11 February 2012

Weekend DIY: Simple Handmade Buttons

I remember the moments when my Mom opened her sewing machine when I was a kid and all sorts of fancy items were to be seen. Most of all, I remember the button box. I am pretty sure that children can grow up playing with just buttons - colorful, different in sizes and shapes, different to the touch. We did have an array of games including buttons, if only I could remember them!

Photo: Rena Tom

As a tribute to my mother, I would like to share with you some DIY projects including buttons.

DIY found on Rit via The Craftinomicon
In case you have a stack of white plastic buttons which you have no idea how to put to use, here is an inspiration - dye them in the colors and shades you want! Use Rit dies and hot water to achieve the desired colors. Don't forget that giving second life to your plastic buttons you are helping the planet!

DIY by The Haby Goddes
If dyeing is not for you, why not trying to make your own buttons out of beach pebbles. They are usually soft and very prone to processing. Go to your nearest pebble beach and choose reasonably flat stones with similar appearance. Try not to go overboard with size because the bigger they are, the heavier they get and will turn practically unusable on a garment. I personally am impatient to try this out. There was a time when I turned everything I saw to a pendant, including some stones, so it wouldn't be hard for me to try again, right?

Photo courtesy of Mystic Orb
I have a long-standing dream of crafting my own wooden buttons, especially after getting to know Taryn and Jeff. Look at that beauty! I would love to change all my family's buttons to those lush, thick and earthy ones by Mystic Orb. Here is a DIY by Just Crafty Enough that might help me get closer to the dream, and hopefully will instill in you the same! It will take you step by step from choosing your branch to coating the buttons.

So tell me, what are you crafting today?


  1. oh buttons, I love them, I remember playing with them on old fashioned scales when I was young.
    This weekend I am trying to finish putting together a quilt that different people in our community have helped to make by decorating a square each.
    Enjoy your weekend.

  2. I have jars full of vintage buttons. I love going through them when I am sewing something. So much fun to find just the right button.

  3. I just love the idea of turning beach stones into buttons (and/or pendants)!! So gorgeous. And what bright colors on those DIY-dyed buttons!

    Lovely projects, Sonya!

  4. Lovely buttons. No crafting for me today, I am visiting with grands.

  5. There really is something about buttons. I love them too! I never thought of using them on my knitting (except as buttons, of course!) until I read knitting designer, Louisa Harding. She like us adores butttons. Her story is like yours Sonya except with her grand-mother. She uses buttons all over her knitting as decorations. She inspired me to see buttons a whole different way!

    I'm trying to finish knitting a sweater today. But I think I'll go through my buttons and see how I can create...

  6. I love buttons! I use them in art projects. Some times I go to the thrift store and end up buying old clothes for the buttons alone. I can many times use the cloth for one project and the buttons for another. But your post got me to thinking. I picked up a couple of jars worth of eucalyptus seeds/nuts things...they are strong and have a really interesting pattern...I wonder if I were to varnish them and drill a hole in the back if they would hold up as buttons? I really might have to try it out! Thanks (again) for another inspiration for making beautiful things from the natural world! I won't be doing it this weekend though...Grandkids are still in town...and I have two writing groups starting next week...Gad zooks...lots of exciting things to do! Have an awesome weekend!

  7. Very cool ideas. I did not know you could dye plastic buttons. I love the stone buttons. I have made lots of these in the past, and sold them at art shows. They were always so popular, especially if you can find stones in cool shapes and colors.
    Everyday Inspired

  8. a wonder filled collection of something so basic as a button~~ of course I love the stone the most ... happy weekend !

  9. What is it about buttons? I have a couple of containers full and everytime I need a button I get lost running my fingers through them, over and over... ;) The dyed buttons are so vibrant and colorful, but what is in Rit dyes? I'd have to research that... I adore the stone and wooden ones though, so simply natural. Thanks for sharing Sonya. :)

  10. Oh, a nice round up! Love buttons. Dyeing buttons is a great idea.

  11. How fun! I never would have thought of creating my own buttons.

  12. There is something so loveable and just JOYful about buttons!! I'm a button lover, for sure! :)

    Thanks for linking to us!

  13. I love buttons too! They are so fun and I certainly have a giant collection! I haven ever tried to dye buttons - what a clever idea. My largest button collection is all white vintage buttons. It might be fun to try dying some of them! Thanks for sharing!


  14. Here's what we have been making :)


  15. Love your DIY :) my mum used to have a big button collection too. Think I may try and get a hold of them now :)