Skip to content
A collection of vintage-looking pin badges in various platings and antique finishes.

How To Make Badges That Look Like Vintage Enamel Pins

Vintage enamel pins evoke a sense of retro charm that appeals to collectors and style enthusiasts. 

The allure of vintage pin badges lies in their timeless designs and the stories they tell. Whether you're an artist, a designer, or simply a lover of retro aesthetics, creating your own vintage enamel pin design can be rewarding.

Not to mention profitable.

Here's how you can use our platings, antique finishes and additional extras to make badges that capture the essence of the vintage era that resonates with modern taste and learn how to craft standout collectable pieces.

A vintage flower enamel pin with gold antique plating and red petals.

The Appeal of Vintage Enamel Pins

Before beginning the design process, it's important to understand what makes vintage enamel pins captivating. These small, decorative lapel pins often represent different eras, movements, or personal interests. 

Vintage pins might feature bold colours, intricate designs, or simple yet powerful symbols. They are more than just fashion accessories; they are miniature canvases that tell a story or convey a message.

A retro-style applause enamel pin with vintage feel. The badge looks like an applause sign with red letters.

The Design Process

Designing a vintage enamel pin is an art form that requires creativity, precision, and an eye for detail. Here's how to get started.

Research and Inspiration

To create a design that genuinely feels vintage, immerse yourself in the aesthetics of the past. Look for inspiration in:

  • Classic movies and TV shows
  • Vintage posters and advertisements
  • Old photographs and illustrations
  • Historical fashion and jewellery
  • Retro branding and packaging

Gather images and elements that resonate with the retro look you want to achieve. Pay attention to common themes, colour palettes, and typography used in the era you're focusing on.

A circular gold-plated antiquing pin badge featuring the all-seeing eye.

Sketching Your Design

Begin by sketching your ideas on paper. Don't worry about perfection at this stage; focus on getting your creative juices flowing. Experiment with different shapes, sizes, and compositions. 

Remember that enamel pins are typically small, so your design needs to be clear and recognizable even when scaled down.

Don't worry if you're not artistic; we can help you produce that vintage lapel pin with our free design service.

A gold antique plated lapel pin that features an old record player and the words

Finalizing Your Artwork

Once you're satisfied with your design, it's time to finalize the artwork. Ensure your design is clean and the colours are correctly separated for the enamel pin production process. Again, don't sweat it if you're unfamiliar with the technical requirements; we'll sort everything out for you.

A brass antique enamel pin with love heart in the middle that's surrounded by pink flowers.

Choosing the Right Materials

The materials you choose for your vintage enamel pin can significantly impact its final look and feel. Traditional enamel pins are made with metal and enamel paint, but there are different options to consider:

Metal Plating

The type of metal plating you choose will set the tone for your pin. Opt for classic finishes like gold, silver, or bronze for a truly vintage feel. Antique finishes can also add to the retro vibe and make the pin look like it's from a bygone era. 

However, we can only add antique finishes to soft enamel, die-struck, and 3D die-cast pins.

A tastefully coloured enamel pin that looks incredibly retro.

Enamel Types

Two main types of enamel are used in pin making: hard and soft. Hard enamel results in a smooth, polished surface, while soft enamel has recessed areas that create a textured finish. Soft enamel is often the preferred choice for a vintage look, as it provides depth and character to the pin.

A gold-plated badge side on to demonstrate how a pin's thickness can add to a quality feel.

Size and Thickness

Vintage enamel pins were often bold and substantial. To emulate this characteristic feel, consider creating a slightly larger and thicker metal pin.

A New York logo retro enamel badge that showcases our ability to make vintage-looking lapel pins.

Die-Struck & 3D Die-Cast Badges 

The die-striking and 3D casting processes create a textured finish that lends itself well to the classic lapel pin aesthetic. Ensure that the details of your design are not too fine or complex, as they may not translate well into the pin form. 

A collection of vintage and retro pin badges we made for our clients.

Key Takeaways

Designing vintage enamel pins is a rewarding project combining creativity and a love for retro aesthetics. By following these steps and paying attention to the details that make vintage designs unique, you can create enamel pins that are both nostalgic and appealing to modern collectors.

With a bit of research, creativity, and attention to production options, you'll be well on your way to designing badges that look like vintage enamel pins and stand the test of time.

If you're ready to get started, contact our team or check out our Instagram page for more inspiration.

Made by Cooper
28 April 2024

Made by Cooper uses cookies to provide necessary site functionality and improve your experience. By using our website, you agree to our privacy policy.