DIY: Buttons, Buttons…Who’s Got the Buttons?

Updated: Jul 09, 2011 13:29
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Last week, I told you all about my trip Maker Faire and some super-simple button crafts. But here’s the thing, once I start digging into good craft ideas, it’s often hard to stop – and buttons were no different. There are actually a bunch of good ideas for buttons, which again, awesome because of how easy it is to come across buttons. So, check out some more clever ideas for buttons and keep in mind that they can always be painted, so you’re not stuck with the color they come in.


Jewelry –You’d be surprised at how many options there are for button jewelry. Or, maybe you’re not. But there are plenty of options for button rings, earrings and bracelets – and they’re all pretty easy. For rings, you’ll need some jewelry wire, wire cutters, curved nose pliers, wine cork and buttons. Basically, you’re going to wind the wire around the wine cork until you have a ring shape, then twist one part of the remaining wire to hold the circle, and thread buttons through the other section of wire. For bracelets you can either thread the buttons together (using this visually instructive but non-English tutorial), or you can sew and glue buttons to a piece of felt. If you’re going the felt route, you’ll need to add some type of closure (like a snap or a hook). Earrings are the easiest, since they involve pretty much two steps: use wire cutters to remove the hook off the back of the button. Glue earring backs to button.

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Clothing– Where do buttons usually live? Yep. On clothes. However, they’re not stuck just holding your cuffs closed, buttons can be used as embellishments on the shoulders of blouses, or in an avant-garde art design. Sew or glue to hold them in place, and if you’re working with a design, consider using a template of some sort. For templates, just size the picture up and slide it underneath your shirt to guide your work.
Art, Etc – I know, “button art” sounds like something grey-hairs do on Sundays at the library but check it:

Image courtesy

Not so bad, right?
Another option is to retro-out a handbag by gluing or sewing buttons to it, like so:

Image courtesy

And, although even I’ll admit that it’s a bit over-the-top, you can even fashion your own button curtains.


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Amber Bouman - Crafty & Cashless

Amber Bouman - Crafty & Cashless

A freelance writer, blogger and poet based in San Francisco, Amber has written for PC World, InfoWorld, and the 16th & Mission Review. She has performed at City Hall, Litquake, the Brainwash, 16th & Mission, BlueSix, and SFSU among other places. Amber is also consummate fan of swearing, organizational freak, yoga practitioner, music geek, caffeine addict, and tattoo enthusiast who enjoys platform shoes, making out, thumb wrestling and fighting the good fight. She owns a bicycle named Gretel, a motor scooter named Elroy and a cat named Simon. She can be found in various virtual locations all over your interwebs.