I say this for three reasons.
1. It's incredibly easy to make photo buttons!
(or at least it is if you're using our Model 300 SX button machine to make them).
2. Making photo buttons can be extremely profitable!
Photo buttons typically sell for anywhere between $5.00 and $10.00 each, while the supplies you need to make them cost as little as 13 cents each!
(In a moment I'll tell you about a 15 cent item you can use to give your photo buttons the look of expensive jewelry. With the addition of this item you can turn the photo buttons you make into something you could easily sell for even more.
3. Making photo buttons is a business nearly anyone can afford to start.
Our Model 300 SX Button-making kit, which includes everything you will need to start your own photo button business sells for less than $500.00.
These are the same high-quality photo buttons that people often have to wait weeks for when they order them from a sports photographer, or a photo lab. But when you have your own Model 300 SX, you will be able to make photo buttons in seconds, while customers wait!
What types of photographs make good photo buttons?
Just about any subject matter that people love in the form of a photograph, they will cherish as a photo button.
Here's a good example.
A number of years ago, before I ever made my first button, I was dating a woman who had two boys that both played soccer. A sports photographer took photos of all the players on the team and offered the parents the opportunity to not only purchase the photographs, but photo buttons, as well.
My girl friend purchased both.
She placed the photographs in a photo album and pinned the photo buttons to the visor of her automobile. Then, whenever she was driving back and forth to work, she had her boys' smiling faces there to keep her company.
What parent or grandparent could resist such a delightful keepsake?
They can't... and that's my point!
If you choose to make photo buttons, there are many ways you can market them.
You could do as that enterprising photographer did, where you would take the photos yourself and then turn them into photo buttons. Or you could offer your services to photographers, schools, photo labs, print shops, copy centers, booster clubs, day care centers, church groups, etc, and make photo buttons with photos they would provide you.
The possibilities are endless.
You could approach the photo labs in your area, have them mail you any photographs they'd like made into photo buttons, create the photo buttons, and then mail them back.
Or you might take an afternoon each week and make the rounds to the photo labs in your area. If you made a few samples for them on the spot, they might be impressed enough to have you come back and do them on a regular basis. (You might even provide a sign that says "Photo Buttons Made Here" to help build their photo button business... and yours!
You might even contact photographers in your area and let them know you make photo buttons. They could then bring the photographs they want made into photo buttons and you could both earn a profit.
If you have a digital camera, you could take photos and make the buttons on location. Doing so is easy these days, since they now have ink-jet printers that can print photos directly from digital cameras without needing to have a computer attached.
Doing photo buttons in this manner can be very profitable. You don't have to pay for film, or expensive photo processing, and people love watching the process unfold before their eyes. And they don't have to wait to get there photo buttons.
What will you need to start making photo buttons?
First of all, you will need a good quality button machine.
While Badge-A-Minit offers inexpensive 3" button machines, there are plenty of reasons why their machines aren't well suited for making photo buttons.
First of all, buttons are made by means of a pressing action and no heat or glue is involved; the button parts are simply pressed together.
When working with photo paper, which is thicker and stiffer than the 20-24 lb. copy paper that is typically used when making regular buttons, both you and your machine must be able to generate additional crimping power or your photo buttons will not stay together.
If you were to read the operating instructions for any of the inexpensive Badge-A-Minit machines, you would discover that you have to use a "work-around" if you want to make buttons using photo-weight papers. (That's because Badge A Minit machines simply do not work well with heavy paper).
Their work-around is to have you cut the photograph to the size of the "face" of the button, so their machine doesn't have to wrap the photographic material around the edge of the button. By doing this, however, you end up with a product that is less desirable because the image on the photo stops at the edge of the button instead flowing around to the back of the button. The metal side of the button will also show. And you may not be able to "trap" your photo in the center of the button, which would leave the photo sitting "off-center".
The Model 300 SX easily generates the crimping power needed to make photo buttons using photographic prints. It can due to its design and because the machine and its dies are made of solid steel.