Lapel Pins-The Ultimate Guide

Table of Contents

If you’re looking to understand lapel pins or want to start a business in this field, this article will cover the basic knowledge, starting from scratch. I’m confident that by the end of this read, you’ll have a grasp on lapel pins, learn how to customize them, and know how to kick off your pin business. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, this article is suitable for you.

I. What is a Lapel Pin?

A lapel pin is a small metal emblem adorned with designs or text. On the back, it has a pin with a clutch that allows it to be fastened onto clothing, bags, or hats as a decorative accessory.

II. What Is The Usage For Lapel Pins?

Lapel pins have a multitude of uses and generally fall into the following categories:

Fashion accessories to express individuality

Fashion accessories

In public places, it’s common to see young people born in the ’90s and ’00s wear badges that represent their personal attitudes. Also, they youngs like putting their favorite anime characters lapel pins and plants lapel pins on their clothes and bags, instantly making an ordinary bag stand out. Pins can also serve as a conversation topic, discussing with your friends about your favorites and fashion trendy.



At supermarkets, banks, and golf clubs, and more organizations, the working people usually wear lapel pins on the left chest, showcasing a company’s logo or club membership, giving the wearer a high level of recognition.

Tourist Souvenirs

Tourist Souvenirs pin

As part of cultural merchandise, pins are becoming increasingly popular. For instance, at well-known tourist attractions like the Forbidden City in China, the Great Wall, or the Tower of London, lapel pins are a common find in boutique stores.

Giveaway Gifts

Giveaway Gifts Pin

Some Companies and supermarkets use pins for promotions because of their affordable prices and ability to advertise a brand. A well-designed pin can also become a collector’s item.

III. How To Wear A Lapel Pin?

Badges can be used to adorn hats, clothes, and bags. There is no specific placement required—wherever you like, you can put them. However, they should not be pinned on down jackets, as the pin will damage your down jackets.

IV. Why Lapel Pins Are Expensive?

Some pin beginner say “wow, how come the small badge is so expensive”.

Because customizing badges requires set up mold, there’s a mold fee for the first order, which making small quantities looks more expensive. anyway, when you order 150PCS or more, the price is much cost-effective.

However, the cost will decrease with repeated orders.

To learn the specific reason, please read Why Are Enamel Pins So Expensive?

V. How To Tell Lapel Pins Quality?

How To Tell Lapel Pins Quality

Among some of our customers, they have some difficulty to recognize how to tell the lapel pin quality. When determining the quality of a badge, Please check the following standards:

1. Size Accuracy.

Upon receiving your badge, first, you need to check its dimensions, if as per your specifications. Sizes are typically in inches or millimeters, and a deviation of about 3mm is acceptable.

2. Color

Check the color if matching the requested Pantone number .We refer to the Pantone Solid coated color number. It’s important to remember that due to different screen resolutions, the color displayed on screens may vary. A discrepancy of up to 10% is normal.

3. Smoothness of Edges

The edges of the product should be smooth, without any roughness. Burrs can cause scratches and are an indicator of poor quality.

4. Enamel Paints

The enamel or paint surface should be free from impurities and should not bleed into other areas. Both enamel and paint are applied in solid colors, filled in distinct blocks. For example, a section that should be green but appears red indicates incorrect enamel painting.

Furthermore, if the enamel contains many impurities or appears dirty, this is also a sign of poor quality.

5. Pin Backs.

The pin should not be bent or detached. Badge pins rarely bend or detach, but it can occur, especially if the product is large or heavy.

We’ve experienced this before with a Canadian customer: She ordered 200PCS spinner pins, we did 100% quality check and show her pictures and video, and she was quite happy and looking forward to see the products in person. Unfortunately, when she received the products and open the parcle, saw that many pin backs bent, we studied the case, and saw that  the pin was bent upon arrival due to the weight of the product and rough handling during shipping. To prevent such incidents happen again, we carefully pack each piece in bubble wrap for the big and heavy pins orders.

How To Keep Pins From Falling Off

6. Function Workable

For functional badges, check if the features work correctly, such as sliding or rotating.

If you order a rotating or sliding badge, inspect them to ensure functionality good. If a sliding badge doesn’t move, it’s likely been assembled too tightly, it is impossible for you to fix.

