Because we’re such avid crafters, we’ve spent years collecting buttons. It’s not so much that we went out and intentionally bought buttons on purpose or anything. Buttons have sort of just fallen into our laps over the years! Whether we’re finding them in our washing machine, setting them aside when they fall off our clothing then forgetting to reattach them, or stashing the extra buttons that come attached to the labels of new clothing but that we rarely ever need, we’ve amassed quite a collection. Once you’ve got that many buttons, though, what do you actually do with them? Well, if you’re a mending, sewing, or knitting enthusiast, you might keep them for clothing, but otherwise we really enjoy crafting with our spare buttons! We’ve turned them into all kinds of things over the years, but we’re pretty sure out favourite DIY button project has always been jewelry.
Just in case you’re as interested in the idea of jewelry made from buttons as we are, if not more, here are 15 of the nicest DIY tutorials, designs, and ideas that we’ve encountered in our search for inspiration so far!
1. Smashed vintage metal buttons bracelet
Have you ever come across old buttons made of soft metals that have some really cool inscriptions and designs on them but that you don’t have any matches for, so you’re just not sure you’ll ever use them anywhere else? We had plenty just like that and we actually used them to make this very charm bracelet featured on Sadie Seasongoods. It just looked so cool, like something you might find digging up an ancient Viking village! They show you how to flatten your old metal buttons with a hammer so they look like coins and then turn them into charms.
2. Sewn vintage button bib necklace
Perhaps you have a whole collection of vintage buttons like we were talking about before but some of the are so nice that you’re just not sure you want to be smashing them flat? We can certainly understand that, especially for the ones with lovely designs inscribed across their surface. In that case, perhaps you’d prefer this awesome chunky bib necklace design outlined by Blue Kat Kraft! They show you how to use the rubber kind of grid mat you’d put at the bottom of a kitchen drawer or under a mat as a base for the bib, sewing the buttons on in the crescent shape you want the finished product to be. Attach the chain and clasps and voila!
3. Button ribbon necklace
Are you quite interested in the idea of making a bib necklace but you’re just not sure that you want to sew anything to the rubber we mentioned above because sometimes you have weird skin reactions to runners and you’d rather not risk it? Then perhaps you’d prefer this version of a bib necklace that’s a little more old fashioned looking all round! We love the way this tutorial on Instructables used a series of old buttons combined with vintage coloured pearl beads to decorate a ribbon. This project will look grand and beautiful whether you use a silk ribbon or a velvet one!
4. Layered buttons necklace
Perhaps the buttons you have are mostly smaller and a little more mismatched, rather than being these stately collections of older statement buttons featuring all kinds of gold and sparkle? Well, your buttons absolutely still have a ton of crafting potential with just as many options! We’ve actually made this woven button clusters necklace outlined on Button Jewelry before and we loved it so much that we still wear it. Creating the clusters was extra fun because there were countless ways for us to combine the different sizes and colours of buttons all the way around.