The Art of Darkness

Fun with Buttons

March 30th, 2007 by Cobwebs

Spiderweb ButtonI have a big box o’ buttons that stares forlornly at me every time I go in my sewing room. Some of them are from clothing that I’ve loved to death, some of them are novelty buttons (which I have a terrible weakness for) that I’ve bought before thinking about what I might possibly do with them, and some seem to have just appeared randomly one day, in a reverse of the way that socks spontaneously vanish.

If you’re like me, let your buttons be forlorn no longer! Here are some easy ways to reuse them.

  • Push pins – If the button has a shank, cut it off flush with the back using wire cutters. Lay the button face-down, put a drop of hot glue on the back, and carefully center the head of a thumbtack in the glue. Let cool.
  • Kitchen magnets – As above, except use a small magnet instead of a thumbtack. This works best for larger buttons, as small ones will be too petite to hold anything up.
  • Hair clips – Using heavy thread, sew a button or two to the top of a bobby pin.
  • Napkin rings – Sew the ends of a piece of 1″-wide elastic together, then sew on enough buttons to cover the elastic. (If you’re entirely hopeless with a needle, use wooden napkin rings or short chunks of PVC pipe and hot-glue buttons instead.)
  • Art – Use a ruler to carefully draw a grid on construction paper. Hot glue a button in the center of each square of the grid (hint: use a pencil to very lightly draw an X in the grid to help find the center, then erase). Frame and hang on the wall. This is especially good if you have really interesting, vintage buttons that you want to show off. If the buttons are unusually thick you may need to use a shadowbox instead of a picture frame, or just remove the glass.

If you run out of buttons, or–heavens!–don’t have a stash, check out garage sales and flea markets. You can often find boxes of loose buttons, and it’s rather soothing to pick through them.

(Spider button image from Button Drawer.)

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