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Pin Collection & Trading: How To Start Pin Collection?


November 09, 2023

Have you recently developed an interest in collecting pins? Pin collecting is quite a hobby these days, but what's more exciting is that you can also trade them. By 'trading’, we mean exchanging or swapping duplicate (or redundant) pins and acquiring new unique pins for your collection.

Pin collection and trading are enjoyable hobbies that allow you to express your interests and mark special events. It connects with others who like collecting pins as much as you do.

To help you navigate your new hobby, this guide covers all the bases you need to know about as a beginner collector. Let’s dive in.

What is Pin Collecting & Trading?

Pin collecting is simply the process of acquiring and curating different kinds of pins (including our favorite: enamel pins). Enamel pins are small decorative pins made of metal with colorful enamel infill designs like the one below.

Pin Collecting

Image by qalebstudio on Freepik

It’s normal for pins to feature characters, logos, or artwork related to movies, TV shows – just about anything that fits. But pin trading is where the real fun begins. This means swapping pins from your pin collection with other avid collectors at meetups or online communities. 

Pin designs vary widely, from basic graphics to complex limited-edition pieces crafted by independent artists. The primary types of pins include hard enamel (metal with enamel fill), soft enamel (enamel painted directly on metal), and cloisonné (wires separating enamel colors).


Benefits of Pin Collecting

Collecting pins may sound niche. But this hobby is seriously cool and offers unique benefits that make it worth getting into:

  • You can showcase your specific interests and personality through themed collections. Are you a horror movie buff? Start a creepy pin collection. Obsessed with sloths? There are pins for that!
  • The pins let you commemorate milestone events and experiences. Snag an event-specific pin at that concert, convention, or theme park to always remember the good times.
  • You'll meet and connect with others who share your passions at pin trading events and through online communities.
  • It's an affordable, creative way to express yourself through miniature artwork. Enough said.

Benefits of Pin Collecting

Image source: Unsplash


Getting Started with Pin Collecting



Start by defining your goals and setting a budget to kick off your pin-collecting adventure. After you've decided on that, here are three points to mark off your checklist:

  • Determine if you want a themed collection (movies, books, etc.) or a more eclectic mix to represent all your varied interests 
  • Set a monthly or annual budget to prevent overspending on those irresistible pins
  • Research popular pin makers like Hidden Society, Sharkspace Studios, or Sourpuss Clothing to get inspiration for the types of designs you love

Pin Collecting-1

Image by chuttersnap on unsplash


Where to Buy Pins?

If you want to buy pins for your collection, pinning down the perfect pin can be hard. Yet, hunting down those must-have pins shouldn't give you sleepless nights! Here are a few options to consider:

  • Online marketplaces like Etsy offer a massive selection of designs from independent artists. You'll find tons of unique pins you can't get elsewhere.
  • Official brand stores (Disney, Marvel, etc.) for pins featuring your favorite fandom characters and franchises. Conventions and events like Comic-Con, where vendors hawk exclusive, limited-edition pin designs. Don't overlook local craft fairs, flea markets, and thrift stores for cool vintage pins!
  • Theme parks like Disneyland offer park-exclusive pins to collect and trade. You can follow pin makers on social media to get the front row on juicy offers. For example, a good place to start is with @enamelpins on Instagram. Follow them (and others that pique your interest), and you’ll get new release updates.

Organizing and Displaying Your Collection

Displaying Your Collection 

Image source: Unsplash

As those pinboards start filling up, you'll want to get smart about storing and showing off your prized collection. You may want to stay organized by using cork boards or shadow boxes. That way, you’ll have a dedicated space to artfully arrange your pins by theme or color scheme.

Alternatively, clear binders with sheet protectors provide compact storage while letting you easily flip through and admire your pins.

If you want to go pro, invest in dedicated display cases from retailers like IKEA or Michaels craft stores. Of course, you can always rock your favorite pins on jackets, hats, lanyards, and bags for the world to see and maybe swap a few on the spot.


Pin Trading Essentials

Collecting pins is only half the fun. The real joy comes from trading them for ones with even more sentimental value. Here are quick points to note as you trade your first pin:

  • Always bring a trading board or lanyard to display your tradable pins 
  • Do some research to ensure you're making fair trades based on rarity and value

While negotiating trades, just be cool - don't undervalue your prized pins, but stay open to friendly bargaining. Most importantly, remember that pin trading is meant to be an enjoyable social experience! Follow basic etiquette like respecting boundaries and personal collections.


Joining the Pin Collecting Community 

A hobby is way more fun when you join the amazing community of collectors. Online forums like Disney Pin Forum and Reddit's /r/PinCollecting connect you with fellow enthusiasts worldwide.

See if your area has local pin trading events by checking Facebook groups. Nothing beats making trades in person! Take it one step further and follow your favorite pin makers' social media accounts for the latest releases, trading events, and meetups they may be hosting or attending.



We all love pins because they are miniature artworks that sometimes hold sentimental value. This makes them special (possibly why most people become collectors first). These pins represent your favorite fandoms, travel memories, accomplishments, and more.

Want a unique pin that captures any sentiment you might have? Contact our e­xpert designers for a free consultation and quote today. Let’s memorialize it for your growing pin collection.



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Article written by

Simon Davis

I’m Simon Davis. I head the custom socks department at Vivipins, thanks to my extensive expertise in design and my knack for sourcing the highest quality sock material. Together with the sock department team, we ensure your feet are in the best socks because the brand label reads Vivipins. We’ve built a 7-year history of the best quality socks for any occasion or need because we have the right resources to create any sock type, size, and design your brand or fashion whims will make you dream of.

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