The History of Nursing Pins

The Evolution of Nursing Pins

In 1126, the Knights Hospitallers adopted the Maltese Cross as a symbol of the “Christian Warrior” during the Crusades. Their primary mission was to provide care for the sick, poor, or injured pilgrims returning from the Holy Land. This military branch traced its origins back to a group of monks that would simply provide aid to pilgrims. They began to offer armed escorts for travelers as they passed through dangerous battle zones. After the First Crusade was successful, the Knights Hospitallers formed into a military order. This symbol came to represent those who provided aid to those who were sick, and eventually, the nursing profession would come to adopt it as its own.



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Florence Nightingale

The modern history of nursing always begins with Florence Nightingale. Nightingale was a well-educated daughter of wealthy British parents. Before she came along, Nursing was not considered a viable profession. Women who chose to be nurses were expected to do so only for their close friends and family, and it was not a career that well-bred ladies were expected to follow. Nightingale took a radical stance against these views, not only by choosing to make nursing her career but by believing that well-educated women could drastically improve the conditions of sick strangers. She set a precedent for all women after her, providing another option for them to eventually gain their independence. In 1854, Nightingale had the opportunity to take a group of nurses to Turkey with her, where she drastically improved the hospital conditions and death rates began to fall.


Pinning Ceremonies

Florence Nightingale’s influence was integral to the creation of modern nursing. Once she showed the world the worth of a well-trained nurse, hospitals began to develop programs to train them up. The Nightingale School of Nursing at St. Thomas’s Hospital in London eventually designed and awarded a badge with a Maltese Cross to the nurses as they completed their program. This tradition began to spread, as it provided a way to honor the nurses for their efforts. In the United States, the first pin presented to a graduating class occurred at Bellevue Hospital in New York City, 1880. It featured a crane in the center, symbolizing vigilance. The crane is surrounded by a band of blue representing constancy, and an outer band of red for mercy and relief of suffering. Eventually, each school made their own custom pin, providing a unique experience for each graduating class. By 1916, the pinning ceremony was a common practice in England and the United States.



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Final Thoughts

The pinning ceremony is a meaningful and momentous event in a nurse’s career. It commemorates a huge milestone for them, the payoff of countless long nights and hard studies. Nursing pins are often cherished by their owners, simply because they are unique to their experience. For the most part, all nursing schools create unique designs for their pins, giving each of their graduating classes a memento that lets them take pride in their school while reliving the memories they made there.

Looking for a place to create your own custom nursing pin? We’ve got it covered! Start today with our free quote form and we’ll help you make a beautiful and timeless keepsake to gift your nursing class.

Fundraising With Lapel Pins

Fundraising is an essential part of many small businesses, advocacy groups, clubs, and sports teams. Not only do they bring in money, but they also raise awareness for your business, cause, or organization. They provide a great way to bring together the community around you. When planned correctly, they can be successful and uplifting events for everyone involved.
A common problem with fundraisers seems to be what to sell or give away. The items used at fundraisers have to be attractive to your prospective funders, as well as have some real value and be a fun conversation starter. You have to provide them with a compelling reason to fund your cause. Custom lapel pins are the perfect solution to this problem.
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Why Pins?

Custom pins are small, customizable, and easy to make. You can design them to be as classy as you need them to be, and they make for the perfect subtle fashion statement. Showing pride in your achievements or support for a certain cause or movement is easier than ever with lapel pins. They may be small, but custom pins can be huge for your fundraiser.
Pins are the perfect conversation starters. An attendee of your fundraiser would always have a story to tell about it, whether it’s how and why they got the pin or what your organization stands for. It’s a perfect way to get your brand out there and people talking about it. When it comes to selling them, pins are a perfect opportunity for a passerby to donate money to a good cause and walk away with something to show for it.

