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Making Shank Buttons Using Concrete


Silver Answer Medal for All Time! 440 Answers
February 22, 2021

Making Shank Buttons the Cheap Way Using Concrete - finished buttonsI want to share with you a method I have invented for making shank buttons out of concrete. This is a very easy and cheap method. As a result, you will get very original shank buttons.

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Total Time: 30 min + 1 day for the varnish to dry + 3-4 days for the concrete to dry.

Supplies:

  • 1 shank button you want to copy
  • tinfoil (a piece 4 times the size of the button)
  • hot glue (with gun)
  • cement, the amount depends on the size of the button
  • sand, as much as cement
  • clean water
  • varnish for metal
  • lubricant for concrete casting
  • 1.8 mm wire, the length depends on the size of the button (3-7 cm)
  • instant glue
  • 1 scissors
  • 1 eraser with a sharp end
  • 1 pencil with a blunt end
  • 1 brush
  • 1 container for mixing concrete
  • 1 small spoon
  • 1 pliers
  • 1 toothpick
  • film
  • crochet hook 3.5 mm or a nail
  • 1 metal nail file
Making Shank Buttons the Cheap Way Using Concrete - supplies
 

Steps:

  1. Cut a piece of tinfoil 4 times the size of the button. Crumple up this piece of tinfoil.
  2. Making Shank Buttons the Cheap Way Using Concrete - button sitting on foil square
     
    Making Shank Buttons the Cheap Way Using Concrete - crumpled foil
     
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  3. Wrap the crumpled tinfoil over the button. Press the tinfoil very gently into the grooves in the pattern using the tip of the eraser. Do this very carefully to avoid tearing the tinfoil. If your button has small details, then highlight them with the blunt pencil.
  4. Making Shank Buttons the Cheap Way Using Concrete - button on crumpled foil
     
    Making Shank Buttons the Cheap Way Using Concrete - foil wrapped around button
     
    Making Shank Buttons the Cheap Way Using Concrete - press foil in to button design with eraser
     
    Making Shank Buttons the Cheap Way Using Concrete - design brought out
     
    Making Shank Buttons the Cheap Way Using Concrete - button and pencil
     
    Making Shank Buttons the Cheap Way Using Concrete - blunt tip pencil for more detail
     
  5. To keep the shape, apply hot glue on the tinfoil top of the button. The hot glue layer should not be too thick, or it will be more difficult for you to remove the button. Wait for the hot glue to harden well.
  6. Making Shank Buttons the Cheap Way Using Concrete - closeup of foil over button ready to apply glue
     
    Making Shank Buttons the Cheap Way Using Concrete - glue applied to foil on top of button
     
    Making Shank Buttons the Cheap Way Using Concrete - button covered with hot glue, gun in the lower left
     
    Making Shank Buttons the Cheap Way Using Concrete - glue covered button from the underside
     
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  7. Unfold the tinfoil and pull out the button. To make it easier for you to pull out the button, you can trim the edges of the mold.
  8. Making Shank Buttons the Cheap Way Using Concrete - remove button from mold
     
  9. Concrete reacts with tinfoil. Therefore, so that the tinfoil is not damaged when concrete casting, cover the inner surface of the mold with varnish. This will make this mold reusable. Varnish the surface very carefully so as not to damage the tinfoil. Leave the mold to dry well (during a day).
  10. Making Shank Buttons the Cheap Way Using Concrete -brush inside of mold with varnish
     
  11. Fold the wire in the middle around the crochet hook and form a loop.
  12. Making Shank Buttons the Cheap Way Using Concrete -bending wire in the middle around a crochet hookfor shank
     
    Making Shank Buttons the Cheap Way Using Concrete - forming loop
     
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  13. Mix cement and sand very well in a 1:1 ratio. Add a little water to form a solution of a liquid consistency (like liquid sour cream). Mix well.
  14. Making Shank Buttons the Cheap Way Using Concrete - mix sand and cement in 1:1 ratio
     
    Making Shank Buttons the Cheap Way Using Concrete - add water to get correct consistency
     
  15. Lubricate the mold. Using the small spoon, pour some concrete into the mold.
    Shake the mold to allow the concrete to fill all cavities and remove bubbles.
    Insert the wire so that the wire loop is in the center and above the concrete.
    Fix the wire loop with the toothpick. Make sure the loop is centered and straight. Cover the mold with foil. Let the concrete hardened and to dry well for 3-4 days. The time depends on the size of your button.
  16. Making Shank Buttons the Cheap Way Using Concrete - add cement to lubricated mold, shake to level
     
    Making Shank Buttons the Cheap Way Using Concrete - add wire and insert toothpick through loop
     
    Making Shank Buttons the Cheap Way Using Concrete - allow to dry
     
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  17. Carefully pull the concrete button out of the mold. To make it easier for you to do this, you can trim the edges of the form. Sand the edges with the nail file.
  18. Making Shank Buttons the Cheap Way Using Concrete - when dry remove from the mold
     
  19. To make the concrete button comfortable to use, as strong and smooth as possible, cover the surface with instant glue. Hold the button by the leg, drip just a few drops onto the surface and tilt the concrete button slightly so that the glue is evenly distributed over the surface. At this step, you can glue various decorative elements to your concrete button, such as crystals, rhinestones, or sequins. Wait a little while the glue dries. Then cover the back of the concrete button with instant glue and wait again until the glue dries well. The concrete button is ready to use.
  20. Making Shank Buttons the Cheap Way Using Concrete - coat top with instant glue
     
    Making Shank Buttons the Cheap Way Using Concrete - allow to dry
     
    Making Shank Buttons the Cheap Way Using Concrete - invert
     
    Making Shank Buttons the Cheap Way Using Concrete - repeat on the bottom
     
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  21. Repeat the button-making process as many times as you like. You can make several molds or use the mold already made.

    I tried this method for making concrete shank buttons of different shapes. I am delighted with the result.
  22. Making Shank Buttons the Cheap Way Using Concrete - buttons and molds
     
    Making Shank Buttons the Cheap Way Using Concrete - buttons right out of the mold
     
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