Not only does True Metal Works support the LGBTQ community, we’ve also been lucky enough to work with a number of inspirational drag queens. As trend setters who aren’t afraid to get that coin, some of our favorite queens know that custom enamel pins make a great addition to online merch stores.
Creating custom enamel pins is an easy way to take a well-known, iconic image (um, hello Scarlet Envy) and bring it to the people who would love to take a piece of you home – your fans.
Take a look at a few of the top drag queen enamel pins that we’ve manufactured over the years.
Sasha Velour’s Rose Petal Reveal
If you’re a fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race, you know Sasha Velour’s rose reveal from the Season 9 finale! This enamel pin perfectly captured the moment the rose petals rained down from her snatched wig. Want to relive the moment? Click here to watch.
This pin a made with a beautiful 1.75″ with a dark nickel hard enamel. Two needles on the back keep things nicely in place.
Monét X Change’s Pussycat Wig Reveal
After RuPaul and the other judges repeatedly told her to wear something other than a pussycat wig, Monét X Change did the unexpected and wore not just one, but TWO, pussycat wigs during the All Stars 4 final lip sync. That do take nerve!
One of the hardest pins we’ve ever had to design. Hard enamel with silkscreen details for her eye shadow, lip shine. But the hard part was to create a lapel pin slider action that was solid and didn’t create a wiggle.
The Only Detox
Fan favorite and definitely one of the most creative queens in Drag Race her-story, Detox needed an iconic enamel pin to go with her iconic persona. We’ll never be over it, officially!
Another beautifully designed pin. Silkscreen blush and hair streaks, with glitter enamel lips. Beautiful like Detox.
Jan Sport (or just Jan, if you’re nasty)
Feel the JAN-tasy with this custom-made enamel pin from RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 12 contestant Jan. Super cute and not at all tacky.
Scarlet Envy’s Signature Lewk
When you’ve got a lewk as instantly recognizable as THIS, it needs to be its own pin. Scarlet Envy made us all gag on her beauty (she’s very blessed, you know) with this stunning color block dress from Drag Race’s Season 11 promos.
Boulet Brothers “Monster of Rock”
If you haven’t watched the dragtastic Boulet Brothers on Netflix, you are missing out! Part punk rock, part horror show, and some of the most interesting drag around, Boulet Brother Dragula is a show you need to watch (and a pin you need to own)!
Jackie in a Bottle
Jackie Cox, aka The Persian Princess of Drag, stole hearts and snatched wigs on RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 12. She’s all Persian-ality, all the time!
Perfect mix of glitter filled background and clear single color blocked Jackie with silkscreened type. Come on, falling in love yet?
Aja the Kween
You can’t keep a good kween down! After being eliminated in Season 9 of Drag Race, Aja came back with a BAM in All Stars 3 (did you see their death drop in AS episode 1?!).
One of the earliest pins we’ve ever made for our Drag family, hard enamel, silk screened details and just pure kween!
At True Metal Works, we not only make cute hard and soft enamel pins, but we also make stylish enamel keychains. The production process is generally the same and the pricing is just a shade more (as for the ring and assembly). The benefit is you can provide an entirely new SKU to your online shop and re-introduce an already great selling graphic in a new medium.
To start the inspiration process, here are a selection of top 9 keychains we’ve made at your favorite locally ran pin manufacture: True Metal Works.
1. Good Witch / Bad Witch by Last Craft Designs
From the mystical dark arts, Last Craft Designs has been one of True Metal Works first customers. Coming correct always with great artwork, this keychain is no different. Clocking in 3mm thick, this double-sided gold plated hard enamel keychain shows both sides of your personality with a flick of the keys. Last Craft Designs has done extremely well with these keychains, and it’s been a staple of their collection for almost 2 years.
2. Luna Moth Keychain by Rose Pink Moon
This uber detailed solid silver and black hard enamel keychain has a balance like no other. Extremely smooth finish with a head that doubles for keychain clasp. Rose Pink Moon did a great job designing this keychain to encase the jump ring while keeping the design aesthetic. With designs like this, the one lady show at Rose Pink Moon soon won’t be.
