiscent of Dean himself. Then I used a couple font Bebas and Bauhaus 93 to spell out Dean’s catchy jingle. When it was finished, I uploaded my design to Zazzle and a couple days later the buttons arrived on my doorstep. You gotta love the ease of this project! No printing, glue-sticks and fingers injured in this process.
Friends don’t turn forty everyday. I was so happy to add an extra sparkle to the birthday boy’s eye with these buttons. And believe he was super surprised and touched we remembered his request.
I had so much fun making this graphic, I thought I would to make it a free download for anyone to use. Read below if you are interested!
Free Customizable Button Artwork
Download my editable PDF that you can personalize. You will need Adobe Acrobat to edit the file which you can download here if you don’t have it on your computer.
Editable PDF Instructions
- Simply open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat.
- Type in a new name in the highlighted field.
- Save your file.
- Upload it to Zazzle or other custom button printer.
This file can print up to the 6″ button size on Zazzle. The file is sized at 1875 x 1875 pixels and 300 dpi. Note: colors may be slightly different from what you see on the screen and the font size cannot be changed.
Easy right? If you like this format, check back next week! I’m launching my new etsy shop of digital invites. I’m so excited!!
Extra Zazzle Info for Your Own Custom Work
As I mentioned earlier, I decided to order the buttons with Zazzle. I was not compensated for writing about their service or using them for this project. I’ve just used them before and have been happy with their products. I wanted to explain a little more about how custom artwork works on the site if you are nervous ordering through them.
For custom work, I always check out the image guidelines and recommended file sizes first so you are working with the right format. For more complicated designs, they also have guide files which you can use to as a template for your file.
I chose the 2 1/4″ standard button. According to the image guidelines, I needed at least a 450 x 450 pixel design for this size. I decided to size it 1200 x 1200 pixels so that it was high resolution. I would rather give the printer more than they need than less to make sure the artwork looks it’s best. (My pdf download is already sized for high resolution printing.)
Zazzle supports images in JPEG, PNG, PDF, and Adobe Illustrator (AI) formats.
I hope this all makes sense. Please leave any questions you have below and I’ll do my best to answer them. Happy Button Making!
Party photos by Dagny Bruce.