Ocean Pals: How Pins Are Made!

Updated: Feb 6

Hi there everyone! It's been a few weeks since the end of our Ocean Pals Enamel Pin Kickstarter, and the pins are in production, slated to be finished sometime after the Chinese holiday that takes place between October 1st and 8th! My manufacturer has been updating me with images along the way, and I've really enjoyed watching the process--so I thought you all might like to see it as well!

How Metal!

Here are the molds! They are stamped into the metal to create the shape of the pins, which is why all the designs are backwards.

Above, you'll see the sea star mold stamped into the metal before it's cut! You'll also see the beginnings of a jellyfish pin after it's been cut from the metal. See that little metal flake to the left and in between the legs where some of the metal has still hung on?

Adding a Little Color

Next, the pins are filled with enamel, color by color! These manta rays still have a couple colors to go. Once all the enamel areas have been filled, they must be cured in an oven to harden.

The enamel doesn't get polished until after this process, so they can look a little funny before that and overlap onto the metal! Below, you can see the difference between an unpolished sea star and a polished jellyfish!

The Final Touches

Once the pins have been polished, their metal can be plated and the screenprinted details can be added. And voila, we have ourselves a finished pin! Look how shiny and cute he is!

The hard enamel pin process has a lot of steps, and this particular batch will take a little over 14 business days to complete. Once they're delivered, I'll quality check each one for any major and minor flaws to grade them as either 'standard' or 'B grade,' then they'll be poked onto their backing cards and shipped off to their new homes!

Thank you everyone who has backed these pins, pre-ordered them, or plans on purchasing them once they hit the shop! The Ocean Pals should go live sometime in November, just in time for Christmas. I'm so excited to get them, and I hope you all enjoyed this peek into the process!


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