3. Bean Size Bottle Opener by Messenger Coffee Co
Located in Kansas City, MO this coffee empire created this double-sided laser-etched antique brass keychain as a homage to the coffee bean gauge tools traditionally used to measure beans. Measured at almost 6mm thick, this beast of a keychain, can open cold brew bottles along with their sister bottles consisting of barley and hops.
4. Chicken Bone Nowison by Shake Junt
Known for creating their own slang (*chickenbone-nowison) and some of the best branding in skateboarding, this chicken bone Shake Junt bottle opener keychain was an immediate classic. A double-sided hard enamel keychain with shiny silver plating features brand information on one side of the stick, while their iconic SJ branding is shown on the other. A bottle can be opened from no matter which way you grab this drumstick. Chomp!
5. Baker Stacked Keychain by Baker Skateboards
The original bad-boy brand Baker Skateboards headed by legendary Andrew Reynolds has been one of the top brands in skateboarding for decades. This one-sided soft enamel gold plated double jump ring keychain is needs nothing else. Nuff said.
6. BD Keychain by Black Dog Coffeehouse
You hear those dogs barking? A Kansas based coffee shop with a home town feel, brands their shops with an amazing canine theme. Introducing the antique silver Black Dog Coffeehouse. This keychain is veristle as this not only can be plated as seen above (antique silver) but also can be filled with enamel for various colors. If you like dogs, why wouldn’t you like this keychain?
7. Lucky Clover Keychain by CloverScout
Clover Scout is a Los Angeles based collaborative group between artists Ellen Surrey, Patrick Hruby, and Loris Lora. Friends who design cute items much like this lucky charm keychain. An entirely double-sided gold plated 4 leaf clover keychain is as lucky as they come. With tiny highlights of color, they can easily change plating or color without any redesign. And imagine you spent your entire life looking for a 4 leaf clover and it was right in front of you this entire time.
8. VX1000 Bolt and Bottle Opener Keychain by Filmbot
Skateboard griptape company Filmbot Grip made these ultra-unique bolt and bottle opener keychain set. They not only help set up your board, but they will help you open your bottle too. Made with antique silver plating it gives that matte look, but with the darkened areas to showcase the linework. Check out this funny Filmbot commercial if you have time.
9. JVN Keychain by DooStuff
Can you believe? Seriously. JVN (aka Jonathan Van Ness) is a god among men and this dedication keychain is well deserved. Designed with hard enamel glitter, shiny silver plating and includes pink screenprint verbiage. When you add a keyring plus crab claw clasp it’s perfection.
So, you just got a nice new batch of custom enamel pins small quantity from your enamel pins manufacturer and now you want to post them on Instagram. After all, everyone knows that nothing really exists unless you post it on social media! Besides, this is also a great way to market your Los Angeles based accessories!
You put your pin on the nearest table, whip out your iPhone and take a pic. That looks terrible! The background is dull, the pin is in shadows and there’s way too much glare! You can’t possibly post this pic! So, what’s a person to do? Well, here are some great tips for on how to photograph your enamel pins so they stand out on Instagram.
5 Tips for Photographing Enamel Pins
#1 Choose the Best Background
When you are taking pictures of an inanimate object, you need to have a background that will draw attention to the item and not detract from it. This will make your picture look eye-catching and attractive to those scrolling past it on Instagram. Pay special attention to these background elements:
Color Me Bad
Start by choosing a colorful background. Make sure the color you choose complements the colors in your pin without overpowering it. For instance, if you are photographing a pin with red details in it, you can choose a red background in a tone that is slightly lighter or darker than the colors in the pin. Stay away from using colors that are too matchy, matchy with the main color of the pin.
