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How To Prepare Pinback Button Graphics and Use Adjustable Rotary Cutter

[Note: If you're thinking to yourself, "Hey! I've seen this post before!" you might be right. This post was originally published on December 12th, 2008. We are cycling it back to the front of the blog so our new readers are made aware of it, as the content is no less relevant today. And besides, it's always good to review...]


Pinback buttons have a wide array of uses and functions, from political campaign buttons to promotional tools for small businesses. Through the use of a button maker and button making supplies, it is easy for a small business or a school operating on a limited budget to quickly produce a number of buttons for sale as novelty items or as memorabilia. Before using any button maker it is necessary to gather and prepare the button making supplies for use in the press. Designing pinback buttons is relatively simple. In fact, most graphics for pinback buttons can be designed on a computer. After the designs are printed, it is necessary to use a cutter to prepare the graphic for the button maker. This can easily be accomplished through the use of an adjustable rotary cutter. With an adjustable rotary cutter, like the one we sell at American Button Machines, the process of preparing button making supplies is quick and easy. As you can see in the video, simply place the rotary cutter over each graphic, push down and turn the handle. The result is a perfectly shaped circle for a pinback button. This graphic is combined with several other button making supplies, including the button face (front shell) and a laminate (clear mylar) cover to protect the graphic. These materials are placed in the button maker and with two quick pulls of the button maker’s lever, the result is your own custom pinback button. The process of actually making a pinback button is extremely quick. With a little practice, you can make a button in as little as 5 seconds, as shown in this video: (If the movie is not visible, just follow the link to see the adjustable rotary cutter tutorial.) What makes our Adjustable Rotary Circle Cutter so great? First of all, it cuts a wide range of button sizes from 1" to 3 1/2". When making a button, you have to cut your material a little larger (see our button templates) than the finished button size so the paper can wrap around the edges. Therefore the actual cut size capabilities of the circle cutter is from 1.313" to 4". The top mounted quick-release knob allows for fully adjustable incremental cuts. It has pre-set stops for five popular button sizes: 1", 1-1/2", 2-1/4", 3", 3-1/2".Need a special sized cut? Use the Quick Release Adjustment Knob and adjust to any incremental size you need. You will find four knurled sections on the bottom of the cutter. These grip your material to keep it from sliding around on the table. The all metal chassis construction makes the cutter very durable. You can easily center your cuts by simply looking through the middle of the centering template. The cutter is spring loaded with a permanently lubricated main shaft which makes for a smooth and steady cutting operation. An adjustable rotary cutter is an important tool for anyone looking to make custom pinback buttons with their own button maker. Using our rotary cutter, a tremendous amount of time is saved in preparing your button making supplies. Brighid Brown - Director of Blogging and All Things Cool at ABM

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