As promised, vintage buttons and buckles are January's craft category, so today I'm presenting my first project with these simple items that are easy to find in grandma's sewing basket or button tin. Admittedly, having a large assortment is ideal, and not everyone has inherited a complete rainbow assortment great looking buttons and buckles in all shapes and sizes. You can always supplement what you have with a little shopping trip to Ebay, Etsy, or your local flea market or second hand shops. What we're looking for are some larger buckles or coat buttons for bases, and some nice colorful buttons for the designs on top. You can also embellish your button designs by adding rosettes, flourishes, leaves and other doodads found in the scrapbooking and bead sections of the craft stores.
You will also need some findings to transform your buttons into jewelry. I'll provide my sources in this post so you can make the basic items I've made.
Here are my brooches and some pendants made from buttons, buckles, and a few other odds and ends:
Sitting down with a tray full of tiny treasures and putting them together in various combinations is really fun! The perfect craft for a winter's evening.....
E-6000 Craft Glue
Pinbacks for brooches
Assorted buckles and buttons
Metal bails and chains with clasps for necklaces
Wire cutters to remove button shanks
Select your larger buckles or coat buttons for the bases of your brooches or pendants. Remove shanks from buttons with wire cutters if necessary. Layer the other smaller buttons on top of the bases. Use E-6000 glue to attach buttons to the base. E-6000 needs to set up for several hours undisturbed. Once the piece has set, attach the pinback near the top of the brooch, or the pendant bail if you are making a pendant, and allow your piece additional time to set.
I order bails from Candy Tiles Craft Studio. Bails allow you to make a pendant from buttons without drilling into them:
You can keep things very simple by layering two mother of pearl buttons and adding a rosette to make a pretty pendant:
Look out for special embellishments for your button jewelry creations, like the rosettes, leaves and heart-shaped novelty buttons below:
Here are the basic components for building a buckle pendant or brooch. A base and buttons to stack on top:
Once glued together, you can't tell it started out as a buckle, can you? The red rhinestone came from a sheet of rhinestone stickers found in the scrapbooking section of the craft store:
The big green Bakelite example below is asymmetrical, which makes it more unusual:
If you are making a brooch, the pinback should be glued near the top of your creation with E-6000. This type of pin came from B'sue Boutiques:
To make button bracelets, I use blanks from B'sues. If the buttons have shanks on the back like the white buttons below, cut them off with wire cutters so they will lie flat. In order to make sure you have a good bond to the metal bracelet blank, I always wipe the bracelet blanks down with alcohol to remove any grease from the manufacturer:
Another tip when using E-6000 craft glue: instead of just plopping your item in place, slide it into place. It really makes a difference and will form a stronger bond.
I really enjoy making these! I think you will too.
My source for the lacy plastic filigree circles is the Beadin' Path, although some of mine are vintage too. One of the pieces below left has a vintage earring in it, and the two white hearts were a small plastic box I took apart. Other items you can use in your designs are beads, pearls and charms:
I hope you are inspired to make some button jewelry....and don't forget to send me some pictures if you want to share your creations with us!