Buttons whether vintage, new from the craft store, or those salvaged from clothing before cutting into rags, make a great crafting item. You can use them as an embellishment or design the craft around the use of buttons. This is a guide about craft ideas using buttons.
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Decorate with buttons by gluing them to a lamp shade, picture frame, or clock. Use wire cutters to clip off the shank of any buttons that have them. Be careful that the pieces you clip don't fly off and hurt you. I close my hand around it to keep it from flying, or you could wear safety goggles.
I use buttons for eyes, etc. for toys for my grand people. I affix them with clear nail polish. I also use the larger pretty ones for closures on my purses, totes, and beach bags. To recycle the colorful, not very cute buttons, I made a baby toy with a small Dasani water bottle and a handful of brightly colored buttons. I then glued it closed and that girl had a ball shaking and staring at those noisy buttons. It didn't cost a penny.
This is a pin I made from saved pearl type buttons. It is very easy. Use any buttons that you have cut off clothes. The white pearl buttons are easy to find. Use different sizes to keep it interesting but fairly close in size.
First cut out a piece of tightly woven cotton fabric in a heart shape that is approximately 3 by 2-1/2 inches. If you wish, you might put some fray check on the edges to keep from fraying or some clear fingernail polish would work also.
Starting from the middle sew on the buttons snugly, keeping the fabric cupped so that when you are done you have a 3-D dimension. Then when all done, glue a piece of matching felt on the back and on that glue on a pin fastener. With the right jewelry findings, you could also make a necklace of it.
Recycle mismatched and extra buttons to make this unique choker; a wonderful gift that costs less than a dollar to make!
Approximate Time: 15 minutes
2 yards thin hemp cord
21 beads from old necklace
super glue (optional)
Cut hemp cord to length of 2 yards.
Double cord and make an overhand knot at the folded end, leaving a loop large enough to fit button to be used as clasp at very end through.
String beads and buttons alternately, "sewing" cord through buttons in a vertical line so that one piece of the hemp goes over and through one side of the button while the other does so simultaneously; this gives the piece stability.
At the very end of the choker, tie a square knot before and after the button to be used as the "clasp," reinforce knots with super glue if desired; show off your new piece of jewelry!
With some round disks, buttons, a drill, and a wooden placard, you can make this wonderful wall hanging for a gift or to keep.
Approximate Time: 2 hours
two sizes of round disks
a wooden placard
crochet thread and needle
raffia or ribbon
hot glue gun
white glue and foam brush
fine tip felt pen
When you search for a placard, you can use just about any kind.
Test the bleed factor on the back of it to make sure your felt pen will work.
If you have a steady hand and good spacial recognition, you can make the "stitch mark" like on this one. If you do not, you can always paint it or leave the edges blank.
Write "Friends are like unique buttons. You collect them one at a time." Center it and write it on paper if you want to make sure it's right.
Once that part is done, you can set this aside.
The round disks can be found in about any craft shop, so if you can, get the 2 inch and 1.5 inch for a variety. Drill holes in them like for buttons, mixing two and four holes for variety, as well.
You can paint these, or do what I did. The scrap fabric needs to be prepared with glue. This makes the fabric stiff and easy to cut like paper.
Once they are dried, lay the disks on them and circle cut them to glue onto the disks. You will need the foam brush to make sure the fabric gets glued to the edges of the disks.
Weigh them down for at least 15 minutes to bond the glue. You may need to trim any excess.
I painted the edges of the buttons black to match the felt tip. You can leave them tan if you wish.
Pick some scrap buttons to match the colors of the fabric you chose. Once the wooden and fabric buttons have dried, get some crochet thread to match the colors of the fabric. If you don't have any, yarn can work or just plain thread. However, keep in mind you will need a lot of it.
Thread the needle and get the effect you want, tying some in front and some glued to the back.
Hot glue the wooden buttons to each other using 2 in the front and 2 in the back, keeping it level. Make sure not to cover the nice threads.
Glue the buttons onto the wooden ones, and the top if you choose. If you have raffia, use it to hot glue to the back of the outside buttons and loop around to the back of the placard for the loop.
Give as a gift to a friend, or keep and hang on your wall. This is a craft best left inside out of the elements.
I love buttons! I also save lots of things you might consider junk, which I re-use to make beautiful household items and jewelry, like my button and earring trees.
small planter or clay pots
glue (I used E-6000)
gold spray paint
assorted buttons, earrings, beads, or jewelry findings
assorted ribbons and greenery
Begin by gluing 2 clay post together.
Allow to dry.
Spray paint gold, allow to dry.
