A Complete Guide to Ordering Custom Enamel Pins

October 16, 2023

You can order custom enamel lapel pins online, in-person, or through the mail using a variety of steps that will depend entirely on your chosen designer.

How do you customize enamel pins? There several ways to go about ordering customized enamel lapel pins. This includes ordering from individuals or companies online or finding manufacturers in your local community who can accommodate your needs. The pin ordering process is slightly different depending on who you order from.

There are hundreds of online sites that offer quick, easy, affordable ordering opportunities for custom pins. You can also find local factories, merchandise designers, and individuals who provide this service. This article will go over the general step-by-step process of using these three options for creating your own pins.

Table of Contents

How to Make Ordering Easier for Yourself

The whole process can go faster and much easier if you have your ducks in a row before you even start looking for someone to fulfill your order. Things you will need to think about in advance include budget, when you need them completed, and whether you intend to order them in bulk or not.

A few other things to consider and ask yourself include.

  • Does your desired artwork work well in the enamel pin format?
  • Would you rather get the pins cheap or pay extra for quality?
  • Are these intended for temporary or long-term uses?
  • When should you place the order so your pins can arrive on time for events?
  • Which materials and pin backings will work best with your design?

Prepare Artwork Well in Advance

The actual image, logo, or message that will make up the pin’s artwork should be completed first. This will determine what dimension the finished pin should be, how many color options you should choose, and whether you should use soft or hard enamel to compliment the look. Some ordering sites require you to have the image in a specific size or file type (e.g., jpeg, etc.)

Ordering Customizable Enamel Lapel Pins Online

One of the most popular and cost-effective options for ordering bulk or single enamel lapel pins is through online manufacturers. They usually have large factories that can churn out many quality pins in a short amount of time. The order form and payment are also generally quick and efficient.

Finding the Right Company

Before spending the time filling out an online order, you want to make sure that whatever site you are on will have the features necessary to create the pin you envision. This is usually pretty easy to tell since most sites advertise their strengths.


Some online order forms will show you the price throughout the entire process. That means if you choose a more expensive backing or enamel option, the total that you can see will increase. Other forms have no mention of prices, and you cannot see the total until you enter in your payment information.

The Art

You will upload your artwork for the pin, and the rule of thumb is to have it be twice the intended size, so if you are creating a two-inch pin, then the artwork should be four inches. There are usually maximum upload sizes of around 12MB for individual files.

Step-by-Step Guide for Online Orders

Before ever filling out any personal information on a site, make sure they are reputable. You can check with sites like the Better Business Bureau and Trustpilot to see if they have a solid history of fulfilling customer expectations. While every order form is slightly different and some may demand more or less information, some commonalities will be included in the step-by-step instructions below.

Step One: Contact Information and Sign Up

The first step for any online order is to provide your contact information for registering. This will include name, email, and phone number and how many pins you intend to order. Quite a few online ordering sites will not let you see feature options or prices before you register.

Step Two: Customizing Your Order

Now comes the chance to decide on some specifics about your customized order, including how many pins and how large they will be. There may be a special coupon or limited time offer on this section for specific sizes, quantities, or enamel pin types. Some sites will start listing the price at this point as you make decisions on your order.

Step Three: Style Options and Special Features

This is usually broken into several sections, including the type of pin (e.g., soft enamel, hard enamel, die-struck with no paint, etc.), the number of colors, backing (e.g., clutch, pin, magnet, etc.), metal colors, and any upgrades (e.g., epoxy coating, engravings on the back, etc.). Some companies offer a wide variety, and others have only a small handful of options. If you have a fair idea of what you intend your pin to look like, then you can shop around until you find the manufacturer that offers the appearance features you want.

Step Four: Uploading Your Artwork for the Design

The most common file extensions acceptable for uploading include .png, .jpg, .jpeg, and .pdf among others. The site will specify what they allow, and there may also be a minimum or maximum size requirement. This is usually where you can also add text notes about your pin if you want to include any.

Depending on the site, you may now see a mocked-up version of your pin, although only a few offer this option. Some sites will give you a preview of what image you uploaded, and others will simply show the file name, so you need to be sure that you save the proper artwork under a distinctive title so that you do not accidentally upload the wrong thing.

