Buttons, Buttons and more Buttons (2006)

Well, if you can tell by the name of the thread, it all about BUTTONs. From cool designs to how your buttons are made, basically everything of BUTTONs discuss here.

P. S: I am working on a button coat and would like to have every and anyone team’s buttons, so private message and I get send an envelope or give your my address. I got one button so far and hopefully can get a 1000 buttons this season, that’s my goal. Thanks

This is from one regional. I know I have three more piles like this.

One question approx how many Buttons should be brought to a competition?

A lot. Many. Actually, a couple hundred should do the trick.

Bring just a few more than you will be giving out.

Realize that it’s quite likely that you will be giving out a lot more than you estimate, and almost as likely that you won’t give out nearly as many as you think you will. One way to get around that uncertainty is to give a specific number of buttons to each attending team, and one way to do that is to have your pit scouts distribute buttons as they visit each team’s pit.

Depends on how many you want to give out. If you just leave them out on your table you can probably get away with 200 or 300, but if you actively give them out take the number of teams at your regional and figure 10 or 12 per team.

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Yay for lucky number 7!
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math is our friend:

40 teams at a regional

average of 20 people per team => 800 buttons

not every student on a team collects buttons, but lots of students show up with parents and little brothers and sisters - dont forget judges and visitors who walk in off the street.

If you have a somewhat generic button for your team, you can always save the extras for next year.

PS: you know you have a great button when people come looking for your team, and ask “do you have any more of those buttons that say _________?”

I find buttons that need to be earned are very enjoyable (Dave Buttons). Last year we had a button making party to make both our team buttons and the Dave buttons before our competitions. Ironically Dave at the second button making party ended up being there and helping with the buttons.

If you are creating and printing them yourselves, you won’t be limited to printing in batches of 50 or 100 so you can make as many or few as you want - make up a bunch of generic ones - they can be handed out at your demos, or to school board members, etc., and reused from year to year. I have some that I’ve made that say “Ask me about FIRST

” and I wear it on my coat. A lot of people do ask, and it gives me an opportunity to spread the word about FIRST
to the public. If you are making them for a competition, some teams customize their buttons to match that year’s game theme. If you pack them in a suitcase to bring on a plane, you run a great risk of having your suitcase ransacked because airport security cannot tell what they are in the x-ray machine. Don’t try to wear them onto a plane. They mess with the metal detectors and may be considered “dangerous”. And, they are heavy. If you get them done before ship date send them with your robot crate if you can. When leaving a competition, have a gallon size baggy for each team member to put their “souvenirs” into and pack them in the crate to ship home. A great way to transport them is in the plastic containers that dog biscuits and kitty litter come in - they have handles! (also good for carrying assorted other items).

is it better to buy a button maker or buy them made and if a button maker which is best?

I have a politician in my neighborhood that lets me borrow his button maker. Talk about a good way to avoid the steep 400 dollar initial cost for the semi-automatic machine. There are cheaper machines, but just take into consideration what resource you have the least of

Time
Cost
or Initial Cost

Time can be gained by recruiting the Art, Business club, or cheerleaders at your school to help out by making buttons.

I would say make them yourself, but we’ve always made them that way. As for a button maker you can search old threads and find many suggestions. I’ve had experience with the Badge-A-Minit handheld ones and in my experience they’re a general pain. Hard to load, hard to press, and they don’t work out 30% of the time even if you get them all lined up. However we recently invested in one of these with the cutter and it works very well. We haven’t screwed up a button yet and you can be working at a rate of 3 bpm (buttons per minute) within five minutes and can probably get an even higher bpm with more experience.