Respect the Badge
May 18, 2013 9:27 PM   Subscribe

Where can I get metal sheriff-type toy badges custom made?

This is my Jr Deputy badge. In 6th grade, it got me into the Pinellas County Fair—for free!—on Saturday morning, where it allowed us to ride all the midway rides—for free!—from 9AM to noon.

To me, it's like a regular Blue Blaze Irregular badge* except for its being imbued with (obviously) magic powers.

Now I want to make some for kids I work with as part of outreach for the space program. So plainly it cannot say SHERIFF (as so many of the commonly available versions of these little promotional toy badges tend to say). More like TRAINING ASTRONAUT or INTERSTELLAR JR RANGER or something which will be just as awe-inspiring for elementary & middle school-age kids.

My Jr Deputy badge still means the world to me, and that is the same sort of long-lasting spirit I want to evoke in kids I work with who are being introduced to science and space exploration.

The best I have been able to come up with is Alibaba. Suggestions or recommendations?

Ah! One other thing. I am looking for metal custom badges. Plastic versions are easy to find but my metal badge retains its original awesomeness in a way that plastic badges just can't touch.

* I have one of those too.
posted by Mike Mongo to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (4 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Perhaps one of the custom medal / awards companies has something suitable?
posted by Sophont at 11:06 PM on May 18, 2013

What is your budget for these? How big do they need to be? How many do you need? What kind of back do you want to put on them - a pin, a chain, or something else? Do you have a design in mind or are you flexible?

So I just did a run of 150 folding-T strap ends in a stone mold, but I was going for a 600 year old hand made look which is about as appropriate as "SHERIFF" for your purposes. However, with the wonders of 3-D printing and High Temp RTV rubber molds, though, it would not be that hard to produce a mold similar to the one your sheriff badge probably came out of. The thing is, pewter is more than a dollar an ounce these days, so you're looking at between 25 and 50 cents each just to make something of a reasonable size if you go that route.

Another possibility is laser etched or stamped aluminum tags.

I covet your Blue Blaze Irregular badge.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 11:12 PM on May 18, 2013 [1 favorite]

I think a medal on a ribbon engraved trainee astronaut would work well. More exciting than a pin badge and easily sourced from sports trophy suppliers.
posted by BenPens at 12:05 AM on May 19, 2013

Best answer: This sounds like something a local awards/trophy company might be able to custom-make - just poking around the web, "die struck pin" might be a useful keyword.
posted by dreamyshade at 12:07 AM on May 19, 2013

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