In the meantime, starting at the top of the Styrofoam cone, secure assorted flat backed buttons as close together as possible. Do not worry about spaces. You will add another layer of buttons (shank) to fill in any holes.
Stop approximately 1-1.5 inches from bottom.
Work in sections, allowing to dry thoroughly between sessions.
Once the cone has been decorated to your satisfaction, place a layer of glue on the "inside" of the clay pot.
Place a small amount of moss (allow to "hang out" slightly) and firmly push cone into the clay pot. Move moss around to cover any Styrofoam.
You can add additional buttons later to fill in any blank spaces.
Allow glue to dry.
You may now decorate the outside of the pot using wired ribbon and greenery.
I make several of these and display with my nativity set. They are beautiful and very unusual.
Using shank buttons and bobby pins you can create fun and unique hair accessories that will make girls of any age smile.
Approximate Time: 5 minutes, each
Go through your button stash and find some cute shank buttons. These are the buttons that have the loop in the back for attaching them to fabrics. I like to buy my buttons in bulk from large craft stores and there are always gobs of cute shank buttons that I have no idea what to do with, but hate to throw out since they are so darn cute!
Assemble your needle, thread, and bobby pins along with the shank buttons you chose.
Thread your needle and place the shank button between the ends of the bobby pin so that it is lying flat against the button.
Sew the thread through the shank.
Pull the thread through the ends of the bobby pin and loop back through the shank.
Knot the thread each time you pass it through the shank. Make sure to alternate coming up through the shank from both sides, as to ensure a tight adhesion.
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Here are questions related to Craft Ideas Using Buttons.
I have seen directions different places online that tell how to make necklaces and bracelets with buttons. You can also cut thin cardboard to the desired shape and cut a piece of ribbon to length and glue it to the top, then glue flat buttons to the cardboard and use as tree ornaments. The shape I have seen most often for this, is a heart shape.
If you are asking if you should paint the buttons or the mirror first I would say yes on both unless you want the buttons the same color as the mirror. In that case paint all of it at the same time. You could use elmers glue, a hot glue gun or super glue. All will have the same result. I would expect, whatever glue you use, will be less permanent if you paint the buttons first unless you are only painting one side. And I would suggest, if you are painting the mirror, to leave little spots unpainted where you plan to put the buttons. This way the glue will adhere better/longer.
Just make sure, if you paint the everywhere you plan on putting the buttons, that you let the paint dry really well. Give it a couple days if not a week or more. This way the paint won't absorb the glue and the glue won't have a weaker hold.
Does anyone have any ideas for me how to make jewelry or other items with buttons? I have a huge collection and would love to be able to create some nice things to sell, as I have been out of work for over a year now. Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks.
Fun Uses for Buttons: Buttons make great wall decorations or plates in doll houses. You can string them together to make a button bracelet. Substitute them for lost game pieces or use them as poker chips.
Read more creative uses for buttons below and feel free to post your own ideas.
I have a large assortment of lovely buttons, many of them matching, and I wondered if anyone had a craft idea on how to use them?
Noreen from Dover, PA
Most Recent Answer
By Killer Bees (Guest Post)02/20/2008
I love knitting. At the moment, I'm working on an afghan that's 185 stitches across on size 9 needles using 4 strands of yarn at a time. Sometimes I might come to the end of a ball in the middle of a row and I have to add another ball to keep going. Some knitters weave the tail ends in as they go. But I just tie the two ends together. Wherever these tied ends appear, I push the tails through to the back. Once I'm done knitting the afghan I go hunting for large unusual buttons. I then sew these buttons to right side of the afghan, making sure I catch the yarn tails in the sewing from the button. It looks very effective to see plain knitting with random odd buttons all over the front of the afghan. And because I use large balls of wool, there's not so many tails that the afghan is overwhelmed with buttons. I have received many compliments on how the afghans look with this detail on them.
Button bracelets are easy to make. Just measure your wrist and use a piece of narrow elastic that you've sewn together at the ends. Sew each button on overlapping them slightly as you go around the elastic. This one is made of vintage buttons, some are Bakelite, I think.
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Sew or glue them to lampshades, greeting cards, scrapbook pages, invitations, curtains, tie backs for curtains, place holders, napkin rings, Christmas ornaments, picture frames, magnets for fridge, or my favorite, jewelry! (09/15/2010)
I saw the prettiest button wreath made into a shadowbox that had almost every kind of button you could find in it. The mat was heart shaped and the inside was full of beautiful buttons. It was obviously for display purposes, but it is so beautiful. Good luck.