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Craft Ideas Using Buttons

Category Miscellaneous
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 page about craft ideas using buttons.


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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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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



  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. Advertisement

  4. 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.
  5. 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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November 28, 2011

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



  1. Pry the back off of your 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.


  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.

  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

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September 16, 2008

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.

Buttons decorate Styrofoam trees.

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June 11, 2005

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.

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

Translucent button cross.

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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!

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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.

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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

January 1, 2012

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


January 1, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

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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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.


September 27, 20040 found this helpful


Doesn't everyone have a tin or drawer full of mismatched buttons? I sure do. What are some creative & crafty uses for them?



Crafty Button Ideas

You could:

- Sew the buttons in a design on a homemade purse (Time consuming but fashionable).

- Glue in patterns on cardboard and make a modern art mosaic.

- Button earrings, necklaces, etc.

- Donate to elementary art classes.

Lots of fun stuff!

Post by GoPittLaw (Guest Post)

Decorate a Waistcoat

You could get an old waistcoat and sew pretty buttons on the front, guaranteed no-one else would have a waistcoat like yours. You could also make a motif for the back if its a plain one with a little glue and glitter. Maria Bath UK

Post by reb1234 (Guest Post)

Let Kids Make Frames

Let children make gifts with them. Simply embellish a dollar store frame with buttons for a delightful "I did it myself" craft.

Post by gazookeeper (Guest Post)

Shabby Chic Art!

You could purchase those small frames, almost like a shadowbox at the dollar stores, take them apart and make shapes out of the buttons by gluing them to the back. I've made hearts and stars, you could even do someone's name. Put the frame back together and voila, instant art that looks very shabby chic. You can change the background color with construction paper or leftover framing matte.

Post by Andrea Hart

Many Creative Ideas

Cover a lamp shade, glue on the edge of picture frame, light switch cover, planter, or you could use them with grout and cover a table top.

Post by Barbie (Guest Post)

Tie Things Together With Buttons

Instead of quilting together the layers of a patchwork bed cover, wall hanging or knee rug they can be 'tied' together with buttons attached through all layers. Place in a nice geometric pattern to complement the patches and sew on as normal with decorative thread.



Decorate a Clock

I glued buttons around a cheap clock and turned it into an eye catching "one of a kind" designer item.

Post by Linda L.

Decorate a Picture Frame

You could buy cheap, clear plastic frames at the store (the small ones that cost about $1 and stand up) and put kids pictures in them. Then glue the buttons on the outside and "frame" the picture. I did this one year and made Christmas presents for the grandparents.

Post by MB in WY (Guest Post)


Sew a button to the corner of your dishcloth to help scrape stuck on food -- maybe you would rather it be a metal one - but be careful not to scratch!
If you have a HUGE amount of them, maybe you could string them and attach them to a dowel rod for an interesting window hanging instead of love beads

Post by melody_yesterday

Shadow Box

I was in Ohio at an Art Museum and saw a Shadow Box with old watch parts and buttons glued in a neat design and then matted put in the shadow box. It sold for $175.00

Post by Joan (Guest Post)

Button Snowman

Here's a button snowman pin that I thought was really cute.

Post by Jessica

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March 14, 20060 found this helpful

Here are some instructions for making a Button Bracelet:

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March 19, 20060 found this helpful

Buttons can be added to the wax on the outside of homemade candles or in homemade snowglobes (if the buttons are small). I have also used them with ribbon to decorate greeting cards. Some beading crafts, like making stars or bears for keychains, etc., can use buttons instead of beads.
I replace plain old white buttons with alternating colored ones on shirts. The plain white ones make nice pearly necklace/bracelets for the girls.
gretta in OK

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By peggygv (Guest Post)
March 19, 20060 found this helpful

I made earrings out of some of mine. I got a lot of compliments. buy the earring studs or clips from a craft shop and use super glue or some other industrial strength glue.

