Friday, May 7, 2010

This is How it Starts: Making Buttons, the Beginning of an Addiction

A scarf that I am in the process of finishing calls for buttons and since I wanted really great and folksy buttons for it I began a search on Etsy. After quite some time of searching though, and despite some pretty great offerings on Etsy, I had not found any buttons that I felt were super perfect for my scarf and so I began to wonder, "could I possibly make these buttons myself?"

Though I had admired cloth covered buttons for some time, and have bought them a few times, I never really thought about how they were put together until I used them in jewelery. I decided to use one of the buttons I had bought, for a project gone awry, to make a necklace and when I popped the back off I realized that it was just cloth pushed down into the back of the button. Nothing fancy. So, when the thought began to creep into my mind that perhaps I should make these buttons myself it didn't take long for me to jump into action.

First I searched for instructions on the process, but I honestly found it hard to follow the written ones. Thus, I moved onto searching videos. Many videos on the process seemed to over-complicate the matter and were pretty long. I finally found one though that was very straightforward and was amazed at how easy the whole thing looked.

Therefore, with my new found enlightenment I went on the hunt for fabric and button making kits. Finding the fabric actually took me a while because now not only was I looking for a great fabric to match my scarf, but also a fabric that would introduce me to the act of making had to be special. In the process of searching for fabric I was introduced to where I ended up ordering a simple and yet colorfully cute yard of fabric. I then went onto Etsy again and purchased a couple button making kits, one in 7/8 of an inch and one in 1/2 of an inch.

As soon as I got my fabric I began the exciting endeavor of making my very own buttons!!!


The first thing to do was to cut off a section of fabric that had a few different color flowers I could use.

The lucky piece:

Once that was done I needed to further cut the fabric so that I had a square with the color flower I wanted in the center.

The first color:

After this was done I went about placing the fabric in the correct position on the button. In the video he places the fabric in I don't really know the word for it, but I will say...button well. I did it a little differently though. I placed the fabric over the front of the button and stretched a little while placing the button in the button well.

New term - Button Well:

Next you cut down any excess fabric and push it down into the back of the button, as shown in the video, and then place the back down and press it in with the back presser thingy (my terminology is outstanding I know). Once done just pop the button out and walah!

My First-ever Button!!:

As I went along I was better able to center the fabric, after all practice makes perfect, and I ended up with a product that made me really happy!

Buttons after some Practice:

I also made smaller buttons that I think match the scarf a little better.

All the Buttons from the Evening:

I really cannot wait to make more buttons with tons of different fabrics and flat backs as well as wire backs! All day I haven't been able to shut up about how much fun I had doing this and how very easy it is! A couple of things I realized in the process though are:
1) Don't worry if the placing isn't exactly right at first, you can pop the back off pretty simply and re-position the fabric as needed
2) Cutting off more fabric than needed is always better than underestimating. I was really scared at first to cut a lot because I didn't want to waste such pretty fabric, but once I realized that my underestimating was causing me to actually use more fabric I just cut out bigger blocks and it turned out great!

So, go crazy and have fun...and be sure to come back to see how the scarf turned out!

1 comment:

  1. I love it! You are amazing and I love your thingy this and doo dad that. XO