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custom lapel pin

How to Design and Make Custom Lapel Pins

How to Make Custom Lapel Pins

You have the perfect design for a custom lapel pin all planned out in your head. You’re ready to get started. So… what do you do next? How do you make a lapel pin? You may be thinking that it is a complex process, but it actually doesn’t have to be. It is easy to make a lapel pin or even a set of lapel pins for a group of people.

If you’d like to learn more about making custom lapel pins and how you can do it in the future, keep reading! You may find something you didn’t know before.

What Is a Custom Lapel Pin?

A custom lapel pin is something that you can create to pin onto your clothing (or your lapel!) to show off something specific. They have a lot of purposes and can be used in a variety of settings.

For example, some businesses like to use lapel pins when they want to reinforce their brand with clients or want to increase their exposure at a shopping center. These are just two examples of many purposes that lapel pins can serve.

Custom lapel pins may help people feel more a part of a community. When everyone is wearing something that matches, it creates a feeling of commonality and helps create feelings of acceptance.

When to Use Lapel Pins

As stated previously, lapel pins have a lot of different purposes. They can do so much! You might find a use for lapel pins within your specific field of work or when you are preparing for a special occasion.

Education Pins

Part of the appeal to have a custom lapel pin for people that work in education is to show pride in the work that is being done.

It can be hard in this field when there is so much to do and so little support in many areas, but the reason that people stick it out is for the students! It is rewarding to be able to make a change in a person’s life, no matter how big or small they may be.

Education lapel pins help employees show off the love for their school, love for their job, or love for their students. The pin could be a mascot or a favorite inspirational phrase.

Military Pins

A great thing about the military is the disciplined camaraderie. There is a bond among military members that is unparalleled anywhere else.

Showing off a military lapel pin can be a professional, meaningful, and important point of pride. A lapel pin with the branch of military the person was in or the title they achieved may be a great gift.

Special Event Pins

Have you ever been to a bachelorette party? Have you attended a baby shower? How about a family reunion?

There are a lot of occasions that may be perfect for a custom lapel pin. You could design something that showcases what you want people to remember, such as names, dates, photos, or phrases.

Getting one for everyone involved is an excellent way to create a lasting memory that they can take home with them.

How to Make a Lapel Pin

The first step is to make sure that you have the design you want ready to go. It is easiest if you already have it in a PDF format to send to the factory.

If you can use less detail and fewer lines on your design, you will likely have a cleaner looking pin. Remember that most pins are not very large, so you don’t want to have a design that is too complex!

The second step in this process is to choose between soft or hard enamel pins. Soft enamel has a textured surface and is a little less expensive due to the lightweight feel. Hard enamel is smooth and polished, but does cost more for the extra durability.

The third step is to choose the size of the pin. Pins can come in a wide variety of sizes, so it is important to consider your design when choosing your pin size. You don’t want to go too small or too large.

The fourth step is to decide how many you are going to make. Are you making one pin or are you making 400 pins? You may be required to purchase a certain amount of pins, especially if it is your first time buying, but consider your audience.

The fifth step is determining how many pin-backs you need. A pin-back is exactly what it sounds like – it’s the back part of the pin that can fasten it to the lapel.

Two pin-backs will make it more secure while one pin-back is less expensive. You need to choose based on the size of your pin and whether or not a little wiggle room on the lapel is acceptable.

Once you have done all of these things, you can contact the factory to produce the pins and talk about your plans. They may have questions or need extra information, so anticipate this and know what you are looking for exactly before getting in touch.

Ready to Make the Perfect Pin?

Now that you know more about what a custom lapel pin is and how it can be used, you might be interested in making one. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to make that happen!

When you are ready to get started, contact us about getting a quote for the perfect lapel pin. We would love to help you with the entire process and make your perfect custom lapel pin! We make the process easy. And don’t forget we offer free shipping and free designs! Give us a try today 877-312-9794 or clicking here.

lapel pin etiquette

Lapel Pin Etiquette: A Guide for Cleaning Your Lapel Pins

Lapel Pin Etiquette: A Guide for Cleaning Your Lapel Pins

Although lapel pins have a history that stretches back to the Civil War, they’ve made a huge comeback. Cute, quirky, and unique designs became a huge trend in the fashion scene around 2014 and have since become must-have accessories.

No matter if it’s a pin with professional significance, the perfect accessory for your carefully cultivated look, or just a way to add class to your outfit, you know lapel pins have many benefits.

What happens if you love your pins a little too much and they need some TLC? Read this guide to lapel pin etiquette and learn how to clean them so they’re looking like new again!

