Create Your Own Lapel Pins With This Simple DIY

Pins are my favorite type of flair.

From a denim to a leather jacket, these little guys look adorbs on just about anything you stick them on.

While they're super cute, they can also be a bit too pricy for my liking.

So what's a girl to do when she has a pin obsession and no money? DIY some of her very own, of course.

With a little help from THIS tutorial, I created a set of emoji pins. Follow the step-by-step guide below so you can do the very same.

Here are all the tools you'll need for this arts and crafts project:

  • White plastic shrink film
  • A black Sharpie
  • Sandpaper
  • Acrylic craft paint
  • Clear gloss acrylic sealer
  • Paint brushes
  • Pin backs
  • Hot glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Parchment paper
  • Baking sheet
  • Water

Crafting tools to create DIY lapel pins

Before you can trace your designs onto the shrink film, you need to rough it up a bit with the sandpaper. This will help the paint stick to the surface better.

Shrink film paper with sandpaper on top of it

Once you've done that, you can go ahead and trace your designs on the shrink film.

I chose to create some emoji pins, along with the logo for one of my favorite bands, The Maine. When I placed the images I was going to trace onto one sheet, I made sure to resize them to be about 3 inches wide.

Pictures of emojis to be traced

My tracing skills aren't the best, which is kind of sad when you think about it. It also didn't help that it was a bit difficult to see the designs through the shrink film.

No matter, I still managed to transfer the designs over. It was also a relief knowing that these bad boys were going to shrink down to be pretty small.

DIY emoji pins traced onto shrink film

Next, it was on to adding some color to these little guys. I grabbed all the acrylic paint I could find and went to town.

Important note: The paint you use needs to be thinned down with some water, otherwise it will be a clumpy mess on the film once it's shrunken down.

DIY emoji pins painted

When I was finished painting, I cut out the soon-to-be-emoji-pins and placed them atop some parchment paper and a baking sheet.

Then I put the tray into the oven, which was heated to 250 degrees, and set a timer for 15 minutes.

Lapel pins before being shrunken down

After what felt like an eternity, the timer went off and my pins had been shrunken down to their appropriate size.

Lapel pins shrunken down

Then came the not so fun part of going over them with the gloss acrylic sealer.

This kind of messed them up a bit, but looking at them now, I realize they don't look that bad. Except the heart eyes emoji one. That one was a little bit too wonky for my liking.

And to fully bring these pins to life, I hot-glued the pin backs onto them once the sealer dried. Voila!

Set of DIY emoji pins

To be honest, this DIY took more time than I was expecting, but I'm pretty happy with the results. You can bet I'll be rocking them on the reg, especially The Maine logo pin.

The great thing about this tutorial is that you can create just about any pin your little heart desires. I may have opted for emojis, but the possibilities are endless.


Need to add some color to your life? DIY THIS magical rainbow pizza.