Dr. Don's Buttons
Start your own button-making business
and earn $50.00 an hour!

I'll show you how
Button Making Business for Button Makers

Ever thought of starting your own business?

One you could operate from home?

One that would be fun and profitable?

If you answered "YES" to any of these questions, then making buttons (also known as badges) could be what you've been looking for!

In the following article, I am going to share my own button-making experiences and show you how you can earn more than $50.00 an hour making buttons.

Sound too good to be true?

Give me a few minutes of your time and I'll show you how.

Dr. Don in New Orleans

My First Button-making Breakthrough

My first breakthrough as a button-maker came in 1991, while attending a week-long convention of the National Association of Letter Carriers, in New Orleans.

I had previously been a Letter Carrier and I decided to take my button machine to the convention in hopes of making and selling buttons.

My strategy was simple... I set up a folding table on the sidewalk outside the convention center and sold buttons to the conventioneers as they made their way into the convention each morning, and then again each afternoon as they were leaving the convention center.

To replace the buttons I sold each day, I simply made more each night in my hotel room.

The buttons I made had sayings that were popular with Letter Carriers; sayings like "Union Letter Carrier... and Proud of It!", "My Supervisor is Dumber than Your Supervisor" and one that said "National Association of Letter Carriers Convention - New Orleans, Louisiana- 1991" that served as an inexpensive souvenier for anyone who attended the convention.

To make a long story short, I sold $1800 worth of buttons ($1.50 each, or 4 for $5.00) during the five days I was at the convention!

That's me, on the left, in the photo above. Notice the smile on my face... and the large wad of cash in my left hand.

As I was driving home, after the convention, it struck me that I just might be onto something. I had been looking for a way to earn additional income and this experience had been fun and profitable, so I decided to give it a shot.

And that, my friend, is how Dr. Don's Buttons came to be.

Earn $50.00 an hour (or more) making buttons!

Earlier I told you I would show you how to earn $50.00 an hour making buttons and if you will give me a few more minutes of your time, I will walk you through the process and share some of the most profitable button-making ideas I've come up with. Ideas you are free to use yourself.

Sports and School Activity Buttons

One of the more profitable button-making ideas I've come up with, is what I call "Personalized Sports and School Activity Buttons". I will use them as my first example to show you how easy... and how profitable button-making can be.

Not long after the convention in New Orleans, I received a call from a woman whose son attended a high school in our area. She wanted to know if I could make buttons for their booster club; buttons they could then resell at the games for a profit.

I told her I could, and the result was the concept of "Personalized Sports and School Activity Buttons", samples of which are shown below.

What makes this type of button so profitable is that they are personalized. Each button will have the name and/or jersey number of a player, as well as the name of the school and the team.

Family members love this type of button, since they are far more meaningful than a button that merely says "Football Mom" or "Basketball Dad".

To make Personalized Sports and School Activity Buttons, you start by creating a template that includes both the school name and the team name. After that, you add a graphic that represents the particular sport you are working with.

After you have created the template (and saved it), simply enter each player's name and/or jersey number on the template. Then, repeat the process until you have buttons for all the players, in the quantity you need.

When I first started doing these buttons (in the mid 1990's), I sold them for $1.50 each. The booster club would then turn around and sell them to the player's parents, grandparents, and girlfriends for $3.00 - $4.00 each.

I was happy, the families were happy, and the booster club was happy, too!

One of the things I enjoyed about this arrangement was that I didn't have to sell the buttons myself; the booster club did!

However, if you are going to the games anyway, you might be able to sell the buttons yourself and significantly increase the amount of profit you would earn.

For more ideas on how to make money, making this type of button, click here.

Determining Your Costs and Your Profits

When you do buttons in this manner, here's how to determine your costs and the amount of profit you would earn.

Let's say you receive an order for 100 personalized Sports Buttons and you sold them for $2.00 each (you are free to charge whatever you wish, but when someone asks us to produce them now, that's what we typically charge).

100 x $2.00 equals $200.00 in total sales.

(With football teams, where you may have 50 or more players on a team, an order of 100 buttons is realistic. And don't forget... most high schools have Freshman, Junior Varsity and Varsity teams).

