Tuesday, July 14, 2015

How to Use Beautiful Buttons

Homemade Porcelain Buttons

Maybe you've seen them at yard sales, online, or in your favorite craft store; beautiful, handmade buttons. Here are suggestions about how to use them.

Although handmade ceramic, wooden, shell, bone, or metal buttons look beautiful on garments, there are so many more ways to include them in your daily look or household style. In fact, according to Diana Hefti, who writes thoroughly about buttons on the Buttons Group page for the World Collectors web site, buttons were first used during the Bronze Age, although at the time they were merely for decoration. Buttons were not even used as clothing fasteners until pins went out of style in the 1200's.

From fashion to art to interior decorating, there is a use for every button you collect - and the opportunity to collect is limitless.

Using Buttons for Jewelry & Accessories

As our prehistoric ancestors knew, buttons make beautiful jewelry. Findings, such as brooch backs, necklace and bracelet clasps, and earring and ring findings, can be purchased at most craft stores, either in-store or online. With a button the right size and color, the potential for making jewelry is limitless. With "O" rings, buttons can also be used between beads and as the main focal point for necklaces and bracelets.

As for accessories, buttons can be sewed to or pinned to hair ties, headbands, barrettes, belts, scarves, purses and backpacks, and even used as shoe clips to liven up a pair of pumps or ballet flats.

Buttons as Crafts & Household Decor

Some of the most original uses for buttons are also the most artistic. For example, buttons can be used in a collage, diorama, or even as a part of a larger collection for display. Entomological display cases can be filled with butterfly buttons instead of real butterflies, or buttons can be arranged by color to create new and original mosaic artwork.

Buttons can also be used to create original lampshades, trivets, candle holders, mirrors and photo frames, message centers, mobiles, wind chimes, or even to fill a lovely vase or jar. Small buttons can also be used to decorate handmade cards and within the pages of special albums or scrapbooks. Because they are lightweight, they can either be stitched to items or glued to items with most household or craft glues.

Upcycle Clothing and Linens Using Buttons

With a few well-chosen buttons, items from thrift stores or clothing swaps can also be up-cycled, with little to no skills in sewing. Have you ever had a blazer or sweater in your closet that stayed unworn, season after season? Why not give it a new look by adding new buttons that say a little something about your personal style and personality? Not only can this trick be used to up-cycle those blazers and sweaters that sit in your closet, but also shirts, vests, skirts, dresses, and items that don't even necessarily need button fasteners. This includes pillowcases, tablecloths, placemats, napkins, towels, throws, and chair covers.

As said, buttons have been around for a long time. Not only can they be used for keeping your clothes on, "Buttons can be enjoyed as a bit of history, or a piece of art, or both" (Hefti, n.d.).


Hefti, D. (n.d.) Buttons. Retrieved Sept. 15, 2012 from http://www.worldcollectorsnet.com/ features /buttons

Want to read more about arts and crafts? Try

Which Weaving Lom is Best for Beginners?
Lion Brand Yarn Ergonomic Crochet Hook Set
Make a Celtic Tatting Shuttle

Copyright Amy Lynn Hess. Contact the author to obtain permission for republication.

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