Position Your Pin
Because your pin does not have a flat backing, it may look a bit cold and austere against a hard background. You may also have trouble balancing it. Photographing it on a soft background like a blanket, pillow, or gauzy scarf is a great way to solve this problem. Just be sure, once again, to choose a color that complements your pin. If your fabric has a pattern, make sure it is not too overwhelming.
Lapel on a Lapel
Another good idea is to photograph your pin as it should be worn, say on the lapel of a jacket. This will give your customers great style ideas and make them want to ‘get the look’. If you photograph your pins with other pins that complement them, this could be an effective way to upsell your products.
#2 Get the Lighting Right
Getting the right lighting for photos of your pins can be a matter of trial and error. You will need to work with the lighting of the room as well as the flash of your camera.
If you are an artist who creates enamel pins to sell and need to take pictures of your pins regularly, you may want to invest in better lighting options. That way, you’ll be able to photograph your pins perfectly every time.
Plus, after a while, it is likely you will have the system down so photographing your pins will be a quick and easy process.
#3 Choose Your Pin Location Wisely
To make your pin stand out, you will want to switch up the location of your pins in the photos. Try this: Imagine that your background is divided into thirds. Then, find where the thirds intersect and put your pin and that junction.
Having trouble finding your center? Not to worry! If your picture is not completely centred, there are cropping tools available to help you get the perfect perspective!
#4 Beware of the Glare
Because enamel pins are shiny in nature, it is likely there will be some amount of glare on them. There are many things you can do to try and deal with the glare.
An amateur photographer might try something like changing the position of the pin, taking pictures in different lights or at different times of day until glare is eliminated. They can also use white paper or cardstock to bounce the light off another surface and minimize glare.
If you are on a more professional level, you may have tools at your disposal that will help to minimize glare. Either a polarizer or lens hood will work for this purpose. If you have the right editing skills, you may also be able to eliminate the glare in post-processing.
#5 Add an Engaging Caption – and Don’t Forget the #Hashtag!
Now that you have a great looking picture, you will want to post it in such a way that it is sure to get the maximum amounts of likes and comments.
Use hashtags that are both relevant to your picture and topical. Add a caption that is brief but appeals to consumers on an emotional level. Post at a time of day when there is a maximum amount of traffic on the Instagram site.
These are all great ways to make your custom enamel pins small quantity stand out on Instagram. Using these methods are sure to attract attention to your product and hopefully, boost sales for your company. Good luck and happy posting!
Written by Rock and Roll Super Mom (Marissa Bergen)
So you’ve already made enamel lapel pins with us at True Metal Works and now it’s time want to make another batch. Though you’re thinking maybe you want to spice it up a bit. We’re here to give you a couple tips that might help. When you re-make pins with us after you’ve already created a mold, it’s just about half the price. Send us an email to see exactly how much. Onward to the tips:
1. Make color enamel changes.
The magic of a little color change, it can change the entire look of your enamel pin. See these lovely ladies below, I’d say the color change did the job.
2. Change the metal plating.
It’s the same concept as number 1 above, but now your changing your metal plating. Let’s say you have a major portion or even just a fine but noticeable line of your pin was gold plated. Now imagine, how would it look with shiny silver plating or even a dyed black plating? After you’ve mastered that concept, take it to the next step and change both the metal plating AND color enamel. Boom! Mind blown!
3. Change it up with a hard enamel to a soft enamel or vice versa.
You can go from a hard enamel to a soft enamel to add a bit of a 3D feel, or click your pins up a notch and give them high end feel with a hard enamel, either way, it will give your pin a different feel then before, which might be all you need. Learn more about hard enamel and soft enamel.
Every wonder what the hell is Hard Enamel vs Soft Enamel?
Well introducing our wonderful True Metal Enamel Guide to help you navigate through the murky molten pools of metal manufacturing.
Here you will find the benefits of both hard and soft enamel, looks and feels of both. We always want to offer our customers all options, so they know exactly what they are getting before purchasing.
If there is something you’d like us to explain, send us an email.
Click here to view more True Metal Guides.