Making Shank Buttons Using Concrete
I 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.
Total Time: 30 min + 1 day for the varnish to dry + 3-4 days for the concrete to dry.
- 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
- crochet hook 3.5 mm or a nail
- 1 metal nail file
- Cut a piece of tinfoil 4 times the size of the button. Crumple up this piece of tinfoil.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Fold the wire in the middle around the crochet hook and form a loop.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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