Craft Ideas Using Buttons

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.

A sock puppet with a button for a nose.
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With some round disks, buttons, a drill, and a wooden placard, you can make this wonderful wall hanging for a gift or to keep.

Button wall hanging.

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What can I do with 5000 mixed buttons? I like to make craft items to sell for charity. Has anyone any ideas please? Thanking you.

By Ann

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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.

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Chocker made from buttons and beads.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
  • 21 buttons
  • scissors
  • super glue (optional)


  1. Cut hemp cord to length of 2 yards.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!

By Brianna from Dutch Harbor, AK

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Buttons made into a heart shaped pin.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.

By Elaine from IA

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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.

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I crochet book strings and sometimes use buttons as the bottom weight, rather than beads.

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What kind of paste would I use to put old buttons on the back of a hand mirror and do I paint it first?

By Sally K

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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.

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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

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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.

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Buttons decorate Styrofoam trees.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
  • Styrofoam cone
  • glue (I used E-6000)
  • gold spray paint
  • assorted buttons, earrings, beads, or jewelry findings
  • assorted ribbons and greenery
  • florist moss


  1. Begin by gluing 2 clay post together.
  2. Allow to dry.
  3. Spray paint gold, allow to dry.
  4. 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.
  5. Stop approximately 1-1.5 inches from bottom.
  6. Work in sections, allowing to dry thoroughly between sessions.
  7. Once the cone has been decorated to your satisfaction, place a layer of glue on the "inside" of the clay pot.
  8. 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.
  9. You can add additional buttons later to fill in any blank spaces.
  10. Allow glue to dry.
  11. 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.

By Diana from Prospect, KY

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This cute framed button art is the perfect gift for a loved one this holiday season. Made with items easily found at most dollar stores.

Button Heart in picture Frame

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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.

By Linda

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This is a guide about making button bulletin board pins. Make the pins or tacks for your bulletin board more fun to use by decorating them with buttons. This is an easy project that children can also work on.

Making Button Bulletin Board Pins

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Translucent button cross.Sew 8 buttons with wire, then sew 3 buttons. Next, sew the 4th button onto the first string, then 3 more buttons.

Source: Kit

By Randa from San Marcos, TX

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I saw an easy way to decorate your hairdo, put a button (or 2) on a bobby pin to hold back hair at the front!

By pamphyila from Los Angeles

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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.

By Marty from Knoxville, TN

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What can I make with the vintage buttons I have collected?

By Jane from NE

Crafts Ideas Using Buttons

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)

By wildmint

Crafts Ideas Using Buttons

You can make those fabric flowers using the button as the center of the flower. A lot of people are wearing these flowers like a broach. (09/15/2010)

By Bookeesmom

Crafts Ideas Using Buttons

You can also glue them in a multilevel design for decorative lids for just about any kind of box. (09/15/2010)

By Deeli

Crafts Ideas Using Buttons

I make brooches with mine. (09/15/2010)

By isobel44art

RE: Crafts Ideas Using Buttons

Crafts Ideas Using Buttons

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.

Gem (09/15/2010)

By maphisx7

Crafts Ideas Using Buttons

I posted a button heart craft on a family website a few months ago, hope this helps: (09/16/2010)

By Crafty Cat

RE: Crafts Ideas Using Buttons

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Crafts MiscellaneousFebruary 12, 2012
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