How I Prepare Pins for Production: Kabuki Roll

How I Make a Pin (Starring Kabuki Roll)Someone recently asked if I could share more about making products. It's such a part of my life that I didn't think much about sharing that but I thought it was a great idea!

So here, this week I'm sharing thoughts on one of the Sushi Tomodachi pin diagrams! This is a production sheet I share with my sources to make sure that everything is done just how I envisioned. Even the best plans will tend to have a few hiccups, but this sheet helps prevent most errors (hopefully).

I've learned a lot about specifications since I made this one, but this still shows all the detail I go into pretty well.

If you have questions about this diagram, feel free to just comment below!

 Kabuki Roll Pin Diagram

Starting from the top left corner...

Item Specifications

First, I specified all the material specifications. Most people seem to assume there are "default specifications" for these things, but in my experience, anything that isn't specified WILL be changed without you realizing until it's too late.

EDIT: LOL I HAVE HAD THIS PRODUCT IN STOCK FOR A YEAR AND A HALF AND ONLY JUST NOTICED THAT I SPECIFIED THEY SHOULD BE GUNMETAL INSTEAD OF GOLD! Haha well, I think they all look more consistent as a set with the uniform gold so no worries, I'll take it.

When I made this run, I forgot to note the "Black Rubber Postholders" on Monster Roll's sheet and recieved my first order of Monster Rolls with butterfly clips instead... and the butterfly clips scratched THROUGH the bags during transit which resulted in a large number of scratched Monster Rolls!

Next under that, Pantones.


Not much else to say about this part! Just add the sizing and go!


Specifying Pantone codes are something I've had to help clients out with in my day job a lot. People scoff at the idea of buying a $200 booklet, but if you're going to make products on the regular, it's well worth the investment and is going to bring you as close as you can get.

That said, the suppliers will usually pick the closest enamel colors they have. Yellows are NOTORIOUSLY problematic... "Cream" colors seem to just not exist whenever I need them. My Gyoza mice have come in looking like lemons from the color being so different!

Gyoza Mice Color Problems... Too yellow!
Me trying to demonstrated that I want gyoza color, not lemon color. It's not even lemon. It's like. Sponge color.


Since the colors may vary from batch to batch (Just expect it as a fact of life and you'll be much happier), I wanted to include a backstamp for my "authenticity" mark. Collectors tend to know to look for these, and bootlegged pins don't usually put in the effort to add in the backstamps, so adding backstamps is an easy way to differentiate your originals from remakes and bootleggers.


On this diagram, I've included a package. I originally asked my supplier to include the package, and it wasn't too much extra to add, but I've come to realize that the pin supplier doesn't really bother to try to match things very well and some of my cards have been completely off of specification, or some of them have even printed wrong entirely! These days I have a dedicated packaging supplier and I get much better, cleaner and consistent results this way, it's just a bit of extra work to manage the two separately.

And that's pretty much it! Thanks for reading, hope it helped!

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