Schools, Clubs, and Sports

Now more than ever, it’s difficult to find public funding for extracurricular activities. More and more school clubs and sports teams are turning to traditional fundraising to be able to fill gaps in their budget. Sports teams facing cuts can use team pins showing their logo or mascot as a great way to raise funds while also building school spirit.
The arts always seem to suffer the most when it comes to budget cuts. People have a harder time seeing the value in the arts as it’s more intangible than the value of sports, or academic extracurriculars. Pins offer a fun and simple solution. Art students can create custom pin designs to sell in their school’s bookstore, cafeteria, or to give as tokens of appreciation to their boosters who head all their fundraising efforts. This allows them to not only show their talent and value, but also raise the funds they need to support their clubs. These pins can grow to become very meaningful to some people. They can be collected, and as the years go by they grow in sentimental value to those who choose to keep them.
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Raising Awareness

Fundraisers aren’t always organized just to raise money, they can be used to raise awareness as well. Awareness is crucial for any organization. People will want to know what it is they’re supporting, and raising awareness can make or break your supporter base. Inviting people to learn more about your cause is your chance to get them on your side. For this reason, making your donors feel like they are a part of something is crucial to them wanting to share more about your cause with their friends or others. If you intend on giving away gift bags at your event, pins are the perfect inclusion. The keepsake will keep your event on your guest’s mind. No matter how you use them, custom pins are perfect for your fundraising or awareness-raising needs.
Fundraising can be a complicated process. Make it easier than ever by spearheading your efforts with a beautiful custom lapel pin today. Our quote form is free, easy, and quick!

How to Make Lapel Pins at Home

Enamel pins have recently become a huge trend. They open up so many possibilities to express yourself. You can wear them to support a brand or organization, show off your personality, or even just brighten up your fashion. Pins have a large community surrounding them because they let your creativity shine through. It can, however, be hard to find a pin for your specific interest, and maybe you’ve wondered just how you can bring your unique ideas to life.


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The first step to making any pin is the design. It’s important to keep in mind that you’re working with a small canvas, so it’s best to keep the details and fine lines to a minimum. The simpler your design the better. Enamel pins are made with a stamp that is pressed into metal, and this creates a recessed design that is cut out to shape for the base of the pin. The depressions are then filled with enamel paint, separated by the raised walls that match the lines in your design. This is why it’s best to always simplify your design keeping in mind the constraints of such a small canvas. You don’t have to be an artist to design a pin, simply stick to your idea and keep it minimal.


Types of Pins

After you have some artwork, you have to decide which production style you’d like for your pin. It’s important to do deep research on the different types of printing processes. They all vary slightly and each process provides a different look, feel, and sometimes even weight for your lapel pin design. It’s important to choose the right one to make your pin look its best.

Hard enamel pins have a smooth finish, but they don’t allow for as much color. Soft enamel pins aren’t as durable, but they might be your best option, as they have a textured pin surface that allows for more detail and a slightly lower cost. Die struck pins don’t allow for color, but they are the fastest to produce, and allow for an antiqued look. Silkscreen pins allow for colors to touch with no metal separation. They are perfect for small businesses that want to perfectly reproduce their logos. If your design needs gradient colors or shading, offset printing is the way to go, as it provides a way to print an image directly onto the pin. Overall, they’re all proven techniques that make for a beautiful product, so go with what best showcases your design!


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Once you have the basics of your design down, it’s time to find a manufacturer. As I mentioned before, pins require a small stamp to be made and pressed into hot metal. This can be tricky to do if you don’t have the right materials. The best option is to find a service that provides you with the resources to actualize your design. Most of these services have a factory they work with and are able to estimate the best cost for you. Of course, it always helps to order in bulk.



After following our steps, you should have most of the process done. One thing you might want to consider is the packaging you request. Usually, they’ll offer you choices in bags or small cases. This is up to how you will be distributing your pins. If they are for reselling of any kind, small plastic bags will do. Most people provide a cute and creative presentation card that makes their design pop. Although you might want to splurge on a small velvet bag if you don’t want to do your own packaging. Small cases are better for events like weddings, as they provide a nice way to display the souvenir.

If you’re in the process of making your own enamel pin design and you’re looking for a way to bring your idea to life, you’re in the right place! We have a quick and easy quote form that allows you to create your own custom pin using the steps we’ve outlined for you.