The next step is to determine the cost of the supplies needed to make 100 buttons.

You can purchase 1000 2-1/4" pin-back button sets from my company, Dr. Don's Buttons, Badges and More, for $109.95.

Purchased in a quantity of 1000, the cost per button works out to be 11 cents each.
(11 cents x 100 = $11.00)

Now, we need to factor in the cost of printing the designs.

If you're using an inkjet printer, that would be the cost of your ink and paper.

I doubt that it would be this much, but let's say that averaged out to be 5 cents per design.
(5 cents x 100 = $5.00)

So, the cost of materials to make 100 buttons would be about $16.00.

$200.00 - $16.00 = $184.00

In this example, your net profit would be $184.00.

Now, to determine how much you would be earning per hour, divide the amount of time you would spend making the buttons into the amount of profit you have earned.

You know it's going to take a certain amount of time to design your buttons. In the beginning, it will take a bit more time, but after creating the initial design, it's easy to save your designs and use them as templates so the next time you want to make buttons, you simply change the school name and team name for each school you are working with.

When your template is ready, then all you need to do is type in the player's name (and if applicable, their jersey number) with your graphics program and print the number of designs you need for each player.

This might take anywhere between 60-90 minutes. Let's say it takes you 90 minutes.

After printing your designs, you now need to cut them from the printed sheets and then make your buttons.

Inexpensive button machines, like those produced by Badge-A-Minit, are only able to make about one button or badge a minute, (60 buttons per hour). They also have a tendency to produce poor quality buttons, where the edge of the paper design or plastic covering may stick out the sides of the button or where the button falls apart after being made because the edge of the buttons weren't crimped tightly.

On the other hand, our Model 225 button machine is capable of producing 4 or 5 buttons per minute and buttons made with the Model 225 will be professional quality. They will not suffer the poor quality issues described above.

And as you can imagine, faster and better... is better, when you are making buttons you are going to sell!

With our Model 225, it will take you about 30 minutes to make 100 buttons.

The next step in the process is to then verify each button and make certain you spelled each name correctly, that the correct jersey number appears on each design, and that you produced buttons for everyone who ordered them.

Let's add another 15 minutes to do that.

Using this example, the amount of time you would likely spend creating 100 personalized sports buttons would be about 2 hours and 15 minutes (135 minutes).

Now let's divide the $184 profit you earned, by the 135 minutes you would likely spend doing the buttons. As you can see, the amount you earn would be $1.36 a minute or $81.60 an hour.

Now, imagine how earning more than $50 an hour could change your life.

Political Campaign Buttons

The thing that keeps more people from making political campaign buttons is simply that they lack the ability to create the specialized backgrounds politicians want on their buttons. Things like flags, banners... you know, political-looking stuff.

I know, because when I first started to make buttons in 1990, that's what kept me from making them.

I wanted to make political campaign buttons (because I knew there was good money to be made) but I didn't have the ability to create the backgrounds myself and I couldn't afford to pay a graphic artist $50 an hour to do them for me.

Because of that, I didn't make political campaign buttons until 1999, some 9 years after I started making buttons.

And the only reason I was able to do so then, was because I hired a full-time graphic artist.

The challenges I went through back then inspired me to put political button templates on CDs and make them available to our customers.

By doing so, now anyone who wants to make political campaign buttons can do so and all you have to do is add text to any of the designs found on any of our Political Button Design CDs.

You can purchase one of our Political Button Template CDs for only $79.95 and get started in the very lucrative field of making political campaign buttons, even if you have absolutely no graphic design experience.

You Won't Believe How Easy it is to Create Political Campaign Buttons

To create a design for a political campaign button, using one of our Political Button Template CDs, simply find a template you'd like to use and open it using any graphics program that can work with .jpg files, or our Online Button Design Studio. Then add the candidate's name and office they are seeking, with the program's text tool.

Once you have the text sized and positioned the way you want, send your design to print.

It couldn't get any easier than that!

Below are examples that show you just how easy it can be to make great looking political buttons, using the templates found on our Political Button Template CDs.

