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Craft Ideas Using Buttons

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A sock puppet with a button for a nose.

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.

Solutions: Craft Ideas Using Buttons

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Button Dish

Finished button dish.Here's a way to put your extra loose buttons to artistic use - a beautiful button dish! All it takes is some buttons and glue. I made this one to hold my jewelry in the bathroom.

Approximate Time: 1 day

Supplies:

  • buttons
  • glue
  • clear gloss glaze (optional)
  • dish or bowl
  • foil

Instructions:

  1. Choose a dish or shallow bowl that has a shape you'd like your button dish to match.
  2. Arrange your buttons in different patterns on the dish until you figure out what pattern you like.
  3. Arranging buttons.

  4. Remove buttons and line the dish completely with aluminum foil.
  5. Line bowl with foil.

  6. Squeeze some glue onto the foil-lined dish and start placing your buttons, starting from the center, working outwards. Keep gluing and placing buttons until you're happy with your dish.
  7. Begin gluing buttons.

  8. Let dry overnight. Dish is done when the buttons don't move anymore when you touch gently with your finger (I gave mine about 16 hours).
  9. If you use big buttons in your design (like I did), add a light coating of clear gloss glaze for more stability.
  10. Remove button dish (will have foil stuck to it) and gently peel off foil.

Enjoy your beautiful and useful recycled art!

By attosa from Los Angeles, CA

Pearl Button Pin

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

Button and Fabric Wall Hanging

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

Supplies:

  • two sizes of round disks
  • a wooden placard
  • crochet thread and needle
  • buttons
  • raffia or ribbon
  • hot glue gun
  • scrap fabric
  • white glue and foam brush
  • fine tip felt pen
  • options: paint

Instructions:

  1. When you search for a placard, you can use just about any kind.
  2. Test the bleed factor on the back of it to make sure your felt pen will work.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Once that part is done, you can set this aside.
  6. Supplies for button wall hanging.

  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Weigh them down for at least 15 minutes to bond the glue. You may need to trim any excess.
  11. I painted the edges of the buttons black to match the felt tip. You can leave them tan if you wish.
  12. 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.
  13. Thread the needle and get the effect you want, tying some in front and some glued to the back.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.

Enjoy. Button and fabric wall hanging.

By Sandi from Yorktown, VA

Pink Button Tree

Styrofoam cone covered with pink buttons. The finished cone is sitting in a pedestal candy dish.Pink buttons and pearlized pins were used to create this cute and fun tree. A nice finishing touch is the glittered paper flower with a pink pearl brad.

Approximate Time: 90 minutes

Supplies:

  • Styrofoam cone 3 7/8 x 11 7/8 inches
  • buttons in light pink, large and small
  • white pearlized pins, about 400
  • flower
  • pearl pink brad
  • hot glue

Instructions:

  1. Insert one pearlized pin through button holes to secure in place. Continue in this manner until the entire foam cone is covered.

  2. Attach paper flower with a dot of hot glue as shown in project photo.

Source: buttons, cone, pearlized pins from Michaels

By Maricel from Fairfax, VA

Button Gift Box

Round box decorated with buttons and pink ribbon.A paper mache mini round box painted white and covered with clear buttons and crystal glitter.

Approximate Time:

Supplies:

  • paper mache - mini round box
  • spray paint in white
  • adhesive paper ribbon
  • pink satin ribbon
  • cream ribbon rose
  • clear buttons
  • crystal coarse glitter
  • spray adhesive
  • die-cut tag
  • dot adhesive
  • scissors
  • gold safety pin

Instructions:

  1. Spray paper mache box with white spray paint. Let it dry.

  2. Lightly spray the lid with adhesive then cover it with clear buttons. Coat them all with crystal glitter using spray adhesive. View of buttons glued to top of box.

  3. Measure the side of the box lid and cut adhesive paper ribbon; adhere. Box with bow and gift tag.

  4. Tie gift box with pink satin ribbon; attach pin with tag. Adhere the ribbon rose on top of the knot with a dot of adhesive as shown.

Source: Krylon spray paint, 3M spray adhesive, KandCompany adhesive paper ribbon (Wild Saffron), Making Memories die-cut tag (Flutter), Martha Stewart glitter

By Maricel from Fairfax, VA

Photo

Button Flowers in Salt Shaker Vase

Red and white button flowers in salt shaker.Use your button collection to make these funky flowers. Add a vintage salt shaker to hold your bouquet.

Approximate Time: Took me longer to choose the perfect buttons than it did to make the flowers.

Supplies:

  • old buttons
  • floral wire
  • salt shaker

Instructions:

  1. Use as many buttons per flower as you want, but I found that 3 or 4 was the easiest to work with.

  2. Simply thread the wire up through the buttons, one at a time, allowing enough extra wire to bring it back down through.
  3. Then twist the end around the longer "stem".
  4. If you want, you could wrap floral tape around the twisted wire, but I left it as is.
  5. Now poke your flowers into the holes of a salt shaker.
  6. Done.

