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Make Your Own Buttons (14.12.2008)

Sometimes your project is missing just the last little "something". Buttons can do the trick. Of course, there are many beautiful buttons you can buy, but who has just the right one in their drawers? Or who, at that exact moment, wants to spend the time and the money to place an order? Tips on self-made buttons come to the rescue!

If you want your very own individualized buttons, you will need to make them yourself. You can use polymer clay, sliced twigs, shells and other materials to create small objects and drill holes into them. Since I know how to use a jigsaw, I cut out my desired motifs (1-1.5 cm), drilled small holes and painted them. I used some of them in my mini quilt to site Tannenwald.

Individualized buttons

Shank buttons are difficult to attach so that they lie flat. Depending on their material you can cut off the shank with a saw, pliers or some other tool. Smooth the cut with sand paper, carefully drill holes and sew onto your project. If really necessary, you can also glue on your motifs.

Shank buttons

Susana König's method of choice to make colorful buttons and beads is baking.

Here's how:
Make a log out of polymer clay, such as FIMO. Encase the log in layers of clay with a different color. Slice the log like you would cookie dough. Arrange the slices on yet another layer of clay, and roll over it until flat and smooth. Cut out shapes and poke holes with a toothpick. Bake in the oven and paint with clear polyurethane if desired.

Baked buttons

Another tip comes from Gudrun Schulze who sewed the small winter landscape: "I managed to snatch wooden shapes in the clearance sale and made holes with my mini drill. Great buttons, just like that!" And this is how it looks like:

Winter Landscape Deer button

Winter Landscape with selfmade buttons by Gudrun Schulze


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© Regina Grewe, Kamen
Last update: 10.02.2009