7. Plating

Firstly, plating refers to the metal color on the badge surface.

Secondly, if plating peels off, it seldom happens. but it may. It is easy to check, just look at the front and backside.

8. Spelling of letters and words.

Lapel pins display logos, company names, or any message you wish to convey. After receiving your order, check to ensure all letters and words are spelled correctly.


VI. What Is The Material Of Lapel Pins?

Badges are generally made from either metal or PVC.

Metal can be further categorized into: iron, zinc alloy, and copper. Common badges are usually made of iron or zinc alloy.

Iron is typically used for badges with regular shapes and without any cutouts in the design.

Zinc alloy is used for badges with complex shapes or 3D designs.

Regardless of the metal used, the products are designed to be rust-resistant, ensuring longevity and maintaining their appearance over time.


VII. The Different Types Of Lapel Pins

In terms of craftsmanship, badges can be categorized into several types:

Hard Enamel Pins

Hard Enamel badges represent the highest quality in the badge category. They have a smooth surface that exudes a high-end feel and possess a certain collectible value. With normal use, they can last up to ten years. Due to their premium quality, they are also suitable for necklace pendants and bracelet charms. Many luxury brands like LV and Gucci use enamel for their jewelry. Hard Enamel products are slightly more expensive, but they are worth the investment for their quality and durability.

Soft Enamel Pins

Like hard enamel badges, painted badges are very common. When you run your fingers across the surface, you can feel the raised metal lines which many find pleasing to touch. soft enamel pinss are commonly used for sports pins, promotional items, and commemorative designs.

Printed Pins

Printed badges are best for complex designs with gradient colors. They can capture and display the intricacies of a design perfectly.

3D Pins

3D badges feature a three-dimensional design on the front, offering a visually unique appeal. They are ideal for logos with fewer colors and a desire for a tactile dimension.

Spinner Pins

Since 2022, spinner badges have become a trend favored by badge enthusiasts. They make badges not just visually appealing but also interactive and fun.

For young people who find decision-making challenging, these badges have become popular with themes like “what to eat,” “what game to play,” “where to go,” and “which to choose.” Additionally, they serve as a stress-relief toy; spinning them can be quite entertaining and help forget worries.

Spinner badges are typically made up of several pieces, making them more expensive than standard badges.

Slider Pins

Slider badges indicate that the badge has a sliding component. They consist of two parts and often depict something movable, like a playful dog whose head can waggle from side to side or a cat cat peeking out from behind a door. These, however, are manual and do not move automatically.

Hinged Pins

Book-style badges can open and close like a book. These badges aren’t very popular due to their higher cost and less engaging nature.

Badges serve various purposes across different scenarios, such as:

Military Pins

Military badges are typically used in the armed forces, including the Navy, Army, or Fire Department, and feature the department’s logo and slogan.

Police Badges

Police badges carry the word “police” along with the police force’s logo or slogan.

Hat Pins

Hat badges are designed to be attached to caps. Many millennials express their individuality by pinning badges on their hats to show personal attitude. Hat badges are becoming increasingly popular.

Based on Usage, lapel pins can be classified into:

Company Logo Pins

Company pins shows company culture. Many large corporations, such as Google and PayPal, require its employees wearing company badges to reflect company’s identity..

Pop Culture Badges

Pop culture badges cover a wide range of groups, like the Black community, cat lovers, etc. They often feature logos or slogans that are popular in their communities.

Religious Pins

Religious badges are mainly worn by followers of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, etc., for group activities, fundraising, or sales.

National Flag Pins

Popular national flag badges include those of the United States, Australia, or crossed flags of two different countries.

Designer Lapel Pins

Talented designers turn their own designs into lapel pins. It is a good way to monetization. If you are a designer, why NOT do it?

Animal Badges

Animal badges depict various adorable animals and are quite popular.

Anime Badges

Anime badges feature characters from various anime series and are trendy in the market.

Anniversary Badges

Anniversary badges are used to recognize employee milestones, such as 1-year service, 3-year service, 10-year service, and so on.

Sports Badges

Common sports badges include those for football, basketball, and rugby, typically used for sports event.

