What are Enamel Pins?
Enamel pins are typically die struck pins that are filled in with an enamel paint. The enamel ensures that the color on the pin doesn’t chip off quickly and is usually bright and opaque.
When I hear enamel pins I immediately think of backpacks. When people get enamel pins that they really like, usually they show them off. What better way to do that than to pin them to your backpack, so people can see them as you walk down the hallway at school? Enamel pins can be customized to be anything, so students can search for pins from their favorite shows, books, and even bands. Bands frequently sell enamel pins as merch because it is free advertising for them, as well as collecting pins is slowly becoming popular again. Sometimes bands will do limited runs of pin sets. Pin sets tend to range from 2-5 pins on a themed cardboard insert. Fans either keep these sealed to keep them all together, or pin them to their backpack or lanyard to brag that they got special pins.
Iconic Custom Enamel Pins
Have you ever been to Disneyland or Disney World? If so, I’m sure you’ve seen tons of people walking around with lanyards covered in pins. Even the workers have them! These pins are sold in shops so you can collect all your favorite Disney characters. What makes the Disney pin collecting market so special is that many collectors like to trade, similar to card collectors. Disney has special pins that only cast members can get, so they are encouraged to trade those pins to the park visitors when they can. It becomes a game of collecting all the pins from various released sets, and it helps build a sense of community. All of this interaction over a small enamel pin.
Many schools, clubs, and organizations use enamel pins to represent an achievement. Some middle schools made pins for their honor roll and perfect attendance students. The pins could be displayed on the students’ lanyard. Organizations like the National Speakers Association, NSA, have enamel pins made for their members to celebrate the benchmark years of being a member. They have pins made for every 5 years someone has been a member. Guitar Center sends out pins to their employees who have passed certain training programs. Enamel pins are a convenient way to congratulate someone on an accomplishment because they are small and easy to display, whether it is on a lanyard, back pack, or even just a polo shirt.
Displaying Custom Pins
Regardless of where the pins came from, a great way to keep them on display is to make a pin board. Pin boards are usually a picture frame that has either a piece of cork board or a piece of cardboard covered in a velvety material. The cardboard route requires you to have another backing piece so the metal backs of the pins don’t scratch the wall the board is hung up on. There are also frames made specifically for holding pins, they just usually cost a little more.