Step Five: Shipping

This is one of the most critical choices for receiving your order within a given time window. If you have an event or time limit, then you may want to choose a more expedient shipping option. Due to Covid-19, there are a significant number of shipping delays for certain services, so you may want to research that before making a decision.

The typical shipping options are standard, rushed, and “urgent” or “immediate.” If you choose to have a single sample created and sent to you for inspection before you agree to have the whole order completed, then this will increase the process and shipment time for the rest of your order.

Step Six: Payment Information

Your order total will be visible either before, during, or directly after this step depending on how the form is set up. Your payment information will require you to put in your name, address, and card information. Sometimes there is an option for paying after the first prototype is complete.

Step Seven: Order Updates

Some pin shop sites allow you to sign up for order updates in the form of text messages or emails. Others might not have this option. You can always call or email their customer support if something on the order needs to be changed after you complete this last step. They will also be able to update you if you do not hear anything within a reasonable amount of time.

Ordering Enamel Pins in Person

Not every community has a place where you can go in person to set up an order for bulk or single customized pins. However, larger cities usually have places that design custom die-cut jewelry that may be able to create pins. The ordering process usually involves you having a digital copy of your artwork that you can send to them.

It is also easier to determine what features to add since they will have physical samples for you to look at. Payment is usually when the first prototype is completed and approved. While individual pin prices may be more, you will be saving money by skipping the shipping, and this is an excellent option if you have a very small window of time before needing the completed pin.

Individual Creators You Can Commission

Getting pins from an individual artist is usually more expensive but will be more cost-effective if you are only ordering a single pin or a small handful. You can find artists for commissioning pin designs all over the web, but places like Etsy are the most popular. Because they are not governed by the same regulations as larger companies, you will want to check customer reviews and past order fulfillments before choosing an artist so that you can be sure to get one that provides quality, quick service.

Finding Local Artists

You can also find local artists at places like collector and trading events and local newsletters. Google business will also pull up anyone in your immediate area, offering this service.

Step-by-Step Guide For Ordering From Individual Artists

The most common site for ordering enamel pins from individual artists is Etsy or places like Strange Ways, so this step-by-step guide will go over what to expect when ordering from those types of online shops. However, each one is slightly different, so these are standard guidelines and may not fit exactly with the instructions given by a specific shop owner. Most artists also have a way to reach out to them for clarification if you have any questions about the different aspects of the ordering process.

Step One: Contact Information and Sign Up

To create an order on a site that hosts individual shops, you will need to have an account and register with that site. Sometimes they allow you to check out using a guest customer account, but since you will want to be able to reach the supplier in case of order changes, it is best to go through the full registration process. This also makes the actual checkout much quicker.

Step Two: Customizing Your Order

Most shops will have multiple pictures with numbers or names next to the lettering, enamel style (e.g., hard, soft, etc.), and other ways that you can customize your order. There are usually instructions on how to let the designer know which one you have chosen. Sometimes this involves adding it into your order notes, and other times they will want you to reach out to them directly in a message.

Step Three: Style Options and Special Features

This is by far the most time-consuming part of ordering from an individual artist because each one of them does this step slightly differently depending on what works well for them. For example, some shops will have the entire style and feature options listed with visual examples of each, and others will not. When in doubt, reach out to them directly for more information or clarification using the site’s messaging system.

Step Four: Send Your Artwork

There are several ways in which you may be asked to send your artwork. There may be a submission upload option before checkout, or you may need to privately message the artist to send it as an attachment. They will usually have minimum and maximum size requirements and a list of acceptable file extensions.

Step Five: Shipping Options

These will mostly depend on which site you are ordering on. The supplier can provide a certain number of shipping options based on what they are willing to do or what is available in their area. If you would like to try a shipment option that is not listed (e.g., rushed, overnight, etc.), you can always reach out and ask the artist if they would be willing to allow that to be added.

Step Six: Cart Checkout

The cart checkout is pretty quick as registering with a shop site usually involves entering some form of payment card or linked account like PayPal. It is important to check the item number before hitting the submit button as some artists have rules against changing order amounts once it has been accepted in the system. Be sure you have everything you want chosen before checking out.

Step Seven: Updates and Communication

You will have the ability to message the seller if something comes up and your order needs to be changed. This is also a way that you can ask for a mock-up before they actually send your pin through the mail to save everyone time. Some shops automatically send email updates for each part of the process, and others do not, so if you would like updates, it is best to make sure they know.

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