Add to GuideAsk a Question
To Top

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 guide about craft ideas using buttons.


Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!

By 5 found this helpful
May 19, 2009

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

Comment Was this helpful? 5

November 25, 2010

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. 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

Comment Was this helpful? 1

By 1 found this helpful
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

Comment Was this helpful? 1

By 0 found this helpful
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.



  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

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

June 11, 20050 found this helpful

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.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

May 4, 20161 found this helpful

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

Read More... Was this helpful? 1

January 27, 2010

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

CommentPin It! Was this helpful? Yes

March 20, 2007

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!

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

January 19, 20170 found this helpful

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 guide about making button magnets.

Read More... Was this helpful? Yes

May 16, 20160 found this helpful

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

Read More... Was this helpful? Yes

May 4, 20160 found this helpful

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

Read More... Was this helpful? Yes

May 4, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide 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.

Read More... Was this helpful? Yes

May 4, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about making a button tree. Make a pretty decoration for your home or to give as a gift, with a Styrofoam or paper cone and your choice of buttons and other decorative bits.

Read More... Was this helpful? Yes

May 22, 20140 found this helpful

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.

Read More... Was this helpful? Yes

August 8, 2012

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.

Comment Was this helpful? Yes


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, 20120 found this helpful

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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question...

By 0 found this helpful
March 14, 2006

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.

http://www.craf  spx?projected=47

Post by Jessica

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
March 14, 20060 found this helpful

Here are some instructions for making a Button Bracelet:
http://www.thri  3989275.tip.html

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By almus (Guest Post)
April 27, 20070 found this helpful

you could make a model of a really tiny car (possibly a chariot) and use buttons as miniature wheels! The other uses of buttons are endless but another of my favorites is to grind the button down to make a kind of powder! depending on the color of button the powder will vary!
white:salt! etc!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
November 12, 20070 found this helpful

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

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question...

By 0 found this helpful
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!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
By Killer Bees (Guest Post)
February 20, 20080 found this helpful

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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question...

September 13, 20120 found this helpful

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


September 13, 20120 found this helpful

I would use either hot glue or super glue.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
September 13, 20120 found this helpful

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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question...

February 6, 2011

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


August 20, 20170 found this helpful

Take a plain throw pillow and sew on lots of different color and size buttons for a designer pillow.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 21, 20170 found this helpful

Button-edged mirrors and photo frames.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question...


ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

February 6, 20110 found this helpful

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

By Jane Hornung 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 Joyce

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 Rose

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 Ann

Crafts Ideas Using Buttons

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

By Isobel Gregory

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 gem

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 Anne Davies

RE: Crafts Ideas Using Buttons

Comment Was this helpful? Yes
Related Content
Crafts MiscellaneousFebruary 12, 2012
Christmas Ideas!
Thanksgiving Ideas!
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Desktop Page | View Mobile

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

© 1997-2017 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Published by .

Generated 2017/11/22 23:41:29 in 1 secs. ⛅️️ ⚡️
Loading Something Awesome!