Awareness Ribbons in History

A Short History of Awareness Ribbons

In 1979, a group of 52 American diplomats and citizens were held hostage for over 400 days when a group of Iranian college students took over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. The event brought about the use of yellow ribbons for awareness when the wife of one of the hostages, Penney Laingen tied yellow ribbons to trees. Inspired by the song “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree,” she turned the ribbon into a symbol of her longing for her husband to come home. It caught on incredibly, fueled by a rise in patriotism due to the crisis. She was even asked to tie a yellow ribbon to the National Christmas tree, giving her cause a larger audience than ever.

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The military ties of awareness ribbons continued well into the 1990s when they were used to commemorate soldiers in the gulf war. However, this all changed when the AIDS crisis devastated the country. The AIDS virus impacted mostly underprivileged minority groups, and because of this, it was vastly ignored until it couldn’t be. The virus felt unstoppable and many people felt they were fighting an uphill battle against a system that did not want to help them. Activists introduced the red ribbon, a symbol of their passion for the cause and their determination to find a cure. This same year, breast cancer awareness ribbons were introduced, created by Charlotte Haley. They were born from the same spirit of activism and need for change, and to this day pink ribbons are a well-known symbol for this movement.

“The Year of the Ribbon”

1992 was such a big year for the cultural impact of the awareness ribbon, the New York Times even named it “The Year of the Ribbon,” leading to a huge boom in ribbon merchandise. After that, T-shirts, keychains, and tattoos of ribbons were not uncommon in American culture. The tragic events of the early 2000s also fueled this, with red white and blue ribbons being used after The September 11th attacks. This brought about the invasion of Afghanistan and the Iraq War, and Americans once again used the yellow ribbon in support of their troops.

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 Awareness Ribbons Today

Many people have causes that are close to their hearts. Now more than ever, people seem to be more socially aware and in general more invested in political and social causes. While there are some causes with a lot of recognition, most causes go unnoticed by everyday people. There is no better or easier way to raise awareness for these causes than a lapel pin.

With a variety of ribbons, you can raise awareness for many illnesses and causes. These include breast cancer, animal abuse, mental health, global warming, LGBT issues, and the list goes on and on.

It can be very empowering to proudly take a stand on social issues like this. Not only can you use pins to raise awareness, but they are also a conversation starter. They give you a chance to educate those around you on issues and causes that you’re passionate about. Alone, we can only accomplish so much, but together, we can make a great difference.

Start a conversation with an awareness pin today with our free quote form.

A Complete History of Disney Pins


At the end of the 19th century in Athens, Greece, the first Olympic games were held. Multicolored cardboard discs were worn by athletes, judges, and officials alike to differentiate and identify themselves. From here, pins only evolved. In 1912, for the summer Olympic games in Stockholm, metal pins were made commemorating the event and sold to spectators. The metal variants of the cardboard discs made for much nicer souvenirs, and from there, modern pin collecting and trading was born.

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Olympic Origins

By the 1924 Olympics, a hobby was starting to take shape. Players started to trade their badges with players from other countries as a symbol of friendship. These would be the seeds that would grow into the well-known hobby of pin trading as it is today. The custom started to grow a larger following, and by the 1980s, pin trading had become something huge. Pin trading clubs began to appear, with its members devoted to growing their collections and seeking out the newest and rarest pins. Traders and collectors were now spending hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars on pins. This was a long way from the humble origins of cardboard disks.

Custom enamel pins have always been present in the Disney parks. The tradition of commemorative pins had already been around for a bit, and Disney wasn’t oblivious to it. There are pins dating as far back to the opening of Disneyland in the 1950s, but there was no real push for collecting them. They were originally just souvenirs, with no specific intent or use. However, at the 1998 Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan, this would all change when Disney team members began to take note of the extremely popular hobby.

The Year a Tradition Was Born

Walt Disney’s Millennium Celebration was a 15-month long event held at Epcot, emphasizing human potential and the possibilities of the future. The prolonged celebration brought a number of changes to Epcot, with special structures and pavilions being built specifically for it. However, the longest-lasting tradition that would come from this event would be the practice of trading pins. Disney knew bringing this tradition over would open up countless opportunities to create more memorable moments within their parks. Not only would pins create beautiful keepsakes, but the act of trading them also encouraged guests from around the world to interact with park staff and each other.

