Tag Archives: vintage buttons

DIY: Vintage Button Pendants

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As you likely know by now, I LOVE vintage buttons.  I collect them, and have a box full of them.  I love using them in both art and craft projects, and have featured some of my button projects here in the past – like the button bracelets I made earlier this year.  Given my penchant for vintage buttons – and for necklaces/pendants – I truly have no idea why it’s taken me this long to make vintage button pendants. Silly me!

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I recently sat down to try making my first batch of pendants, and ended up making over 20.  Yep, I’m hooked!  Not only will these little beauties add a lot of options to my “jewelry wardrobe”, I love the idea of wearing some of the very bits and bobs that I love so much.  It’s much better than the buttons sitting in my box. :]  Button pendants are easy to make, and are so versatile.  And while I chose to pull buttons from my vintage stash, you can certainly use new buttons as well…

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Materials
*

Buttons
Bails (I purchased some at a bead store, and some on eBay – photo above)
Wire clippers
Sand paper
Quick-set Epoxy, E6000, or a permanent jewelry adhesive of your choice

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Instructions
*

1.  Decide which buttons you want to combine to create a pendant.  I used as little as two, and as many as four. Make sure they’ll stack together well.
2. Cut the shanks off the back of any buttons that have them.

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3. Sand off any remaining pieces of the shank if desired.
4. Stack the buttons together and glue them together with your permanent adhesive.
5. Glue a bail on the back of your bottom-most button.  Let dry completely.
6. Wear and enjoy!

Here are some of the pendants I created…

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Please let me know if you have any questions, dear readers.  Happy Creating!

Warm regards,
Melody

Posted in crafts, DIY, vintage | Also tagged , 16 Comments

Making Button Bracelets

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I’ve been wanting to make button bracelets for the longest time.  Why?  I love buttons, and love the idea of making jewelry out of them!  I also may have a small of a collection to choose buttons from, so it’s a great way to make use of one of my favorite things.

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Okay, so I actually have a photo box full of buttons sorted by color.  But really, who doesn’t?!  Kidding. Yes, I have a thing for buttons.  (The glass bowl in the upper left corner contains buttons I bought last week but haven’t sorted by color and put away yet.) I finally got around to ordering a few different types of bracelet blanks, and made my first two button bracelets.

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There are many tutorials about how to make these bracelets online, so I won’t go into super explicit detail, but here’s an overview.

Materials
*

materials

Buttons
Bracelet blanks (I purchased mine online, here – two different types)
Aleene’s Jewelry & Metal Glue or a similar permanent adhesive
Wire cutters
Sand Paper

Directions
*

  1. Select the buttons you plan to use, and get them ready for gluing.  If your button has a shank on the back (like the the buttons on the bracelet left did), cut them off carefully with the wire cutters.  If any of the shank remains, sand the bottom of the button on the sandpaper until the bottom is level.
  2. If you’re going to layer buttons (like the buttons in the bracelet on the right) glue or sew them together before glueing the bottom buttons to the bracelet blank.
  3. Decide on the order you’d like the buttons in, and glue them on.  Let set if need be – depending on the type of the adhesive you use.
  4. Wear and enjoy, or give as a gift!

bracelets

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Do you have any questions, dear readers?  I hope you like my first two Button Bracelets.  I can’t wait to wear them, and to make some more!

Warm regards,
Melody

Posted in art supplies, crafts, DIY, vintage | Also tagged , , 4 Comments

DIY: Vintage Button Wall Display

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Back in 2005 I visited New York City, and shopped at an open air flea market.  While I was there I found and bought a few bulky and ridiculously inexpensive vintage pieces.  One was an old ledger, and one was a wooden tray originally used to hold the letters/type from a printing press.  I found these items early in the day, and unintentionally drove hubby crazy as I lugged these two clunky items around Manhattan for the rest of the day.  I think the wooden tray was $2, which was a steal, and I was thrilled to have found such wonderful items so cheap!

Somewhere along the way I decided the tray would make a great display for some of my vintage buttons.  I probably thought of this project at least four years ago, and recently sat down to make my vision a reality. Finally.  Better late than never though, and I knew it was just a matter of time before I put this cool piece of print history to good use!

