Trading baseball cards are about as common as a phone booth these days, but a passion for collecting and trading lives on in the custom trading pin designs that flood our inquiries year after year. Custom trading pins collected and exchanged between sports teams whenever meeting for a match or social gathering. With nearly every team sporting their own custom trading pins, there are literally thousands of different trading pin designs each season. In today’s post, AllAboutPins is covering different ways you can make a great custom trading pin for your team.

Getting Started With Custom Trading Pins

To get started, it’s smart to get an initial concept on the table and work up from there. It goes without saying, the inspiration for your trading pins should be coming out of the common shared identity of the team. More than anything, don’t just think of your team’s custom trading pins as a beloved tradition. Coaches and organizers use their trading pins to help socialize their players and engage rivals on and off the field in a friendly manner. Used like this, a team’s custom trading pin is a quick representative of its culture and personality, look for inspiration that draws on that culture.

Here are a few ideas to get going:

  • Team Themes and Mascots: From the Tampa Bay Bucs to the Greenbay Packers, every sports team has a theme at the core of its personality and how they present themselves. Mascots are a great inspiration for your trading pins since your team already uses them as public representatives of the team identity.
  • Hometown Pride: Having a place to call home is one of the core parts of any team’s pride. When you’ve got a lot of kids or teammates all from the same neighborhood or school integrating that sense of geographical unity is a powerful way to both localize your trading pins and make them a better collectible souvenir when trading with other teams.
  • Competition and Sport: You’ll be hardpressed to find anything as unifying between teams and players than the sport or activity they all take part in. For the best results, try looking for ways to reimagine or integrate sports iconography that goes beyond slapping a baseball on your pin.

Customizing Trading Pins

Got your concept ready? Time to start implementing your ideas into a design. The biggest factors going into your trading pins design comes down to size, shape, and personalization. All of which will make the foundation of your pin’s design.

  • Size: Size comes easiest in many cases, with most trading pins mostly run around 1.75”, which bigger than a standard enamel pin, but when it comes to trade or display it’s an eye-catching size.
  • Shape: We can mold trading pins into just about any shape you want. But a lot of designs use sport-themed designs like crossed bats over a diamond field, fierce-looking mascots or a baseball.
  • Personalization: From your choice of plating and colors to more wild additions like danglers and glitter paint, we offer a whole suite of options to personalize your trading pin for flashier and more unique looks.  

Unlike our fashion-conscious soft enamel or cloisonne pins, most trading pins are going up for display or trade. This means you can get away with bigger and flashier designs than you might otherwise.

Team Spirit Add-Ons For Custom Trading Pins

Offering a full suite of customizations, you can make your pin design stand out and become a much more sought for by including options such as glitter enamel or glow-in-the-dark enamel. At AllAboutPins, we’ll work with you at each step of production to ensure the final look of your pin captures the passion and spirit of your team. 

  • Danglers: Commonly used for representing the year of competition. Danglers are moving parts attached to your pin’s main design via a small metal ring, allowing them to swing freely when worn or displayed.
  • Spinners: Often shaped like a ball, bat or mascot, spinners are unique customization which adds a spinning metal design to your custom trading pin. 
  • Blinkers: Looking for some flair? Blinkers give your custom trading pins a flashing LED light that animates your unique design day or night.  
  • Glitter: A popular addition to both our soft and hard enamel pins, glitter paint is a quick way to add visual interest to your color scheme and add an extra spark to your design’s final look. 
  • Bobbles: An attachment to a pin that shakes back and forth almost like a bobblehead, bobbles motion back and forth over a design making them a good way to add some character to mascot designs.

Order Your Custom Trading Pins Early

To ensure your team’s trading pins reach you on time, we recommend all sports clients send ideas ahead of the game season. It can be really easy to spend a lot of time rethinking your design and going over customizations only to find the clock running down the wire when it comes to finalizing your order. We recommend ordering trading pins way before the start of the season so you have plenty of time leftover for redesigning your pin and ensuring your final pin looks exactly how you want it to look.

At AllAboutPins, we personalize and tailor custom trading pins to youth sports teams located throughout the country. Stamping each design out of a custom-made mold, each design we make is unique and special to every client. Whether your mascot calls lions, spartan or local town champions, our team of designers helps you manufacture high-quality custom trading pins before the beginning of each game season and just in time for the playoffs.