Museum Merchandise

Go-to items for the world's best museums

From membership rewards to exhibit giveaways, top museums turn to Busy Beaver for their merchandise.

If you’re looking for that perfect addition to your gift shop or a memorable hand out for guests at the opening of a new exhibit, look no further than buttons. Busy Beaver has a deep appreciation for museums, having had the privilege of working with many to create custom museum buttons for all sorts of occasions.

Custom Products

Adler Planetarium Buttons

Custom Buttons

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Art Institute Lapel Magnets

Custom Lapel Magnets

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Button-O-Matic Machine

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Dinosaur Button Packs

Custom Flat Packs

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Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago Button Packs

Custom Display Packs

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Rooster Teeth Button Pack

Custom Bag & Toppers

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Field Museum Membership Gifts

Sometimes your members just want to know that you appreciate them! That’s why The Field Museum dedicates an entire week to its faithful supporters. During that week, the museum offers a range of activities including daily raffles for museum merchandise, and of course — custom buttons! “We wanted to give [members] something fun to take home, so we designed these limited edition buttons showcasing just a few of the objects in our collections (there are over 30 million in total!),” says Jenna Lieblich, the Membership Manager of the Field Museum.

And members loved the custom museum pins! The limited edition buttons not only promoted the museum, they also display the benefits of becoming a member.

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Shedd Aquarium baby dolphin buttons

Shedd Aquarium baby dolphin buttons

It's A Boy! Shedd Aquarium Buttons Up

When the Shedd Aquarium welcomed the newest member of their dolphin family, a Pacific White-Sided Dolphin male calf, they decided to use custom buttons as part of the celebration. After six months of acclimating to his new home, it was time to give this calf a name. The team at the aquarium came up with two Hawaiian names—Makoa (meaning fearless) or Kolohe (meaning rascal)— but deciding between the two names was a task the Shedd Aquarium decided to leave up to the public.

The Naming Contest kicked off with a special broadcast from ABC 7 News. The network also hosted a live “dolphin cam” the entire week of the contest to allow viewers to see the personality of this unnamed little one. The public was urged to vote online and to proudly share their decision on social media with the hashtag #NametheDolphin to let everyone know if they're on #TeamMakoa or #TeamKolohe.

Inside the aquarium, a different technique was used to vote. Staff members of the Shedd were encouraged to choose the button with the name they thought best fit the little flipper's personality. The buttons became a talking point not only around the water cooler, but also among the community of aquarium goers as they learned about the contest.

“They are fun for our staff—since there are two names, we had two different buttons made. It has been fun for our staff to “pick sides” and predict the winning name,” said Haley Donahue, Marketing Communications Assistant and the Shedd. At the end of the week-long contest, over 3,500 individuals had cast their vote online and by an overwhelming lead the dolphin calf had a name: Makoa.

The Shedd Aquarium has used buttons in the past as promotional handouts for guests or designed a special button to build buzz around new exhibits. The aquarium also takes advantage of the use of buttons not only to be marine related but also topical. Such as their button for leading up to the Pride Parade which read, “Toadally Proud.” Using these dolphin buttons as a device to decide on a baby's name shows the aquarium's ingenuity and cleverness...and how darn cute that Makoa is!

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Vent Haven buttons

Vent Haven buttons

Vent Haven buttons

Vent Haven buttons

No Dummies Here: Vent Haven Museum Buttons Up!

Much like Busy Beaver is the only known button museum in the world, Vent Haven Museum holds the title of the only museum in the world dedicated to the art of ventriloquism. The museum was founded in 1973 in honor of the late William Shakespeare Berger. W.S. Berger dedicated his life to the art of ventriloquism and bringing together those with similar passions for this craft. The original location in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky houses over 800 ventriloquist figures, photographs, and other memorabilia with the ventriloquism art.

The museum holds a yearly convention, ConVENTion, which brings the community of ventriloquists enthusiasts together for a week of nightly shows, daily workshops, dealer rooms, and keynote lectures. Taking place in mid-July, Vent Haven's ConVENTion rallies an attendance of over 600 enthusiastic ventriloquists from around the world.

The organizers of the show needed a way for new and seasoned attendees to find a way to break the ice on the first day of the conference. At the 2011 convention a button pack was given to each patron upon arrival. There were four button designs total, and each pack gifted included four identical buttons.

"The idea was that you would walk around during the "get acquainted" party and meet new people and see which buttons they had, with the ultimate goal of trading buttons with people until you acquired a full set of the four different character buttons,"said Tom Ladshaw, a member of the Vent Haven Board of Advisors. Five years later and this game is still talked about at every convention. Ladshaw notes.

The ConVENTion also acts as an annual fundraiser for the museum to preserve and protect the integrity of the building and the dolls inside. Since 2013, Vent Haven Museum has utilized the 24k gold buttons for convention-goers to take home a limited edition button. Fifty of the solid gold buttons are ordered with the museum's logo and year and can be purchased with a donation of $20 per button.

The buzz for the golden buttons is created even in the registration line outside of the convention and with 120 times the amount of people as there are buttons at the show, the competition to bring home a golden button is fierce. Each year with fifty buttons sold during the fundraiser earns the museum $1,000 as well as offering a special take away to dedicated fans.

With the livelihood of the dummies, dolls, and memorabilia seen throughout the museum, it is no surprise that the museum strongly encourages the fandom of this art to grow every year with their annual convention. With a simple trade or the commonality of donating to the same cause, buttons help bring people together who have similar interests but may not speak them out loud.

From beginners to pros, the buttons Vent Haven Museum creates help to celebrate W.S. Berger's legacy and the art of ventriloquists.

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