How can I reuse or recycle a LOT of pinback buttons/badges?

(Ooops, sorry for the absence – I was busy then ill because I’d been busy and also ill because I ate some tasted-fine-but-actually-bad out of date sausages. Yes.)

Right then, Nicole has been in touch asking about “pinback buttons”:

I have thousands of pinback buttons from a failed work campaign. Would love to make them over into something pretty and/or useful. Any suggestions?

I think “pinback buttons” are what we in Britain usually just call “badges” – which we have covered before. There are some great reuses on there (I love fabric covered badges) but I’m not sure if that’s an appropriate suggestion for Nicole – unless she wants to make thousands of them. The decorative pinboard pins idea might be better – since you’d use a good number on a pinboard at a time – unless the campaign failed so badly that you don’t want to be reminded of it ;)

Any more ideas for using up a lot of pinback buttons/badges?

(Photo by Ellen Munro)

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13 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle a LOT of pinback buttons/badges?”

  1. Cate B says:

    If you’re ever in Bristol check out the Colston Hall foyer. They’ve just had a complete renovation and have set old badges into the plaster on the wall. They look so effective, particularly as it’s a live music venue and all the badges are bands’ logos/albums etc. Clearly only feasible if you’re about to plaster a wall and you will need lots of badges to create a really effective display but I thought it was worth mentioning.

  2. anna says:

    You can usually also change the image in the badge.
    I’d love to use some for crafts (like 1-2 lb of them even).
    So you could always ask some friends doing crafts with them, make some surprise badges (change the image) as small gifts for friends, or see if anyone would want to buy them via ebay or freecycle etc. And I think most local charity shops wouldn’t mind selling the badges bagged (like a handful in each or a few pounds).

  3. Victoria says:

    I’m all for taking a crafty angle to this recycling dilemma! Why not remove the image already in the badge and either re-crafting them with a new image and selling them on etsy or ebay, or donating the blank badges? If this is too much work, then I’d go for the magnet or pin idea!

  4. bookstorebabe says:

    Make a large art piece! Spray paint them, pin then to a piece of canvas (or glue, or whatever works) overlapping them-now, wouldn’t they look like scales then? Make a fish, a dragon. a crocodile…

  5. Medeea says:

    Something you might consider

    Take a simple bag and decorate with the badges.

  6. Olia says:

    -Pin several around elastic and wear as bracelet. Make hair bands.
    -Patch up halls in a wall.
    -Make stepping stone and push them into cement.
    -Use instead of safety pins.
    -Make a ring.
    -Take two of the same size, remove pins. Paint brown, then place round piece of white foam in between and glue all together. You now have decorative Oreo cookie. :)

  7. Uluska says:

    Choose a dozen of them in descending sizes, remove pins, paint green. Now glue them on top of each other to look like tiny Christmas tree!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Pin them alongside your jeans to look funky.

  9. Olia says:

    Glue photographs on them and keep in a bowl on a coffee table for a conversation starter.

  10. Olia says:

    Paint them gold, place in a jar and dig into a ground. Draw a map. Now let your kids find the treasure.

  11. Verbal says:

    Create display of them by attaching them all over styrofoam sphere or cylinder, etc.

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