What Kinds of Pins are You Working With?

There’s more than one kind of lapel pin. Knowing what kind you’re dealing with will determine the best way to clean them.

Most people are familiar with the classic clutch back or safety pin badge. There are many other stylish kinds of lapel pins that have their own unique qualities.

Which ones do you have?

Clutch Back

Also known as a butterfly clutch, these are usually small and efficient. The pin back has a point that fits into the clutch.

The clutch releases when you give it a squeeze. No complicated parts to mess with.

Stick Pin

The stick pin is a truly classic design. The pin sits on top of a long needle that pierces your lapel.

Pop the metal keeper (or a piece of cork if you’ve lost the keeper) on the end and you’re good to go. This is a fantastic way to bring a bit of vintage style to your outfit.

Screw Back

Just as the name suggests, you screw a nut onto the point on the pin back. This is one of the most secure types of pins out there.

Floral and Boutonnieres

One of the oldest styles, floral and boutonniere pins have sat on many a gentleman’s suit lapel over the years. While both involve flowers, floral is typically made of fabric while boutonnieres feature the real thing pinned on the lapel.

Out of all of them, the boutonniere is the most low-maintenance. No need to polish and shine a real flower — just pop on a fresh one and go!

Long Stem

If you’re looking to make a statement, you need to add a long stem pin to your wardrobe. This modern twist on the classic stick pin is meant to be noticed.

Long stem pins come in a wide variety of designs. Oftentimes, they’re made out of high-end metals like gold and silver, so you’ll need to be extra careful when cleaning them.

Magnetic

Worried about piercing a favorite outfit? The magnetic clasp pin is for you.

These are perfect for keeping the integrity of a delicate cashmere sweater or fancy dress. The only problem is that eventually, the magnets wear out and your pin might fall off.

Collar Pin

This is a unique pin. Most of the other pins that we’ve talked about go directly on a lapel or are worn like a brooch.

The collar pin clips to a typical button up collar. This is a sophisticated style for a man and a daring fashion addition for a woman.

What You Need to Clean Your Pins

There’s a basic cleaning kit that any lapel pin enthusiast needs. The two things you need are a polishing cloth and a polishing agent.

Before you run to the store, know that not all polishing cloths and agents are made equal.

When working with tarnish on silver pins, use a soft cotton cloth and silver polish. You might even be able to find special cloths that already have the silver polish in them.

Jeweler’s cloths work well for polishing pins. Jewelry polish is great to start with but if you want to splurge, go for the jewelry polish cream.

No matter what you use, look for something non-abrasive and gentle.

Cleaning Your Pins

Before you start, remove the back or keeper from your pin. Be careful not to stick yourself.

It’s always a good idea to test the polish you intend to use in an inconspicuous area. Swipe the back of the pin with a cotton bud before you use it on the rest of the pin.

The most basic way to clean the pin is to dab it with your polish and gently rub it with a cloth. Usually, your tarnish will easily come off.

Some metals tarnish faster than others. Copper tarnishes before silver which tarnishes before gold.

Make sure you use a good quality polishing cloth and cream on pins made out of these metals.

Extra Tips and Tricks

Now that you’ve got the basics down, here are a few other tips and tricks to keep in mind.

  • Never use vinegar or anything citrus to clean your pins. It will damage the metal and any enamel.
  • Don’t use polish on a soft enamel pin; rub it gently with a soft cloth so that the paint doesn’t come off
  • Don’t use harsh abrasives on a hard enamel pin; you risk damaging the design
  • No polish? You can try using toothpaste, but test it on the back of the pin to make sure it won’t hurt the pin
  • Never put your pins in a polishing machine; it’ll be too hard on your delicate pins
  • Household cleaners will also hurt pins; stick to jewelry polishes

The key is to be gentle with your pins. This is the best way to extend the life of your collection.

Practice Proper Lapel Pin Etiquette

It’s not hard to practice proper lapel pin etiquette. It’s important to remember that you should always test the back and be careful when polishing your pins.

If it’s been a while since your pins have had a good shine, take them out this weekend and polish them up. Nipping tarnish in the bud before it gets too dark prevents you from scrubbing too hard or using stronger polishes that can damage the metal.

If you love lapel pins, why not make a custom one for your special event or celebration? Reach out to us today for a free quote!

Nursing Graduation Pins

Why Nursing Graduation Pins Are Important in Honoring Graduates

Why Nursing Graduation Pins Are Important in Honoring Graduates

It’s no secret that becoming a nurse is no easy task. It takes a lot of hard work and endless nights. But all of that dedication pays off when it’s time to gather around for the pinning ceremony to receive nursing graduation pins.

