Beautiful Button Crafts

Beautiful Button Crafts
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Several years ago I stopped in to a second hand sale on the way home. I was looking at a table with just a few things, but noticed a tin full of buttons for 50 cents. I looked up the owner, a sweet elderly lady, and began to talk with her. It seems she had been collecting these for years but no longer needed them. We talked about my having two boys and a husband who were always losing buttons and the craft ideas I had seen lately. I bought the tin and when I got home I looked through the buttons. I realized that I had bought a tin of someone's family history. There must have been stories to go along with many of those buttons. Since then, I have been on the look out for button crafts and I have managed to talk family members into giving me even more buttons! Here are a few of the crafts I have found that can be given to friends and family as keepsakes so they too can have a little piece of history.

Button Jewelry

Handmade jewelry has never been so easy when you combine buttons and perhaps old earrings, charms or even beads to make brooches and pins. This is a perfect gift for a young girl or a woman of any age!
The Base: from thin craft wood, cut a heart shape 3-4 inches across. Sand the edges smooth. Round will work well too.

The bottom layer: Glue on a layer of simple shirt buttons of all one color.

The top layer: Affix your special buttons with glue; keeping the heart shape intact. If you want to add earring or charm pieces work those in where you feel they look good.

To finish: On the back glue a piece of brocade or tapestry fabric and cover the edges of the wood base by gluing on ribbon or narrow cord. Add a pin back as the final step.

Whimsical Birdhouses

Bird house kits can be bought in all sizes, and they make wonderful accents for inside the house. Often, if you have a nature center near by, they will sell the cut wood pieces to build the birdhouse with instructions. You can also watch the craft shows for booths that sell unfinished wood. I have seen miniature birdhouses on stands that would also work.

Painting: Paint your birdhouse with a primer. When dry, paint your desired color. You can also sponge paint or rag roll your birdhouse for an extra touch with a lighter color. Sponge lightly or roll a bunched up rag in a small amount of paint and roll the surface of the birdhouse with it.

The roof: Start with one layer of buttons. Plan out your theme. If you have many assorted colors then don't worry about matching, just glue the flat buttons as a first layer all over the roof. After that is finished, look through your buttons for interested textures and shapes to use at the top layer. Keep gluing until it looks filled and complete. You can also add a bird or two from the craft store. If this is for a child you can paint their name on the birdhouse front. Be sure to add the date you made it and your name on the bottom.

Sweatshirts for Mom and Grandma

Grandmas and Moms love gifts that show off their children's and grandchildren's names! You can buy a simple sweatshirt in their favorite color and in the middle of the front securely sew on buttons to create a heart shape large enough to write the names with fabric paint. You can use sayings around the heart like:

Cute as a button!

We love Grandma (or Mom)

My Treasures

Treasures of my heart

More ideas

Once you start thinking of ways to use buttons as accents you will need to search the second hand sales for more of them! You can use them as decorations on felt Christmas Stockings, or stockings made of tapestry for a Victorian look. A small grapevine wreath can be used as a base for placing unique buttons, especially the gold ones. Accent with a silk ribbon at the top. I like to find old wicker baskets at thrift stores or garage sales, wash them with hot soapy water, and decorate with buttons and ribbon. Line with cloth and you have a perfect basket to place baked goods, candy or other small gifts.

Handmade gifts are always treasured, but old buttons that carry history with them are a special touch that will bring smiles.


About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at


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