(The templates shown below can be found on our Political Button Templates- Series 2 CD)

The images in the left column (above) are the templates in their raw state, as you wll find them on our CDs. The images on the right are what your finished buttons might look like after you have added text.

We currently have four different Political Button Templates CDs, Series 1, Series 2, Series 3 and Series 4.

Knowing what I know now, I would have been happy to have paid $500 or more for a product like our Political Button Template CDs. That's because I would have been able to recoup the $500 very quickly and started making incredible profits as soon as I had started making political campaign buttons.

The good news is that our Political Button Template CDs won't cost you $500.

They are only $79.95 each... or can purchase all four for only $259.95

If you don't yet own a button machine, but are ready to get started, you can choose to receive a copy of any Button Design CD we offer, FREE OF CHARGE, when you purchase one of our button-making kits.

Why They're So Profitable!

The reason that making political campaign buttons can be more profitable than Sports Booster Buttons is that they take less time to create.

With Sports Booster Buttons, you must personalize each button and then verify the information for each button.

With political campaign buttons, you typically create one design, duplicate it on your computer, print out the necessary number of designs, and then make however many buttons your customer ordered.

Let's say you were going to make 100 campaign buttons for your candidate and you are going to charge them $100.

To create a campaign button design, using one of our Political Button Templates CDs, simply choose a template, add a few words (their name and office being sought) and send it to print.

That might take 15 minutes.

Once you have printed your designs, you still need to make the buttons and as before, it will likely take about thirty minutes to make 100 buttons.

So the amount of time necessary to design, print, and make 100 campaign buttons would be about 45 minutes.

The cost for the materials to make 100 buttons would be the same as in the previous example, $16.00.

Now, to determine the profit you would earn on this order, let's take the $100 (if that's what you are charging your client), subtract $16.00 for the button parts and printing, which leaves you a profit of $84.00.

But because you only spent 45 minutes to complete the order, what you would earn from this job would work out to be $112.00 per hour... or nearly $1.86 a minute!!

Making Buttons for High School Reunions

Making buttons for high school reunions can also be a very profitable venture.

They are more labor intensive than other types of buttons, but that's what makes them so profitable.

For information on how to make buttons for high school reunions, click here.

Making Photo Buttons

The easiest way I know of to make money is making photo buttons!

You can take a photograph and turn it into a button that people will gladly pay $5.00 or perhaps as much as $10.00, and do so in as little 15 seconds.

In my opinion, photo buttons are best when done in the 3-inch size.

While you can make photo buttons in any size you wish, people generally prefer photo buttons to be a little larger so they can better see the person's face and they are willing to pay more money for them, when done in a larger size.

I you make your photo buttons in the 3-inch size, you can use photographic prints that measure 3-1/2" x 5", 4" x 5" or 4" x 6", which are all standard photo sizes.

One strategy I have used was to make photo buttons for sports photographers.

As a former photographer myself, I understood why photographers who did photographs of children involved in organized sports often didn't offer sports photo buttons. It wasn't because they weren't incredibly profitable. It was simply due to the hassle of having the lab that produced your photos, send the images to another part of the lab or even to an outside lab to produce buttons. Doing so slowed down the process, and kept the photographer from getting their photos into the hands of the parents.

But once sports photographers in our area learned they could stop by our location, bring a handful of photographs, and have us make sports photo buttons while they waited, we had a steady stream of sports photographers who were doing so.

And while I never did this myself, if you wanted, you could offer a mobile service and go meet the photographers at their location when they called you to do so.

Making Photo Buttons That Include Text

Online Button Designer

There was a time when making photo buttons that included text was incredibly challenging.

But that's no longer the case since we developed the Online Button Design Studio and made it available to our customers.

Now, anyone with a computer, and an Internet browser can easily create photo button designs that include text, including curved text and many advanced text options. No computer or graphic design experience is necessary.

And the best part, is, that when you purchase one of our button-making kits, you will receive 90 days of unlimited access to the Online Button Design Studio and the Photo Button Design Studio.

>>>Instructional video

Click here to watch a YouTube video that will show you just how easy it is to create photo buttons using the Photo Button Design Studio.