Although some might think that this ceremony is a simple pin being placed onto a graduating nurse’s chest, it’s actually much more than that. There is true significance behind the reasoning for the pinning ceremony and many nursing students look forward to it more than the actual graduation. Why?

Because obtaining a nursing pin is what makes the nursing students stand out from the others, and it’s something that each and every one of them is proud of. And beneath the seemingly simple ceremony is tradition and history that should be treasured for the rest of time.

Continue reading to learn more about why the pinning ceremony is so important for graduating nursing students.

Carries on a Tradition

There is much of a tradition when it comes to the nursing pinning ceremony. You might be surprised as to how far back it dates and who it relates to. With so much history and tradition, the pinning ceremony holds much significance.

Monks in the Knights Order

The pinning ceremony dates back to the 12th Century. Several knights lent a hand in helping wounded crusaders. And once monks entered the Knights Order, they also continued to help those crusaders who were injured.

The monks began to hold ceremonies where each one of them was presented with a Maltese Cross, which they then wore on their arm.

Florence Nightingale and the Crimean War

During the Crimean War, Florence Nightingale was known for her selfless acts of helping others. She took her work of helping the injured men in the Crimean War very seriously. And with this, she also made it a point to reward her nursing graduates with a medal of excellence.

This medal was given to those whom she believed worked the hardest. And in the 1860s, she was honored with the well-known Red Cross of St. George.

Transition into Present Day

But by 1916, the United States set it as a standard to reward all graduating nurses with a pin of accomplishment and not just a select few. The pins show each graduating nurse’s completion of education. These pins act as proof and identification of a true nurse.

Signifies a Student’s Accomplishments

During the pinning ceremony, nursing graduation pins are handed out to the graduating nurses, and it’s a way to make every new nurse feel special. The newly graduated nurses hold this ceremony close to their hearts because of how personal and intimate it is. The students’ very own teachers honor them with the pins and pin them.

The teachers also take the time to talk about each student’s accomplishments throughout their nursing education, which is an emotional time for every student that has worked as hard as they have to get there. This ceremony gives graduating nurses a day all about themselves.

It’s strictly nursing students, so there won’t be students from other graduating programs attending. All nursing students look forward to this day because it signifies what they’ve worked for and who they have become.

Choosing a Loved One for Dedication

Because completing nursing school takes so much dedication, time, and work, most students have a special loved one in their lives who they’d like to dedicate their nursing pin to.

This person is usually someone who has helped them along the way through their nursing journey. It can be anyone including a significant other, parent, or close friend.

In some cases, this person chosen for dedication will join the graduate on the stage. They then read a letter written by the graduate on why he or she chose this person to dedicate their pin to. This is another very emotional time during the ceremony and is important to both the graduate and their chosen person of dedication.

Signifies a Student’s Initiation in the Nursing Society

The pinning ceremony is the final step in officially initiating the recent graduate into the nursing society. The students have now taken a vow to always help those who are sick, injured, or in need of any medical attention. The pinning ceremony is the bridge between a nursing school and a nursing career.

And nursing graduation pins are the final step to take once crossing that bridge. These pins not only signify the hard work and dedication, but they are also a physical symbol of their initiation into the nursing field.

This is why continuing the nursing pin ceremony tradition is so important.

Nursing Graduation Pins: A Tradition Forever Respected

The tradition of pinning new graduates with nursing graduation pins is one that should carry on from generation to generation. It holds so much significance not only in tradition and history, but also in each nursing students’ hearts as well.

It’s a moment that every nursing grad looks forward to, and it’s what makes them stand out from the rest of their school’s programs.

Every nursing program should hold a pinning ceremony for its students. And what’s even more great about the pinning ceremony is that nursing pins are completely customizable. Whether you want to stick with the traditional oil lamp design or go with something more relatable to the school or program itself, there’s a pin for every school.

Click here to see all the customizable pin options available to you. Give your nursing students a moment that they’ll never forget!

Importance of Employee Recognition

Create a Culture of Caring: The Importance of Employee Recognition

Create a Culture of Caring: The Importance of Employee Recognition

Did you realize that employee engagement rose to nearly 35 percent last year? While this is much better than in previous years, this statistic shows that American business owners still have a long way to go when it comes to connecting with their employees.

Failing to find ways to engage your employees can lead to problems with productivity and higher than normal turnover rates. Some business owners get so wrapped up in the day to day managing of their company that they fail to give employees a pat on the back. Learning about the importance of employee recognition of essential when trying to grow your business.

