New Zipper Pulls

Supplies have arrived, so I’ve updated the back options in my store to include zipper pulls for 1.25″ buttons. Now I’m working on illusion photos so you can see what the designs will look like on zipper pulls.

Illusion photos are not actual photographs… the image is created by dropping the button design behind a “digital photo template” on the computer, then exporting the image as a png or jpg photo file. It is a great way to see what a button will look like without wasting supplies and it also eliminates light issues that I have while trying to snap clear photos of small objects with shiny surfaces.

I don’t have a display template for zipper pulls… a quick search on Etsy found one for 1″ zipper pulls (link here) but, not in 1.25″ so I made my own clip art by snapping a real photo and removing the background, &c. It’s not the best… but it does give folks an idea of what the button will look like as a zipper pull.

Here’s what it looks with some of my designs:

I added the URL note because I’m thinking about using that photo to promote my business.

BTW, notice how the blue “Christian” and “#resist” printed darker than my original design? (If you want to compare, I posted an illusion photo in my Breaking Silence post.) Yeah, that’s one of those surprise color shifts that can happen when you design in GIMP, which uses an RGB color system, and print on high end machines that use CYMK color technology. Some surprises are cool as can be… like when a gold color displays yellowish on the computer and prints shiny gold… but some send me back to the drawing board. I should pick a different blue, but leaving it dark gives a dual meaning since there are people so brainwashed by the Religious Right that they cannot see or believe Christians can be liberals or Democrats.

Well, I best end this before I go rambling off on another soap box… thanks for reading!



Photo Buttons

There are 2 different ways to make 2.25″ photo buttons:

  1. Cut a perfect 2.250″ circle out of an actual photograph, then put that real photo onto the button. (I have a special paper punch for that.) I call these “BYO Photo Buttons” because you bring your own photos in to be cut and mounted.
  2. Crop a circle out of a digital photograph, scale if needed, add text if desired, create a pdf sheet of the photos for the printers, hop the bus down to Boardman to have the pdf professionally printed, then cut out the printed images and make buttons.

Most people photos are NOT sized right for BYO Photo Buttons, a head is too close to the edge or something, but it is great for vacation shots and other cool pictures. We can use a “view card” to see if it is possible. Please have copies made first… I do not want to cut up your one and only treasured photograph.

Some digital photos are not sized right either… what you want on the button may not be centered.  Some are like this photo of my sister and our beloved Aunt… if I cropped a perfect circle, half my sister’s face would get cut off.  I opted to crop a bigger circle (even though both the top and bottom of the photo did not reach the circle edges) and placed it on a black background, then added words.

And here it is without words… scaled a little larger.

Jai & Betty

Some images scale just fine… no background required. Some need background up the sides.. I try to match colors, if possible. Thing is… I really don’t know until I play. So, if you don’t want any added background, choose a photo with LOTS of space around the main image you want on top of the button.

A word about digital photos: the bigger the better!

That’s bigger as in size and resolution. What looks good on Facebook or your cell phone screen may NOT look good printed on a button… digital images for social media are often a low res, like 72 dpi, so they end up looking grainy or fuzzy when printed.

I’ve done some buttons with cell phone photos that turned out great… it depends on your phone and settings. Go for the best quality. If scanning photos to email, go for high res, like 300 dpi. And size? If you have a choice, scan the largest photo. Yes, a 5×7 or 8×10 will result in a better button than a wallet size photo as buttons always look better if I have to scale images down than what they do if I have to scale up.

Thanks for reading!

Sneak Peek: 2.25″ Mirrors


Coming soon… 2.25″ Pins, Magnets, and Pocket Mirrors!

I am waiting for supplies to arrive. In the meanwhile, I am playing with a display template purchased from Templates4Sellers on Etsy.  Of course, I will make a real mirror with the same image to compare, make sure they both look the same.

Yes, I decided to use professional templates for online displays just like the major retailers do… like when you look at a dress online that is available in different fabrics, you click on the swatch and the image shows you what your dress will look like in your choice of fabric.  It is kind of like that, but no clicking involved.  The picture that goes on the button is inserted into the template, then saved as a PNG or JPG file.

Using display templates will save me hours of failed photographic attempts. I am not very good at photographing small shiny objects and, to state the obvious, mirrors are highly reflective. I may use templates for other buttons, too.

Thanks for reading!