*I saw this craft on several websites. This is my version*

By ~gloria from upstate NY

Button Bobby Pins

Using shank buttons and bobby pins you can create fun and unique hair accessories that will make girls of any age smile. Finished button bobby pin hair accessory.

Approximate Time: 5 minutes, each

Supplies:

  • thread
  • shank buttons
  • needle
  • bobby pins
Button bobbypin supplies. rotated photo

Instructions:

  1. 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!
  2. Assemble your needle, thread, and bobby pins along with the shank buttons you chose.
  3. Thread your needle and place the shank button between the ends of the bobby pin so that it is lying flat against the button.
  4. Slide shank button on to bobbypin.

  5. Sew the thread through the shank.
  6. Beginning to sew button on to pin.

  7. Pull the thread through the ends of the bobby pin and loop back through the shank.
  8. Sewing button on to bobby pin.

  9. 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.

By Teri M from Omaha, NE

Button Love Christmas Present

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.

Approximate Time: 1 hour

Supplies:

  • glue gun with glue
  • scrap book paper
  • needle and thread
  • shadow box
  • buttons

Instructions:

  1. Pry the back off of your frame. Back of Picture Frame

  2. If there was an embellishment in the frame take/scrape it out.

  3. Hand rip your scrap paper to roughly fit the frame backing. Just eyeball it. It does not need to look perfect, and actually looks better if it is imperfect.

  4. Place your paper against your backing to see if you like the fit, if you want more of a rustic look, let more of the backing show through.

  5. With a pencil, draw a heart shape on your paper.

  6. Using your needle and thread, begin sewing buttons all around the perimeter of your heart shape. You can also use hot glue to do this, but I like the look of the hand sewn buttons. White buttons being sewn onto red material

  7. Fill in the heart with buttons. Where there are gaps, bend the paper and wedge buttons in, sewing them in place. This will give your heart dimension, and make the buttons really stand out. Hand folding material with white buttons sewn on

  8. Place hot glue along the back of the paper, wrong side up.

  9. Press heart gently onto backing of frame and add more glue if needed.

  10. Glue frame back in place with hot glue. Press backing onto frame to secure.

By Teri M from Omaha, NE Button Heart in picture Frame

Button Choker

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

Supplies:

  • 2 yards thin hemp cord
  • 21 beads from old necklace
  • 21 buttons
  • scissors
  • super glue (optional)

Instructions:

  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

Making Button Bulletin Board Pins

Making Button Bulletin Board PinsMake 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. This is a guide about making button bulletin board pins.

Tip: Using Buttons for Toys

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

Tip: Craft: Button Cross

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

Button Trees

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.

Materials:

  • 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

Instructions

  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

Tip: Decorate With Old Buttons

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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Questions

Here are questions related to Craft Ideas Using Buttons.

Question: Gluing Buttons to Back of Hand Mirror

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


Most Recent Answer

By Suntydt [75]09/13/2012

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.

Question: Button Craft Ideas

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


Best Answer

By Joan [13]01/01/2012

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.

Question: Crafts Ideas Using Buttons

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.

By Linda from Lower Adirondacks, NY

Question: Craft Uses for Buttons

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.

Question: Creative Uses for Buttons

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.


Most Recent Answer

By Robin Payton11/12/2007

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

Photos

Below are photos related to this guide.

Craft: Bulletin Board Button Pins

Here is a cute way to snazz up your bulletin board. I hot glued cute buttons to thumbtacks and use these to hold up notes, etc.

To make "yo yo's", I cut out a 4 inch circle of fabric and did a running stitch just inside the edge on the wrong side of the circle (knot the end first).

Pull the thread to make a yo yo and add a stitch or two to hold in place. Put the button tack through the center and voila! You are done.

By Carol

Decorative bulletin board pins.

Feedback Forum

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By ~gloria [90]02/13/2012

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.

RE: Crafts Ideas Using Buttons

Archives

Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

Archive: Crafts Ideas Using Buttons

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

By Jane from NE


RE: 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

RE: 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. http://www.tipjunkie.com/fabric-flower-tutorials/ (09/15/2010)

By Bookeesmom

RE: 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

RE: Crafts Ideas Using Buttons

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

By isobel44art

RE: Crafts Ideas Using Buttons

RE: 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

RE: Crafts Ideas Using Buttons

I posted a button heart craft on a family website a few months ago, hope this helps: http://familycrafts.about.com/od/buttons/a/ButtonHeartCraft.htm (09/16/2010)

By Crafty Cat

RE: Crafts Ideas Using Buttons