If your team is unmotivated and feel like they are being taken for granted, then they will do bare minimum while on the clock. Instead of dealing with the negative consequences this will create, you need to hand out rewards and recognition whenever possible.

Read below to find out more about why employee recognition is so important.

Employee Recognition Can Increase Productivity Levels

The cornerstone of any successful business is high levels of productivity. If everyone on your team is pulling their weight, doing things like meeting project deadlines and taking on large scale projects will be a breeze.

Employees who feel like the work they do doesn’t really matter have a habit of phoning it in while on the clock. This “bare minimum” attitude can affect your business in a negative way. Rather than letting your team feel neglected and unappreciated, you need to take the time to recognize the hard work they do.

If you give your team an incentive to work hard, they will give you their all on a consistent basis. Whether you recognize employees with a plaque or coveted parking place, showing them that you care is paramount.

Recognized Employees Are Much Happier

As most adults know, getting up and going to work on a daily basis can become draining over time. People who are not being recognized or engaged in the workplace may start to dread working. The last thing you want is a workplace full of unhappy and disgruntled employees.

The main goal you should have as a business owner is making your employees happy. The best way to do this is by showing them you see and appreciate what they are doing.

Often times, happier employees will call in less and get more done while they are on the clock. As you develop an employee recognition program, you should view this process as an investment in your company. The time and money you put into this recognition will definitely pay off in the long run.

Make Attracting Quality Talent Easier

Taking a business from a startup to success story can be very challenging, to say the least. As your business begins to grow, you will need to hire more employees to lighten the workload. Attracting the best and brightest in your industry will require a lot of hard work and a good reputation.

If word gets around about how well you treat your employees, getting top talent will become much easier. Most people who are looking for a job will thoroughly inspect things like company culture before making any decisions.

When applicants look at your company culture, you want them to find an atmosphere that values hard work and productivity. Hiring new employees with experience and drive will allow you to take your business to the next level.

Make Your Employees Feel Like Part of the Team

One of the biggest problems most business owners have is relaying the goals they have to their team. If your employees don’t know where you want to take the business, they will have a hard time feeling like part of the team. This is why you need to keep them in the loop regarding changes coming down the line.

If you truly appreciate your employees, you need to make an effort to show them they are equals. Once employees start to feel like part of the team, your goals will become their goals.

Trying to take your company to the top without help from your employees will be nearly impossible. This is why you need to focus on having regular meetings to relay information and to recognize their hard work. Getting your team out of the office is a great way to get to know them and have these meetings in a comfortable environment.

The Prospect of Recognition Help With Collaboration

Taking on larger projects can be a nightmare if your team doesn’t play well with each other. Attempting to run a business with a workforce that has a “me first” attitude can lead to lots of problems. This is why you need to focus on recognizing the hard work of employees in groups.

Putting together groups to handle certain aspects of a project can be extremely helpful. The more hands you have on deck when working on a project, the easier you will find it to get results. If your team is aware of your practice of offering recognition to groups of workers, they are more likely to embrace the power of collaboration.

If you are looking for a way to improve teamwork and inter-office relationships, offering team-building exercises is a great idea. Once you show your team how much more they can do with the help of others, increasing collaboration will be a breeze.

Now That You Know the Importance of Employee Recognition…

Building a winning team can be much easier when learning more about the importance of employee recognition. Being consistent with your employee recognition efforts can go a long way when attempting to grow and strengthen your business.

Are you looking for unique ways to show your employees you care? If so, find out more about us and the customized metal goods we have to offer.

How to Use Custom Lapel Pins to Brand Your Business

Four Benefits of Custom Lapel Pins

Looking for a way to catch the eye of your customers, both existing and potential? Are you curious if there’s a way you can encourage teamwork and a sense of company pride among employees?

Combining the two of these might sound next to impossible. Thanks to lapel pins, you can accomplish both goals at once. Yes, those little pins folks like to wear and even collect!

Ready to learn more? Get ready to discover four benefits of custom lapel pins and how they can help your business.

Custom Lapel Pins

1. People Gravitate Toward Collecting Lapel Pins

Lapel pins have longstanding popularity among people of all different backgrounds. From folks who collect pins created for charities to Disney pins, there’s a market for just about any type of lapel.

One upside to branding with your company logo is the fact that you can create demand without trying too hard. Folks who are interested in lapel pins can go home and look up your company.

With a little bit of viral marketing in the form of fashion, you’ll develop a name and brand that people remember.