School Badges

School badges symbolize the institution, often engraved with the school’s emblem and name, and used within educational settings.


VIII. Different Metal Finish of lapel pins

Badges often feature the following types of electroplating: gold, silver, gunmetal, black, red copper, antique bronze, and antique nickel.

IX. The Common Size Of Lapel Pins

Common badge sizes include 0.5”, 0.75”, 1”, 1.25”, 1.5”, 1.75”, and 2”. Smaller sizes are great for simple designs, as the limited space focuses on the essentials. For complex designs with rich details, consider 1.5” or larger to ensure every feature is showcased beautifully.

X. The Add-on of lapel pins

Badges can be enhanced with a variety of additional crafts to make them look unique, such as adding glitter powder, epoxy, die-cut, printing, sequential numbering, or a logo on the back. These touches can make your badge stand out as something truly special.

XI. Various Types of Lapel Pin Attachments

The most commonly used badge accessories include:

  • Butterfly clutches
  • Rubber backs
  • Safety pins
  • Magnets
  • 3M adhesive backing

The  butterfly clutch is the most popular choice. Of course, you can select different types of accessories based on the intended use and personal preference.

XII. Lapel Pins Package Options

Typical packaging options include individual OPP bags, velvet pouches, acrylic boxes, velvet boxes, and paper boxes. Boxes are generally used for gift packaging.

XIII. How Lapel Pins Are Made?

Let’s walk through the badge-making process:

Design artwork – engrave mold – stamping – solder accessories – electroplating – coloring – adding glitter (optional) – applying AP (optional) – packaging – shipping.

Please read: How lapel pins are made?

You may to want to know How To Make Enamel Pins- Step by Step Guide

How to start lapel pin business in Etsy

XIV. How to start lapel pin business in Etsy?

Step 1: Market Research:

As you mentioned, start by choosing a theme, understanding which types of pins are most popular.

Study the pricing, design styles, and marketing strategies of competitors.

Step 2: Design Your Pins:

Create unique pin designs that consider the preferences of your target market.

Determine the colors, sizes, shapes, and materials for the pins.

Step 3: Prototyping and Production:

Create card designs for displaying pins, which also promote your brand.

Choose the right supplier for manufacturing your pins. As a manufacturer, you can leverage your factory’s advantages.

Step 4: Setting Up an Etsy Shop:

Register for an Etsy seller account and set up your shop according to the platform’s guidelines.

Take high-quality photos of your products and write enticing product descriptions.

Pricing Strategy:

Set reasonable prices based on production costs, shipping fees, and market prices.

Logistics and Inventory Management:

Choose reliable logistics partners to ensure timely delivery.

Manage inventory to keep a steady supply of products.


Marketing and Promotion:

Use social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook for promotion.

Utilize Etsy’s internal advertising system to promote your products.

Consider collaborative marketing, like partnering with pop culture blogs or social media influencers.

Customer Service:

Provide excellent customer service and respond promptly to customer inquiries.

Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews.

Monitoring and Optimization:

Regularly check shop performance and customer feedback.

Continuously adjust your product line and marketing strategies according to customer needs and market trends.

Remember, as an Etsy seller, you need to comply with the platform’s rules and policies, including those regarding copyrights and trademarks. Ensure that you have the rights to sell the designs, especially if they involve well-known anime characters or trademarks.

Starting an Etsy shop is an ongoing learning process. You may need to adapt to market changes and constantly refine your business strategy. Best of luck with your lapel pin business!

XV. Conclusion

After reading this article, do you have an idea of what badges are like? Would you like to customize your own unique badge?

Looking For a Reliable Supplier For Custom Lapel Pins and Patches?

Your Search Is Over! Pinsfun is a professional designer and manufacturer in China. Direct Factory Price.Shipping Worldwide. Get a FREE Quote Now!

Footer- Blog 通用
Share The Post Now:

Hey there, I am Wendy

wendy (1)

We are the professional source of Lapel Pins & Patches based in China, with moderate factory price and best customer service. How can I help you?

ASK for a free quote

Fill out the form below, and we will be in touch shortly.
Get A FREE Quote


Fill out the form below, and we will be in touch shortly.
Get FREE Samples