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Materials
*

  • Wooden print type tray (consider looking for a modern alternative to this vintage piece at your local craft store if you’re not into vintage)
  • Pop-Up Glue Dots
  • Wire Cutters
  • Buttons

Button Selection

I have a box full of vintage buttons – I started collecting around ten years ago – and started this project by sorting through them.  I decided to do one row of each color, of eight different colors, and looked for buttons that were a good representation of the variety in my collection.  I chose mostly one-of-a-kind buttons, meaning that I only had one of them in my stash.  If there were three or more of a button I didn’t use them, since I tend to use either three or four of a particular button in my collages.

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Each little niche was labeled with a paper letter when I purchased the tray, dating back to its original use, and I opted to keep the labels on and preserve that bit of history as well.

Directions

1. Select the buttons you’d like to display.  I used one button per spot.
2. Cut the shanks off the backs of any buttons that have them.  I used wire cutters to remove the buttons’ shanks, whether the shank was metal or plastic.
3. Lay the buttons out in the grid, shifting buttons as needed until you’re pleased with the layout.
4. Attach each button to the grid with a Pop-Up Glue Dot, being sure to press the button down firmly.
5. Attach a hanger of some sort to the back of the wooden tray – like a sawtooth – and then hang on the wall.

This project is easy and versatile.  Not only can you customize the colors and patterns you display in your grid, you can take buttons out and put new ones in once it’s been hung.  The glue dots hold firm, but should allow you to pull a button out if you find a “new” button you’d like to display later on.

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Please let me know if you have any questions, and feel free to comment!

Warm regards,
Melody

Posted in antiques, DIY, vintage | Also tagged , , , , 12 Comments

Vintage Button Earrings Giveaway: The Winner Is…

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The winner of the pair of vintage button earrings (in blue) is Amanda C. – congratulations, Amanda!  I’ll mail your earrings out in the next day or two, and I hope you enjoy them!

I hope you’re all happy and relaxed, dear readers, despite the sometimes-frantic pace of the holidays.  I also hope you’re able to enjoy your traditions, family, and friends – and some great food!

Warm regards,
Melody

Posted in giveaway, vintage | Also tagged , 2 Comments

Giveaway: Vintage Button Earrings

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This month’s giveaway is for a pair of vintage button earrings.  I collect vintage buttons (love them!), and was inspired to create an assortment of vintage button earrings after my friend, Michelle, did the same.  Aren’t they darling?  They’d make a great stocking stuffer!

To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment letting me know which pair of earrings you’ll choose if you win: pink, blue, or green.  I’ll announce the giveaway winner in just two days, on Thursday, December 13th, so enter today.  Good luck everyone!

Warm regards,
Melody

Posted in giveaway, vintage | Also tagged , 8 Comments

DIY: Button Birthday Card

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I love (and collect) vintage buttons, and used an assortment of vintage buttons on this birthday card. It’s my newest Design Team project for crescendoh.com!  And though I prefer vintage buttons, this card can easily be made with new buttons instead.

You can also switch the sentiment out, too, depending on the occasion.  For example, I also think this would make a darling new baby card!  I chose buttons in varying shades of blue, but you might choose another color or colors depending on the palette or theme you’d like to work with.

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Directions

Stamp “Happy Birthday” from the Everyday Expressions stamp set onto a rectangular panel of watercolor paper.  (I used black StazOn ink.)  Stamp the square with scalloped edges from the Live to Love stamp set above and below the words, spacing the squares out evenly.

Attach six buttons to the watercolor paper with Elmer’s Glue Spots, framing each button in one of the stamped squares.  Mat the stamped watercolor rectangle with a piece of blue cardstock, and affix the entire decorative panel to a blank card with more of Elmer’s Glue Spots or another adhesive.

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Do you know someone who also loves and collects vintage buttons?  This card would be perfect to give them for their birthday, along with a jar of vintage buttons – which can be found at most antique stores.  (I found this jar on a recent trip to Old Towne Orange)

Questions?  Comments?  I’d love to hear from you…

Warm regards,
Melody

Posted in crafts, DIY, inspiration, life in general, vintage | Also tagged , , 8 Comments

Vintage Party Favor Idea & Tutorial

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Whether you’re hosting a crafting party, are making favors for a bridal shower, or simply want to surprise someone with a special treat, this favor/gift idea is sure to please.  It’s my newest design team project for crescendoh.com (Studio Crescendoh), and features their Romantic Botanical stamp set.

Though I’ve wrapped up vintage buttons in the favor I photographed, you could easily substitute Jordan almonds, monochromatic M&M’s, beads, or a single, decadent truffle.

The silver container I’ve used as my base is a vintage mold, but you could also use small glass bowls, or even Mason jar lids (with the disk and ring adhered together).

