How to Make Your Own Lapel Pins (+ Ink It Labs review)

Lapel pins are a hot ticket item right now, but traditional enamel pins can be really costly to produce. Wood pins are a unique alternative to their more pricey counterparts. Recently, I dove into pin making and designed my first ever pin! It was a learning experience and I wanted to share my experience with it!

It was important to me to have a two-layered pin for that cool 3D effect. I searched online for a reputable manufacturer and ultimately choose Ink It Labs. They're an established business and after my experience working with them, I highly recommend them for anyone looking to have custom acrylic or wooden pieces for charms or pins made. 

My plan was to take advantage of their multi-design options. I could have units of top piece and the back piece split between a total of 50 pieces for the order. Being a newbie at pin making, I contacted them and discussed my plans and how I ultimately wanted the pins to look. They were very patient with me and my multitude of questions, provided me with sample images of what they could help me produce, and even helped me get my files in order so printing was a breeze.

I have to brag on them for one more thing. During check out, I made a major "oopsie" and selected the wrong destination country (yeah, I actually did that) and ended up with a massive shipping and handling fee. Instead of losing their patience with me (at that point, after all of my questions and my dumb mistake, I wouldn't have blamed them) they quickly cancelled that order, issued a refund, and I was able to reorder with the correct shipping address information.

I had to wait about 2 weeks for the finished pieces to arrive. I opted for a glossy finish on the florals of the back piece, and no added finish to the front. I also opted to have extra white applied to both pieces so the colors popped. Ink It Labs sent me some samples of what my design would have looked like without the extra white layer, and while seeing the wood grain show through the design was a beautiful effect, I didn't think it was quite right for this particular design. I'm definitely saving that option for future pins, though!

When the pieces arrived, they had a paper cover over them. Since I had to assemble the pins myself, and glue can get messy, I just pulled the layer off the front of the back piece, and the back of the front piece. I used a bit of E6000 and spread it carefully with a tooth pick, let it set and pulled off the remaining paper. I used more E6000 to apply the gold pin tacks to the back.

 The empty space on the floral back piece was intentional! It helped create a smoother surface area for the skull front piece to adhere to. #science

The empty space on the floral back piece was intentional! It helped create a smoother surface area for the skull front piece to adhere to. #science

 Keeping the paper layer on the skull protected it from glue-related accidents.

Keeping the paper layer on the skull protected it from glue-related accidents.

 The beautiful finished product! I love everything about it.

The beautiful finished product! I love everything about it.

Overall, I'm thrilled with how my first pins came out. I definitely want to create more wood-printed pins in the future. Working with Ink It Labs made my first time experience enjoyable, and I'm looking forward to working with them again!

P.S. You can purchase these pins in my store! Also, pin buyers get a 5 x 7 print while supplies last.