One thing to keep in mind is that not all button machines have the ability to make quality photo buttons. Badge A Minit button machines have serious challenges in making photo buttons, but our 3-inch button machine, the Model 300 SX can easily make them

For more information about making photo buttons, click here.

What You Need to Get Started

If you would like to get started making buttons, here's what you will need.

Realistically, you will need a computer (or at least access to one).

You will also need is a way to design your buttons.

There are dozens of graphics programs on the market, some of which include CorelDraw, Adobe Illustrator, Microsoft Publisher, PrintShop, PrintArtist, to name a few.

The better programs can be very expensive and time consuming to learn.

Or you can design your buttons online, using our Online Button Design Studio, using nothing more than your Internet browser.

You can use a "DEMO version" of the Online Button Design Studio by clicking here.

You will also need a way to print the artwork for your buttons.

If you have a computer, but don't own a color printer, go ahead and invest in a good one. It's one of the most important investments you will make.

Inkjet printers are very affordable and you can get an outstanding color printer for $100-$150.

You will also need a button machine with which to make your buttons.

Not all button machines are created equal. Some are easy to use; others are not.

Some will make professional-quality buttons; others will not!

Making buttons fast and easy with Dr. Don's Model 225 Button Machine

Shown below is a video of 6 year old Benjamin Singel demonstrating how fast and easy it is to make buttons using our Model 225 button machine. I love having people watch this video because most will say "if a six year can make buttons with a button machine, chances are I can, too".

Making buttons using the slow and cumbersome Badge A Minit Hand Press

Now click here to watch a video that shows just how slow and complicated it is to make buttons using a Badge A Minit hand press.

I think you would have to agree... there's no contest!!

If you plan to sell the buttons you are going to make, you are going to want a button machine that makes professional-quality buttons. Don't waste your money on an inexpensive button machine that makes buttons that are prone to falling apart, or that can leave paper or plastic sticking out the sides.

And don't get a button machine that is slow or difficult to operate.

The button machines we sell are well-suited for operating a small business. They're made of solid steel, so they're durable and dependable. Inexpensive machines are usually made of plastic or a plastic-like compound and cannot stand up to the rigors of making buttons over a long period of time and will produce buttons that are NOT professional quality.

(To see how our Model 225 button machine stacks up against all the 2-1/4" button machines offered by Badge-A-Minit, click here.)

The 2-1/4" is the most popular size button. And our Model 225 button machine, which makes 2-1/4" buttons, is our most popular button machine.

We market the Model 225 as the "Home-based Business Starter Kit".

The "Home-based Business Starter Kit" includes a Model 225 button press, our AC-1 circle cutter (which you use to cut your designs), enough button-making supplies to make 250 pin-back buttons, and three of our Button Design CDs

It also includes 90 days of Unlimited Access to our Online Button Design Studio.

All this for only $339.95!

A scanner to scan artwork and photographs is helpful, but you can get by without one if you are short on cash. Color scanners are available for about $100.

So if you already have a computer (or access to one) it's truly possible to start a highly profitable, home-based button-making business for less than $500.

Making buttons can be lots of fun... and as I've shown, it can also be a very profitable venture!

When you have your own button-making business, you can set your own hours, you can work from the comfort of your own home, and you are your own boss.

Making buttons truly can be the American dream!

If you have any questions about our equipment or button-making in general, feel free to give us a call. Our friendly customer service representatives will be happy to speak with you and answer all your questions.

Best wishes!


Don Ratliff
aka Dr. Don

For even more button-making ideas, click here.

Think you're too young, or too old, to make buttons?

Nonsense! Our youngest customer started making buttons when he was only 6 years old. In the video above, Benjamin Singel demonstrates how incredibly easy it is to make buttons with our Model 225 button machine.

Click here to learn more about Benjamin Singel and what he has done with his button business over the last 6 years.

And Emmet Wood, of Riverside, California, is well into his 80's and is still going strong making buttons.

So there is no such thing as too young or too old to make buttons.

If you have questions about our items and services,
or if you'd like to place an order by phone,
call us toll-free at:

(800) 243-8293 or (623) 869-8233

Dr. Don's Buttons, Badges & More
3906 W. Morrow Drive
Glendale, Arizona 85308

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