What does a Button Maker do?

Mother of pearl buttons.

A button maker is a term used to describe a machine used to create buttons and a computer software application. There are two main categories of physical buttons: clothing and temporary buttons. Clothing buttons are attached to materials or clothing by thread sewing and are used to hold different pieces of material together or as a decorative accessory. Temporary buttons are self-contained units that have a pin on the back. They are attached to display a message or image and can be removed. Computer software buttons are integrated into graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for program users.

The physical button making machine is a combination of a metal press and a hole punch. For clothing buttons, the machine is typically found in a large production plant. The actual button is designed by a fashion designer, complete with the material, hole location, size, and any design elements. Typically, modern buttons are crafted from high-viscosity plastic, but they can also be made from bone, wood, or fabric.

The button design details are programmed into the machine press. If the button is made of plastic, a machine is used to heat the plastic and then pour it into the prepared molds. Once cooled, the buds are placed in a machine press, which creates the holes. A polishing unit sands the edges and gives it a high shine.

Buttons made of wood or bone have a different process. The source material is fed into a machine, which creates as many buttons as possible, reducing material waste. Additional steps are used to create the holes, make the design changes, and sand the button. A varnish bath is used to add a high gloss finish and protect the bud from damage.

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Temporary buttons are made with a manual button press and are a popular hobby. The button maker creates a graphic or image inside a button template on a piece of paper. The image is placed inside a plastic button box and a metal stand is added. The metal bracket includes holes to insert a safety pin. The entire item is placed by pressing the button and the user applies force to gather the materials.

Computer software buttons are normally lines of computer code. An image or graphic file can be used as a button. When the user clicks the button with the computer mouse, background programming determines what action occurs when the button is pressed. There are a wide variety of button maker websites that sell pre-programmed buttons for commonly used functions.

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