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What Are Enamel Pins Used For?

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Unless you have been living under a rock, you have likely noticed that enamel pins have started to increase in popularity. Their varieties of both color and style have led to their use as an expression of individuality amongst people of all ages.

You might not be sure why these pins are so popular, and that’s okay. You perhaps aren’t one hundred percent sure what enamel pins are or how they are supposed to be used, and that’s okay too. This article is here to help. Here you will find everything you need to know about enamel pins and their uses.

What are enamel pins?

An enamel pin is a metal pin with some kind of decorative enamel on it. The pins themselves can be made of steel, aluminum, copper, brass, or iron. They are polished smooth and then the recessed areas of your design are filled with various types of enamel for decoration.

They are also occasionally called lapel pins. Pins can be used on clothing, a bag, or essentially any piece of fabric. The enamel of the pins can be anything you like. There are millions of different individual pins available for you to buy, whether you are purchasing them from a collector, an Etsy store, or some other marketplace.

What are enamel pins used for?

Enamel pins are the perfect medium to get across a message, an idea, a style, or simply cause someone to smile. They are an expression of your personality and creativity, your brand’s purpose, and more.

Since they can be anything you like, there is likely one that suits you and your personality incredibly well.

Another common use for these pins is to show some kind of affiliation. Whether it is to a person, country, team, or organization.

For example, if you see someone wearing a pink bow you associate that bow with someone who is supporting cancer research.

Why are enamel pins so popular?

Enamel pins are increasing in popularity because of how affordable they are becoming. You can pick up a unique and interesting pin for just a few bucks in some places. If you are after a rare pin you may be paying more, but it isn’t going to break the bank.

Then, you have to consider that they are one of the only unisex pieces of “jewelry”. Whether you are a man or a woman, boy or girl, there are going to be hundreds of pins you find appealing. This accessibility to everyone of all interests has caused them to jump in popularity.

Another reason they are so popular is that they are acceptable in business settings. For example, if you are someone who has to wear a suit every day per company policy you aren’t going to be able to express any creativity or personal flair into your outfit each day. There is not an awful lot that you can do with a suit except having an interesting tie.

With enamel pins, you can find professional, classy, interesting pins and use them to spice up your outfit. It could be a little salute to your favorite sports team, a charity you support, or just something that you find cool. Enamel pins don’t need to be deep and meaningful, sometimes they are just cool so you decide to wear one.

How many types of enamel pins are there?

There are many different types of enamel pins to choose from, that being said there are two main brackets that these pins fall under. First, there are soft enamel pins. Second, you have a hard enamel. While they are both pretty similar, with similar functions, they have a few distinct differences. Here is an easy way to tell the difference:

Soft enamel

Soft enamel pins are cheaper for the manufacturer because less time goes into making them. They have a very rigid finish and are much less smooth. They are cheaper to buy for you, the consumer.

Because of their finish, they have somewhat of a 3D effect as compared to hard enamel pins. You have more freedom with soft enamel pins, they just won’t be as high-quality.

Hard enamel

Hard enamel pins take a lot more work to make them smooth and flush. They aren’t going to be as intricate or vivid, though they will be much sturdier than their soft enamel counterparts. They are perfect for a simple glossy finish, rather than complicated patterns.

Which enamel pin should I use?

Which type of enamel pin is right for you depends on two factors; budget and purpose. If you are looking for a pin to stick on your backpack to make it stand out, using soft enamel pins would be better. They are cheaper for you to buy, more decorative, and there are going to be far more options available for you.

On the other hand, if you are looking for an enamel pin to hand out at your companies event in a very professional setting you would want to use hard enamel. The harder enamel pins will look and feel like they are of better quality than their soft counterpart.

Can I make enamel pins myself?

You likely can’t make enamel pins yourself at home. You will need a lot of special equipment and casting molten metal is very dangerous.

But, that being said you can design your pins online. Many companies, such as Cheappins, will design your pin idea for free and then manufacture them on your behalf. This is typically done in bulk, not individual pins. Some Etsy artists create individual pins that you design, though for a hefty price.


In summary, the uses of enamel pins are almost entirely open. The possibilities are endless. Many people choose to collect ones they find particularly interesting or ones that are quite rare. You may even be able to make some money buying and then selling them online. Many of Cheappins customers are resellers of their own custom pins, which can be a fun side hustle.

Hopefully, you now have a good idea about the two types of enamel pins and which one might be best for you. There is no right or wrong when it comes to wearing enamel pins, some just might be better suited for certain situations.

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