2. You Can Create Special Pins For an Event

Are you planning a grand opening, special sale weekend or another type of event? This is a great time to have pins created.

Pass them out to folks and they’re sure to take them. Many people enjoy free swag, especially when attending events where purchases aren’t mandatory.

Once your company becomes popular, your pins can become a rare or sought-after collector’s item.

3. Having More Than One Type of Pin Makes Them Special

Consider making lapel pins for different events, people, and even times of the year. For example, create lapel pins that are only for staff members. These can mention their position or how many years of service they’ve provided to the company.

Employees appreciate it when they’re recognized for hard work. Giving them a unique pin offers a simple way to accomplish that.

Make a pin for a special event or one that you pass out only on one day a year, such as a customer appreciation pin. There’s no limit to what you can accomplish with lapel pins and company promotion.

The more that you have that are limited edition, the greater chances for collecting and demand among customers. And it goes without saying that as they travel further, more people can learn about your business and what it has to offer.

4. Lapel Pins Go With Anything

One reason these pins are so popular is that they go with anything. They can get pinned on any type of shirt, a purse, or even a dress suit.

If you want a promotional item for your company that anyone can enjoy, even if they’re not a consumer of your product or service (yet!), choose lapel pins. Their versatility is popular and they’ll carry on the message for many years to come.

Our Lapel Pin Gallery

Discover More

Using lapel pins in your promotional marketing efforts is a useful way of building your brand and getting the word out. You’ll find many folks interested in what you have to offer.

Are you interested in getting started? Check out our order guide, and see how to begin the process. Looking for pinspiration? Check out our lapel pin pinterest page! Are you ready for a free no obligation quote? Complete our online quote or call us at (877)-312-9794

Coin Check: Military Challenge Coins Ranking, Explained

Do you ever wonder how military challenge coins are ranked? Well, wonder no more. Here’s a quick explanation of military challenge coins rankings.

Legend has it that military challenge coins were used as a form of identification by an elite flying squad in WWI.

But, it wasn’t until the Vietnam War that army challenge coins really took off. Since then, their popularity has steadily grown, and now, the coins are part of a challenge game.

Ever wonder, ‘what is a challenge coin?’

The ‘challenge’ of these coins is being able to present yours whenever a fellow group member requests a coin check. If you don’t have your coin, the drinks are on you. But, to decide whose coin is best, there are established challenge coin rankings that players must follow.

Find out where your army challenge coins rank in this guide.

Military Challenge Coins Rankings

The following ranking system is the deciding factor in who wins in a coin check:

Medal of Honor Recipient Coins

Some recipients of the Medal of Honor have challenge coins to give to troops and veterans.

Getting to shake the hand of a true American hero is impressive. But, if you’re also lucky enough to receive a Medal of Honor challenge coin, you’ll never have to buy a round in a coin check.

Just make sure to always have it on you!

Military School Coins

Alongside their diploma, many military school graduates receive a challenge coin. School coins take second place in the ranking system because of the effort it takes to receive one.

These challenge coins provide a sense of honor and membership, making them the perfect memento for an important event.

General Officer Coins

Most general officers buy challenge coins to give to their troops. And, as general officers are paid more than captains, their coins are usually higher quality.

The difficulty of getting one of these coins depends on the general officer. Some officers hand their coins out frequently, however, more often, you have to do something outstanding to receive a general officer coin.

Unit Coins

Unit commanders can commission coins with the unit’s insignia and hand them out to deserving troops. But, unit coins are also sub-ranked:

  • Branch Coins
  • Divisional Coins
  • Brigade Coins
  • Battalion Coins

Unit coins take fourth place in the rankings because they’re the most common army challenge coins.

Promotional Coins

To spread brand recognition, some companies commission branded military coins to give out to troops and veterans.

Promotional coins only count if they are from a military-related company, or were given out during a military event or installation.

Exceptions to Challenge Coin Rankings

As the highest-ranking challenge coin, a Medal of Honor challenge coin can’t be beaten. But, there is some flexibility over other rankings if the whole group agrees that the coin meets the following criteria:

Best Design

A coin with a great design can overcome its lower rank. For example, if a unit coin is well-crafted or unique, it could beat an uninspiring military school coin.

Best Backstory

All challenge coins tell a story. If there is an impressive story behind your challenge coin, it could beat a higher-ranking coin.

How to Rank Military Challenge Coins

Now that you know the hierarchy of military challenge coins, you can attempt to avoid paying for drinks at your next coin check!

Check out our ordering guide to commission your own challenge coins, or contact us for a price quote.