How-To: Easy Button Jewelry

Button Jewelry

I have a collection of interesting buttons, and since I rarely sew clothing, I like to use them as embellishments for handbags. I’ve never tried to make button jewelry, until now. My inspiration for this pin came from Button Jewelry by Sara Withers, which I found at the public library. The book has instructions for button-covered barrettes, but I’ve adapted the technique for use with a pin back. The author also uses beading thread, but I didn’t have any, so I substituted inexpensive 26-gauge jewelry wire.  I probably won’t make many projects from this book, simply because I don’t have the eyesite or the patience for most of them, and because nice buttons can be expensive.

These are very easy to make, but I’d like to emphasize a few points.  First, safety.  I know I’m supposed to wear eye protection when I’m using wire-cutting tools, but I don’t, and when that tiny bit of wire I snip off flies up and hits me in the eye, I’ll be very sorry. Second, be patient when you’re tying this thing together.  Third, pull the wire as tight as you can so your buttons don’t wobble on the pin back.  And fourth, don’t expect the back of your pin to be pretty, unless you have very nimble fingers, because it probably won’t be.

For this project, you will need a pin back, buttons and beads of your choice, jewelry wire, and wire snips.  I used approximately 12 inches of 26-gauge wire, which fit through my beads without a lot of extra wiggle room.  If you want, you can use beading thread and a needle instead, being sure to tie off at the beginning and the end with knots.  My supplies are pictured below.

Supplies for button pin

 First, secure one end of your wire to the pin back, by wrapping it a couple of times around the pin.  You can make use of the holes on the pin if you like, but it’s not absolutely necessary.

Step 1 - Secure wire to pin

 Thread your wire through the holes of your first button a couple of times, pulling the button tightly to the pin.  With the wire pulled to the front of the button, thread it through a bead, then back through the button to the back of the pin, and wrap it around the back a couple of times. 

Step 2 - Add buttons and beads

Continue adding buttons and beads in this fashion until you’re satisfied with your pin.  I used only three buttons, but you can add as many as you like.  If you run out of wire, just cut another piece, secure it to the back, and continue as before.  When you’re done, wrap the wire a couple more times around the back, and cut with wire snips.

I wasn’t planning on showing you the messy back of my project, but I guess it’s only fair!

Back of pin

tagged for technorati: [tag-tec]beads[/tag-tec], [tag-tec]buttons[/tag-tec], [tag-tec]how-to[/tag-tec], [tag-tec]jewelry[/tag-tec], [tag-tec]pin[/tag-tec], [tag-tec]tutorial[/tag-tec], [tag-tec]button jewelry[/tag-tec]