When the celebration opened in October of 1999, there were 7 official trading stations in areas throughout the park. The concept was originally meant to only last as long as the Millenium Celebration did, but as we know, it long outlived it. Similar to pin trading at the Olympic Games, pin trading exploded within the Disney parks. Collectors all around the world were known for taking pride in curating their acquisitions, whether it be stamps, coins, you name it. They also build strong communities, socializing with their fellow traders, never running out of things to talk about as their shared hobby grew. This, combined with the nostalgia-fueled energy of all things Disney was an equation that could only result in the craze we know today.

More and more cast members were given pins to trade with, and as the hobby grew, the number of pin trading stations went from 7 to over 30 locations. Disney also threw their marketing expertise behind the concept full force, introducing a new pin design during every single day of the celebration. That’s 15 months of nonstop designs. The concept was objectively very successful and as the end of the celebration drew near, they, of course, extended the program indefinitely. This decision would bring pin trading to the Disneyland resort, and later their international resorts as well.

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Pin Trading Today

Today, Disney pin trading continues stronger than ever. The avenues for purchasing and trading pins are more expansive, with countless websites dedicated to the hobby. The community has multiplied, with the social aspect of trading having a huge draw with regular people. Disney encourages all its collectors and even hosts annual events to bring the trading community together. Disney has several beloved characters, rides, movies, and more that make for beautiful enamel pins and keychains.


Can’t find a pin of your favorite Disney memory? We got your back! Make your own custom enamel pin today with our free quote form.

A History of Police Badges & Pins

The First Badges

During the middle ages, European nobility was known for using coats of arms, heraldry, and insignia to tell the history of their house and their family. In those times, it was customary for nobility and commoners alike to wear badges representing this personal history. Badges were not limited to a specific job or duty, and they were used to show loyalty to certain groups or houses. These badges were made of many materials including cloth, metal, and sometimes jewelry. Eventually, the servants in noble houses began to dress according to the house they worked for and their status within the house and the badges became increasingly restricted to just house servants, especially those in power. Ultimately, the badge of service was created, and many public servants adopted it as their own, making themselves instantly identifiable.

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Police Badges Today

Naturally, as the police force became what it is today, they also adopted the badge as a form of identification. Over time, badges evolved from a simple way to identify a policeman. Pins and embroidered badges were created to symbolize not only their service but their achievements and positions as well.

What you would usually think of when it comes to police badges is the seven-pointed star. This is the main identifying badge, and it holds a large amount of significance. Police officers see the badge as a physical reminder of the promise they’ve made to themselves and their community. It represents the trust they’ve been given to make the right decisions to protect those they are sworn to. The pinning ceremony is a deeply meaningful event and rewards police for their incredible efforts during the police academy.

Police Merits

If you look at a policeman’s outfit, chances are you’ll find a variety of pins, patches, and other emblems. These can symbolize a variety of things. Pins are often awarded when police officers go above and beyond the call of duty to protect civilians. There is a wide array of these awards. For example, the Medal of Valor.

Awards vary from one police department to the other. This medal, however, tends to be a staple amongst most of them. The Medal of Valor is a highly esteemed award given to officers who display heroism when placed in a dangerous situation. To be considered for this police pin, an officer must show extreme and unusual bravery when performing their duty. The Medal of Honor is similar to this award, although it carries a higher level of honor and it’s more rarely given out. 

Commendations are common among the police force, although the reasons they are awarded vary a bit. Usually, a Commendation is awarded to an officer who makes a significant contribution to the mission of the department beyond the call of duty. The Life-Saving Award is another award that rewards officers who put their own life at risk to prevent the death of another person. 

The Purple Heart dates back to 1782 when General George Washington designated it as a military badge of military merit. In modern times, law enforcement has also adopted the award. It is known to be awarded when an officer is wounded or killed while on the job, although the exact criteria are different in different police departments, the concept remains the same. These are just some of the awards available to officers. There are many more, each having their own weight and significance.