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March 19, 20060 found this helpful

Can anyone tell me where I can find like buttons you would use on baby clothes? I am wanting to make some bracelet/necklace sets for little girls, but am looking for the smaller buttons. I can't really afford to buy lots of the little cards of buttons. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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By Janet (Guest Post)
April 10, 20060 found this helpful

You can glue or sew them on sweat shirts. A large trangle tree ( all geen or white) with a few odd colored buttons for decorations on the tree and a brown retangle or square at the bottom, for the trunk. White buttons in three circles for a snowman and orange button for nose and black buttons for eyes mouth pipe and front buttons. Some white ones below the snowman for snow on the ground.

You can decorate a flower pot with them.

Glue them or pin them on styrofoam balls for xmas decorations. Glue a lot of green ones on a styroform wreath and glue on a big red bow.
Fill a small jelly canning jar with different buttons, put on the flat lid cover with cotton and a circle of fabric like gingham and then screw on ring ,now you have a pin cushion and spare buttons. Nice gift for a sewer.

"Write" your name or initals on a draw string bag with buttons. Either sew or glue. Now everyone knows it's yours.

Dress up a plain purse or pocketbook with buttons and charms. Got a plain pair of shoes, dress them up with buttons.

I have been collecting buttons(got large canning jars filled with them) and button craft ideas (put them in a note book with page protectors) for a while. They don't seem to carry craft books with button ideas in them anymore.

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November 8, 2006

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


By (Guest Post)
November 9, 20060 found this helpful

I have made necklaces out of vintage buttons by stringing them on elastic cord - I have also seen barrettes covered with buttons - I used a collection of buttons on some of my shirts/jackets - You can make pins out of buttons by gluing them to pin backs - ditto earrings (button kind) - pearl buttons can be sewn on clothes in patterns - I also have used large vintage buttons as closures on handbags...There is so much you can use them for - sewing on, and gluing & stringing!

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By (Guest Post)
November 9, 20060 found this helpful

Hi Noreen,

Buttons are great for earrings. Any new outfit I get, I check to be sure there are two extra buttons.

I also have seen buttons glued to picture frames and they look real cute.

Enjoy your treasures!

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November 9, 20060 found this helpful

My children and I used to make button people~~We got wooden bead faces, buttons and pipe cleaners. Thread the face on the pipe cleaner and then add buttons and then add 2 more pipe cleaners to make arms and legs...when it comes to the end~~leave enough room at the ends of pipe cleaners to twist around to make hands and feet. Then give them away for presents or the kids can play with them. enjoy

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By Susie from Buckhead, Ga (Guest Post)
November 9, 20060 found this helpful

A good friend of mine used buttons to put around a long mirror that you put on your bathroom door. It was beautiful. She also used buttons to decorate picture frames.

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By carol (Guest Post)
November 10, 20060 found this helpful

last valentines day i made victorian style hearts as presents for people, i cut out heart shapes x 2 from red felt, stuffed with cotton wool, glued the edges together, glued white gathered/ ruffle lace trim all the way round the heart , then glued on buttons all over in a pearly king/queen style , glued a ribbon bow at the bottom and sewed a ribbon loop at the top for hanging , they took minutes to make but every 1 ood and ahhed over them it really looks very pretty.


ps if u want to know about the pearly kings and queens lol thats another story altogether!

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September 13, 2012

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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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 CHAMPLIN from Lower Adirondacks, NY

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July 18, 2018

This delightful wall hanging carries a thoughtful message and uses fabric covered wooden discs and buttons to support the sentiment. This is a page about making a button and fabric wall hanging.

Button wall hanging.

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May 4, 2016

This is a page about making a dish out of buttons. This button dish is fun to make and display.

Making a Dish Out of Buttons

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January 19, 2017

Finding crafts to make from buttons in your stash or an especially nice one you bought for just the right project is a common event. One quick easy craft is a magnet. This is a page about making button magnets.

finished button magnet

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May 16, 2016

This is a page about making a button brooch. You can make pretty brooches using old recycled buttons or new ones purchased for the project.

Making a Button Brooch

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May 4, 2016

This is a page about making button bobby pins. Create your own unique bobby pins by adding buttons of your choice.

Making Button Bobby Pins

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May 4, 2016

This is a page about making a button gift box. Buttons can be used in so many crafts. Decorate a small box with buttons and other items, if desired, to make a unique gift box.

Making a Button Gift Box

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Crafts MiscellaneousFebruary 12, 2012
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