Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Crafting: Button Bracelets



Love buttons? Who doesn't?! Chances are, whether you are crafty or not, you have a stash of them laying around, or maybe an addiction to collecting vintage ones. Well today I have a simple project that will put them to good use, button bracelets! You can also use new buttons for this project, and these days there are so many cool ones available at your local fabric store, the design possibilities are endless.

What you'll need:
Elastic, 1/4" or 3/8" thick
Buttons
Needle and Thread



I decided on a yellow and seafoam green color palette for my bracelet, using a mix of some chunkier vintage buttons I have collected and a few new ones I purchased to match. You can use a repeating pattern or all one-of-a-kinds and I think it adds interest to stack some of them, so keep that in mind when choosing your buttons. I also chose a gold thread that I thought would be a nice pop, but you can match your thread to each button or even use clear nylon thread.


Start by wrapping the elastic loosely around your wrist where you would like the bracelet to sit. Cut it to size with about 3/4" or so of overlap. Make a small mark on the elastic right past the overlap. I also find it helpful to mark the middle.

With the elastic laid flat as a guide, make a rough layout of your button placement to determine the design and how many buttons you will need. Do not include the end past your mark, see photo above for reference. You want the buttons to overlap each other a little so account for this when setting them out.

Once your layout is ready, you can sew the elastic together securely, forming the bracelet. I did this by hand but you can use a sewing machine if you choose.


Next, begin sewing the buttons in place, one at a time, starting at your marked center of the bracelet. Be sure to securely knot the thread after each button is attached. Above I show a method I find to be really easy and secure. Thread the needle up under the stitches, pulling the string through, then thread the needle through the resulting loop, under the thread closest to you and pull tight. Repeat this a few times.

As I mentioned, you want the buttons to overlap each other a bit so you do not see the elastic when you are wearing it. I find it helpful to just put one stitch through the button and try it on to make sure you like the way it is laying, then finish stitching it in place. As you go, you may also decide to change your button layout.

Continue adding buttons until you cover the bracelet and you're done! It may take a bit of adjusting to get them to fit properly toward the end, but just be flexible with your design. You can always move or replace a button pretty easily if needed since they are all sewn on separately.



I love this project because it's easy, inexpensive and a lot of fun. I also think these bracelets would make really sweet gifts, so if you're on my christmas list, you'll be getting one of these and some teabags

If you try your hand at this project, I'd love to hear about it! I'll also be starting a flickr group soon for sharing your own craft project photos, so I'll keep you posted on that. In the meantime, have fun crafting your own button bracelets!

63 comments:

72studios said...

great tutorial and I will be making some for myself and friends!! thanks!!

christie

Bundled said...

thank you .. this is a great tutorial and I've just gotten a huge box of my grandmothers vintage buttons! Looks like all her children/grandchildren will be getting beautiful button bracelets for Christmas this year :)

Nicole said...

What a great tutorial! I'll definitely be adding this to my DIY list!

KristaR said...

I LOVE it! I'm not very crafty, but I will definitely try my hand at this one. Thanks for sharing!

Cottage In The Sun said...

What a great tutorial! I am so excited because I just received a ton of vintage buttons from my grandmother!!

Marbella Designs said...

Oh, I love this. And you have such pretty colors in your button bracelet. I gonna try and make one. thanks for sharing.

Sydney said...

ADORABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

My daughters, all six of them, will love this! Thanks so much for posting an easy, inexpensive, project.

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That is so fun...I'm going to have to look for some pretty buttons to make myself one! Thanks!!

Stacie said...

How CuTe!! Can't wait to make some of these with my daughter! Thanks for the great idea!!

Valerie said...

Wow! I love this! Definately a wonderful to project to make with my girls. I have linked back to you on my blog, thecraftersfilebox.blogspot.com.

Thanks!

Jenette said...

This is SUPER CUTE!!! Thanks! I'll be making some of these for Christmas gifts!

LuLu said...

I love this! And it's a project that I have ALL the supplies on hand for! I'll have to make this when I get a chance do dig through my 2 huge tins of buttons!!

Jennifer Juniper said...

Great minds think alike :) I just posted a button bracelet this morning too and clicked onto oneprettything and saw yours! Great job, I love it (of course) :)

CJ said...

Thanks for the tutorial and cute idea!

golonghorns said...

Thanks so much for this tutorial I made a bracelet today and am thrilled with the outcome. I post a pic and a link to you on my blog. Thanks again!

Madison said...

Hi I am Madison. I am a follower now! I love your blog and will be visiting often!!!! I love the button bracelet it is beautiful!!! Hope you have a great day!!!

Love, Madison

Linda @ Craftaholics Anonymous said...

That's awesome! So simple, but so stunning!

Senae said...

Thank you very much for this helpful tutorial! Your bracelet is beautiful. The buttons you used on it are very unique and stunning. I searched "button bracelet" on google and found your post. A friend of mine told me she bought a button bracelet at a craft sale over the weekend that she just loves but thought we could probably make them fairly easily as gifts. I love buttons, and this is such a great idea!! Thanks again for sharing your talent.

Nancy Ward said...

Hi!

Today I posted an entry on my blog with a link to this tutorial.

I'd appreciate your letting me konw if that's OK.

Thanks,

Nancy Ward
http://paperfriendly.blogspot.com

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Lauren said...

Wonderfully clear instructions; beautiful bracelet! Thanks so much.

amieggs said...

wow thanks!!!!
this is sooooo cute!!!

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I have a friend that use this technique to put it in a purse and she makes some flowers the purse looks so fancy and everybody ask her where she bought it.

zafiro80 said...

great tutorial i can't wait to try this.

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The Beading Gem said...

I love your idea of using sewing elastic as the base! Very easy to wear! I will link in a future blog post so others can come visit! Pearl

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What a great way to use up extra buttons that seem to find their way into the junk drawer. This playful bracelet is fun to make in minutes with these simple steps.

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Becky said...

Thanks for this great Tutorial! I have featured you on our blog over at ziggycrafts.blogspot.com.

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Check out www.cutebuttonbracelets.com for some additional ideas in creating button bracelets. You can also purchase some there as well in case you are not able to make them yourself.

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Anonymous said...

I was at my mom's today and I mentioned this project to her and my sister. I raved about how cute, yet easy, these bracelets were. Well, my dear mother went into another room and came out with a box containing LOTS of buttons that belonged to her mother, who passed away in 1979. She remembered her mother cutting these buttons off of everything. She came from that resourceful era where nothing was thrown away. So as soon as I pick up some elastic we will be making button bracelets for all the "girls" in the family. Thank you so much for this idea...we can't wait to wear our bracelets made from mom's/grandma's/great-grandma's buttons! Keepsakes!!! Vonnie in MN

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super cute! This would be a great use for some of those old vintage buttons from my grandma!