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Directions:

Stamp an image from the Romantic Botanicals stamp set onto off-white watercolor paper.  (I used black StazOn ink.)  Trim your stamped image to the desired size, leaving a bit of negative space on all four side of the image.

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Set a silver eyelet in the upper left corner of the stamped watercolor piece.  Apply red Metallic Rub-ons to the four sides of the piece, using a light touch.  Set this stamped piece aside.

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Put buttons (or other treat/gift) into the container of your choice, then wrap with cellophane.  Tie the cellophane closed with narrow black ribbon, and thread your stamped tag onto one loose end of the ribbon before tying a bow.  Finish by trimming the cellophane a few inches above the bow.

I love this favor because it’s pretty, easy, and unique.  I hope you like it, too, dear readers.  Happy crafting!

Warm regards,
Melody

Posted in crafts, DIY, inspiration, life in general, vintage | Also tagged , , , , , 4 Comments

A New Collage: BABY

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Collage is one of my favorite art forms, and the recent birth of my newest niece, Bryn, inspired me to create a baby-themed collage.  Though I have yet to meet this new baby (I’ll be flying out to see her soon), she was on my mind as I sorted through my art supplies in search of the perfect elements to use.

I chose a vintage photo for my central image, but those of you who are artists and crafters could certainly re-create this project using a current photo.  This collage would make a lovely gift for new parents or grandparents, and the baby’s name could be spelled out instead of “baby”.

Similarly, you could create this collage using an heirloom family photo.  Perhaps a photo of an older relative when they were young?  This would be a lovely way to include an older generation in a new baby’s nursery.

Please read on for instructions on what materials I used, and to learn how I assembled my collage.

Materials:

8” x 10” canvas panel
vintage ledger paper
vellum
staples
vintage velvet ribbon in two widths (pink = 1/4’”, blue = 2”)
tags
alphabet stamps
vintage photo
vintage photo frame
vintage buttons in two sizes
Terrifically Tacky Tape (TTT)

Assembling the collage:

Trim the ledger paper and vellum to 8” x 10”, and staple the two sheets together in each corner.  (Note: The vellum softens the look of the paper underneath it, so you may not need the vellum if your background paper is soft/subtle enough.)  Attach the ledger paper/vellum to the canvas panel with Terrifically Tacky Tape.

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Cut a wide piece of velvet ribbon (blue) and affix the ribbon to the collage with TTT.  Then attach the hanging tags to the velvet ribbon using TTT.  The strings should then be stretched up and taped down.  (Note: Ensure the photo is large enough to cover the starting point of all the strings, or consider leaving the strings off of the tags.)  Attach the vintage photo to the collage using TTT, and attach vintage buttons to the four corners of the photo with needle and thread or an adhesive.

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Finish the front of the collage by running narrow velvet ribbon (pink) along each edge of the collage, wrapping it around to the back, and taping it down.  If you aren’t going to frame your collage, attach an 8” x 10” piece of cardstock to the back to cover your ribbon ends and tape, and don’t forget to sign and date your creation.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this vintage baby collage and the related instructions.  Please post any questions you may have in the comments section – I’d be happy to respond to your queries.

Warm regards,
Melody

p.s. If you’re new to collage, or need a refresher, please click here to see my collage basics tutorial.

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These Are a Few of My Favorite Things…

I have quite a stash of art supplies.  I’m a lucky girl!  I’ve pared things back in the past few years, but many wonderful things remain.  Some of my supplies are new, packaged and a bit more generic – things like cardstock, adhesives, canvases, or pens.  Others are more unique and a bit more eclectic:

Cabinet cards and other vintage photos

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2-for-web

Aged lace and other trims

3-for-web

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Bottles of old glitter and sequins

5-for-web

Vintage handkerchiefs

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Oh, and buttons.  I love vintage buttons!

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It’s these “one-of-a-kind/you’ll NEVER find this again” things that are so hard to pass up.  Especially the vintage photos.  I want to adopt all these orphans of yesteryear.  However, I try not to buy things that are too pricey, so I’m constantly weighing want versus really want!  I find many of my unique supplies at thrift stores, swap meets, and antiques stores, and love ferreting out a bargain – don’t you?  There’s nothing better than getting something you are certain to buy for a great price!

While I’m trying to keep my supply stash within bounds, I’ll always have several “favorite things” on-hand. You never know when inspiration will strike, and I like to have a good selection of things to pull from when the planets of creativity align!

Warm regards,
Melody

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