DIY Photo Buttons: A Step-By-Step Guide To Making Your Own Picture Badges

Looking for a unique way to showcase your favourite photos? DIY photo buttons are the perfect option! With just a few simple steps, you can turn any picture into an eye-catching button that can be worn or displayed.

Whether you’re looking to make something special for yourself or create personalised gifts for friends and family, this step-by-step guide will help you get started on making your own stylish photo badges. So let’s get crafting!

What you'll need 

Your photos, printable material, a printer, scissors or a Xacto knife, a cutting matt, button casings, button machine (optional)

Select your photo carefully 

When selecting your photo for making a DIY photo button, it is important to choose an image that will fit well in the limited space available. It should not include too many details as this could make the picture difficult to see clearly when printed out and cut into a small circle.

Instead, look for photos with bold colours and clear images that can easily be seen on a small scale. This will ensure you get the best possible results from your project!

Make your image print ready

Making something print-ready means that you set your file up to print exactly what you see on screen. This might sound straightforward, but there are quite a few things to consider. For more details and tutorials, read our article on how to prepare your photo for custom buttons.

High resolution to avoid pixelation

Selecting a high-resolution image is essential for avoiding pixelation when making DIY photo buttons. DPI stands for "dots per inch", and it refers to the number of dots or pixels that make up an image.

The higher the DPI, the better quality your picture will be, so you should aim for at least 300 DPI when selecting images to print out on your project. This will ensure that all the details are clearly visible in your finished product without any unwanted pixelation.

Add a bleed

A bleed is an area of a design that extends beyond the finished size of the project. It's important to add a bleed when creating DIY photo buttons so that any small variations in cutting will not leave white edges on the finished product.

This ensures that your button looks professional and polished, with no unsightly gaps or blank spots. The usual size for a bleed is 2mm all around, but it can vary depending on the project you are working on.

By adding this extra margin to your design, you can make sure that even if there are slight errors in cutting or placement, they won’t be visible once your button is complete!

Set your colours to CMYK

When creating digital designs, understanding the difference between RGB and CMYK colours is essential. RGB stands for red, green, and blue and is used in digital displays such as monitors and phones.

CMYK contains cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black) and is used by printers to create high-quality prints. Setting your artwork to CMYK before printing will ensure that you get a good quality print with accurate colour reproduction.

This is because printers work with CMYK rather than RGB - so setting your colours correctly will help avoid any unexpected surprises when it comes time to print!

Determine the final size

Before you send your design off to be printed, it is essential that you view your design at scale. This will give you an accurate representation of what the finished button will look like and ensure that all elements are correctly placed and sized.

By viewing the design at actual size, you can make sure that everything fits in place as expected and all details are visible from even a small distance.

Additionally, this step allows for any necessary adjustments to be made before sending it to print - so don’t skip it!

Recommended reading: What is a photo button?

Choose your printable material 

When it comes to selecting printable material for your DIY photo button project, it is important to choose a material that will provide the best results. For ease of use, you can look for pre-cut sheets with an adhesive backing.

This means that you won't have to worry about measuring and cutting out your own pieces – just peel and stick for a professional finish.

Alternatively, you can purchase larger sheets of printable material which will require some cutting before use.

Print your photo at the desired size 

Once you are satisfied with your design, it’s time to send it off for printing. Make sure to select the correct paper size when sending your project off to ensure the finished product is the correct size.

If you are printing on a larger sheet of paper, remember to check that your design will fit within the margins before sending it off.

Cut (or peel) your prints 

Now that you have printed out your project, it’s time for the fun part: cutting! For pre-printed sheets with an adhesive backing, simply peel off the backing and press your prints onto the button casings.

If you are using larger sheets of paper, cut out the individual photos with scissors or an Xacto knife on a cutting matt. Once each photo has been cut into a small circle, slide it into the casing and secure it in place by pressing down firmly.

Slide the photo into the casings 

Once your photos have been cut to size, slide them into the casings and secure them in place. If you are using a button machine, simply load up the casing with your photo and press down firmly to secure it in place.

For those without access to a button machine, you can easily make DIY photo buttons with just a few simple steps: cut a circle from your printable material, place the photo into the casing and press down firmly to secure it in place.

Or use your button machine 

For those with access to a button machine, this is a great way to make professional-looking DIY photo buttons. Simply follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to load up the casing and press down firmly for a secure fit.

With a button machine, you can quickly and easily make DIY photo buttons with minimal effort – perfect for those looking for a quick and easy project that still looks great!

By following these steps, you will be able to create beautiful photo buttons of your own in no time. Whether you decide to use pre-cut sheets or cut your own pieces, the result will be a professional-looking button that you can wear proudly. So gather your supplies, get creative and start making those beautiful results from your project!


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