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Question about selling badges and charms! How does one make charms? How big are badges?

#1 User is offline   IcyPanther 

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 12:42 PM

Hello again everyone,

I'm excited that registration is coming closer and closer! I've been working on art as normal, but I have some questions I'm hoping some more experienced con-goers can answer.

I'm interested in making badges but I'm not sure how big they are supposed to be, the type of paper or the cost. Does anyone have any ballpark estimates?

I also really want to make little charms or keychains, but I don't know how exactly to make them. Is their a product or service that a lot of artists use to create little plastic charms? I have shrink-e-dink but I'm pretty sure that I can't print on that. Any suggestions you all have would be most helpful.

Thanks very much!

I will be attending ACen 2014 as an Artist.
You can view my merchandise at my Etsy Shop.
Or visit my DA for more samples of my chibis and prints.
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#2 User is offline   BrokenRemnantStudios 

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 12:56 AM

Hey darlin!

i've only done artist alley a few times myself, but i have learned a few things.

Charms: There's a few different options. One is Shrinky Dinks. I know some craft stores sell special printable shrinky dinks that you can use on your every day printer. Another option is simply printing and cutting the charms out on regular printing paper and then having them laminated. Granted you have to recut them, but they'll at least be durable and flexible. One last option is going through a company like Printsess.com or Zap Creatives. My bet is on Zap Creatives because their products are high quality and they're more than willing to work with you on custom orders.

Badges: This will be my first year offering badges myself, but as far as I know there are a couple ways you can do this. One is printing the badge art in the proper sizes and simply buying the blank badges at an office supply store, the other is once again having them laminated. Pain in the butt to do it, but they're durable at least :)

in terms of costs it really all depends on which option you go with and how much you're willing to spend. That is research you'll have to do :)

Hope this helps!
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#3 User is offline   IcyPanther 

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 02:12 PM

Thanks for all the help!!

I found Printiss the other day actually, but I've never heard of Zap creations. I like Printiss because they're local, but Zap does have stickers....! :wub:

When you say buy blank badges, are there actual like kits labeled "badges" or something, at like Office max? Becaue that would be very helpful! And if you laminate them, members can still write their names on the lamination, right? And it's probably a good idea to put the name of the Con and its logo on the badge too, yes? Silly questions, I know!

Thank you for your help!

View PostBrokenRemnantStudios, on 11 November 2011 - 12:56 AM, said:

Hey darlin!

i've only done artist alley a few times myself, but i have learned a few things.

Charms: There's a few different options. One is Shrinky Dinks. I know some craft stores sell special printable shrinky dinks that you can use on your every day printer. Another option is simply printing and cutting the charms out on regular printing paper and then having them laminated. Granted you have to recut them, but they'll at least be durable and flexible. One last option is going through a company like Printsess.com or Zap Creatives. My bet is on Zap Creatives because their products are high quality and they're more than willing to work with you on custom orders.

Badges: This will be my first year offering badges myself, but as far as I know there are a couple ways you can do this. One is printing the badge art in the proper sizes and simply buying the blank badges at an office supply store, the other is once again having them laminated. Pain in the butt to do it, but they're durable at least :)

in terms of costs it really all depends on which option you go with and how much you're willing to spend. That is research you'll have to do :)

Hope this helps!

I will be attending ACen 2014 as an Artist.
You can view my merchandise at my Etsy Shop.
Or visit my DA for more samples of my chibis and prints.
Feel free to message me with any suggestions or comments!

#4 User is offline   BrokenRemnantStudios 

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 03:45 PM

Hey there!

