Collecting and Trading Pins

If you love enamel pins, you might be a pinhead! A pinhead is a nickname for a person who loves collecting and trading pins. Not only are lapel pins a functional and stylish way to show off your interests, but they can also have symbolic or collectible value. Whether you choose to collect pins from your favorite sports teams, the Olympics, Disney, or another theme or interest, collecting and trading pins is a fun hobby to start.

Once you've decided to start collecting and trading enamel pins, the best way to start is to zero in on the topics you love. Take a moment to ask yourself what it is that you're passionate about. Once you have your answer, you can do a little bit of research; chances are good that there are plenty of pins out there that you can start collecting.

You don't have to start big when you're creating your collection. Most collections start with just a few pieces. If you aren't sure where to start, you may want to look at the two biggest names in the pin trading world: Disney and Hard Rock Cafe. Both types of pins have attracted thousands of collectors whose primary goal is to collect and trade pins with one another, and since they both have thousands of pin designs available, it can be easy to find a few pieces to start with. While both companies offer designs that are rare, when you're just starting out, it can be best to start with the standard and more affordable designs and work your way up from there. Another option for starting a collection could be to talk to your family and friends and see if they have any pins that they could give you; after all, businesses and organizations often give pins away, so they could be a great way to jumpstart your pin collection.

Another way to dive in is to go to pin swap meets. Pin swap meets include collectors from all over, and everybody has their own unique selection of pins available for trade. You can trade your starter collection with anybody, and you may stumble across a particular subject or type of pin that you're passionate about. Keep in mind that if you do choose to go to pin swap meets, you should take some time before you attend to read up on pin values. Some lapel pins are worth more than others, and in the case of Disney pin collecting, you may even come across fake "scrapper pins," so it's important to know the value of what you're looking at if you don't want to get duped.

Once you've amassed a big enough collection, you should consider how you're going to organize them. You don't want to just throw your collection into a box; this can cause damage to the pins over time. A great low-cost option to display your pins is to buy a sheet of corkboard and attach your pins to it. You could also organize your pins by pinning them into velvet mounted on a paper or plastic board. Some people also place their pins on lanyards. This is especially helpful at swap meets because it gives other collectors a chance to see the pins you have on hand to trade.

How to Start a Pin Collection

Supplies Needed

Tips on Trading

Pin Trading Etiquette

Additional Resources