When I say badges, i mean Badge Inserts <--clicky! that will show you what i means :)

as for actual lamination, you can of course write on the lamination with a dry erase marker and still be able to wipe it off if you choose...or just use a permnanent marker for a more permanent solution.

as to putting the name of the con and such, i suppose that depends on what kind of badges you're selling. I've seen plenty of people sell/badges that don't have the con on them...simply pictures or phrases like "otaku" or "gamer" or "yaoi lover". Stuff like that

As for printsess, I've heard their products are not as high quality as zap creatives :/ but what you use is up to you


Don't hesitate to ask any more questions!
Good luck to ya!
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#5 User is offline   JujuFox 

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 05:58 PM

View PostBrokenRemnantStudios, on 11 November 2011 - 03:45 PM, said:

As for printsess, I've heard their products are not as high quality as zap creatives :/ but what you use is up to you


This person was in the booth next to me last year, and she used Printsess for her charms. But when I emailed them with a few questions they never responded. I also read elsewhere on the internet that they have bad customer service. So I myself would go with Zap even though they are overseas. The only thing is you need to order them in bulk. Right now I use shrinky dink printer paper, but even with using CMYK profiles printing is trial and error sometimes. They bake 50% darker so you have to lighten your images first. They are strong, but you have to punch the holes before baking, and you have to seal them with clear matte or glossy acrylic.
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#6 User is offline   BrokenRemnantStudios 

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Posted 11 November 2011 - 10:13 PM

Yea, i just ordered my supplies and stuff :) It's unfortunate that Printsess has such a bad rep :/
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#7 User is offline   IcyPanther 

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 10:18 AM

Thanks for all the help everyone!

I've been chatting with a Printiss person and they seem rather nice. But you say Zap has better quality? Do you happen to know what they charge for S&H, since the items are coming from Europe? xD

I have been considering Shrinkydink, but I think it'd look better to get them professionaly done. Plus, I have horrible luck with baking them -- they always curl on me :(


Thank you for the badge link, Remnant!


I'm holding off on ordering until I know I have a table :blush: Don't want to pour probably a few hundred dollars into supplies and then not be able to sell it. Still trying to decide which chibis to make into charms too -- both sites are limit 5 designs per 100. There'll probably be a poll up at some point with that question too! xD
I will be attending ACen 2014 as an Artist.
You can view my merchandise at my Etsy Shop.
Or visit my DA for more samples of my chibis and prints.
Feel free to message me with any suggestions or comments!

#8 User is offline   BrokenRemnantStudios 

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Posted 12 November 2011 - 05:58 PM

Zap definitely has better quality. I know of a few people who got their items from Printsess who claim their products are simply laser cut pieces of plastic with stickers on them. Zap actually burns the image onto the plastic. As for Zap's shipping and handling, that's something you'd have to check their website for.
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#9 User is offline   thatreevesgirl 

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 07:35 PM

Best badge size is 3 x 4. It is usually listed as a hunting license size on laminating websites. Get at least 5 mil. 7 mil is good. 10 mil is what I use, but most laminators won't laminate that thickness on one pass. Usually you can get them to laminate by sending them through twice on some laminators. You must have a laminator to use the heat seal ones. Don't not use the heat seal ones though, because cold seal are crappy. So, um, get a laminator.

I get mine on laminationdepot.com but I only get them when they are on sale or clearance there, because regular prices are cheaper at a couple other lamination sites.

Edit: http://www.laminatio...nating-Pouches/ these are the ones you want.

This post has been edited by thatreevesgirl: 12 December 2011 - 07:37 PM


#10 User is offline   IcyPanther 

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 08:34 PM

:D Thanks for the help, everyone!
I've been doing my laminating by hand and it seems to be working okay thus far :3nod: I've decided not to do badges, just because my table is already pretty full ^^; But I can't wait to see other people's badges -- do you make custom ones, thatreevesgirl?
I will be attending ACen 2014 as an Artist.
You can view my merchandise at my Etsy Shop.
Or visit my DA for more samples of my chibis and prints.
Feel free to message me with any suggestions or comments!

#11 User is offline   thatreevesgirl 

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 11:09 PM

View PostIcyPanther, on 12 December 2011 - 08:34 PM, said:

:D Thanks for the help, everyone!
I've been doing my laminating by hand and it seems to be working okay thus far :3nod: I've decided not to do badges, just because my table is already pretty full ^^; But I can't wait to see other people's badges -- do you make custom ones, thatreevesgirl?

Depends on whether I have electricity at the table or remember the laminator. It is the number one item I forget to bring to cons. I prefer to do other forms of commissions. Badges can take longer and have way more cost than doing a 11 x 17 sketch sometimes.

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