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Button Dish

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If you're looking for a fun project to do with your littles, or just for yourself, this is one to add to your list. It's a little time consuming because of drying time, but it's super inexpensive (possibly FREE for some who may have all the supplies on hand), really easy to make, and the result is so cute!
Time: 4-5 Hours Cost: $7-10 Difficulty: Easy
  • button dish, crafts, repurposing upcycling
SUPPLIES:
-buttons (I used 100)
-Elmer's glue
-Mod Podge
-balloon
-paint brush
-scissors (optional)
Not pictured:
-roll of painter's tape
-straight pin
  • button dish, crafts, repurposing upcycling
STEP 1: Blow up balloon
To start, I blew up a balloon. This proved to be more difficult for me than I had anticipated as I can't remember the last time I blew a balloon--it was pretty comical to witness. Anyway, I blew up a balloon to where it was about medium size--still had some squish to it.
  • button dish, crafts, repurposing upcycling
STEP 2: Set up balloon and apply Elmer's glue
Next, I grabbed a roll of painter's tape I had on hand to use as a stand for my balloon...
  • button dish, crafts, repurposing upcycling
...I tried sitting the balloon as straight up as I could on the roll of tape which ended up being pretty good for a stand.
  • button dish, crafts, repurposing upcycling
Once my balloon was set up, I applied a layer of Elmer's glue...
  • button dish, crafts, repurposing upcycling
I used a paint brush to spread the glue around and then let it sit for about two hours to fully dry. The Elmer's glue created a coating on the balloon so that the buttons wouldn't slide off while I applying Mod Podge.
  • button dish, crafts, repurposing upcycling
STEP 4: Apply Mod Podge & add buttons
Next, I used my [clean] paint brush to apply Mod Podge and started adding my buttons. I chose a slightly larger button to put in the middle of what would be the bottom of my dish in order to help it sit nicely when in use.
  • button dish, crafts, repurposing upcycling
I didn't use much of a pattern except to try and make sure every button touched another. I tried to keep the buttons evenly distributed around the big button in the middle and continued adding buttons until they were all applied to the balloon.
  • button dish, crafts, repurposing upcycling
After all of my buttons were adhered to the balloon, I applied 2 more coats of Mod Podge--letting each coat dry fully before applying another.
  • button dish, crafts, repurposing upcycling
STEP 5: Pop balloon
Once the Mod Podge was all dry, I flipped my balloon over so that the dish/bowl was sitting right-side-up on the roll of tape; then, using a straight pin, I popped the balloon.
  • button dish, crafts, repurposing upcycling
After I popped the balloon, I carefully pulled it out of the dish--it pretty much peeled off on it's own but I had a few spots that I had to pull a little. I was prepared to use scissors to cut off the excess glue on the edges of the dish but I was able to just gently pull it off.
I contemplated making this dish with the designs of the buttons being on the outside but I'm glad I went with this way because of how shallow the dish ended up being--you wouldn't have been able to see the pretty designs had I flipped the buttons the other way.
Overall, I'm pretty happy with the way this cute little dish turned out--it's perfect for holding my wedding bands and other little things on my nightstand when they're not being worn/used.
*The time it took to create this dish was approximately 4-5 hours but that time includes drying time. This is really an easy project!

Materials I used for this project:

  • Buttons   (Amazon)
  • Elmer's glue   (Michaels)
  • Mod Podge   (on hand (from Michaels))
See all materials

Got a question about this project?

  • Mary Ann Gundersen
    Mary Ann Gundersen Sunderland, MA

    I just inherited my mother-in-law's old button tin with hundreds of old buttons. I think this will be such a nice way to use some of them.

  • Zeljka
    Zeljka Canada

    Absolutely love this! Perfect for a birthday gift for my sewing friend. Thanks for sharing.

  • Lucy Marie Bernier

    That is just way too cute, great 💡 👍👍👍

  • Lynne
    Lynne Detroit, MI

    really cute !! i am going to show this to my 10 year old grand daughter who is trying crafting . thanks

  • Jeanie
    Jeanie Norfolk, VA

    this makes NO sense to me #5 where does the use of a dish come in? not shown in items to use please explain

    • Rob & Courtney M, Hometalk Team
      Rob & Courtney M,... Mastic Beach, NY

      Jeanie, I glued the buttons together on the top of the balloon to give the end product/dish it's shape, then let it dry completely and flipped the balloon over (as you see in #5) and popped it which left the final product/dish. Hope this explains a

  • Becky Partain

    Love it!!! So cute and creative!!

  • Jody
    Jody Milford, DE

    So cool, I love it!!

  • Kathy Bitzan
    Kathy Bitzan Olympia, WA

    That looks like fun.

  • Shawn
    Shawn Dayton, OH

    I am an avid knitter and am always on the lookout for a yarn bowl...but they are so expensive!! I think I can possibly make one of these and use it as a bowl to hold my yarn while I'm knitting by leaving a space between two of the buttons on the top

    • Jeannie Carle
      Jeannie Carle Parnell, MO

      Oh! So am I and yes they certainly ARE! What a great idea! TY :-)

  • Mary Jenkins
    Mary Jenkins Atlanta, GA

    Adorable!

  • Robbi Fish-Lake

    I tried this project and it is really cute! I did find that my bowl is somewhat pliable. As a novelty decoration though, it's cute! Thanks for the idea and instructions.

    • Robbi Fish-Lake

      A couple of pics. I want to try the glass bead one too, but trying to decide on best way to do that with enough strength for the weight!

  • Jennifer
    Jennifer Central, SC

    You can make your own Mod Podge way cheaper by mixing Elmer's with water. For most projects I use a 50/50 mixture, but with doily bowls, and probably with this project, I would mix it more like 75 glue/25 water. Very cute idea Thanks for sharing!

    • Ola Jordan
      Ola Jordan Fenton, MO

      I decopauge frequently. Buy the large jug of Elmer's glue from Lowes. Mix close to 50/50 with water. Works beautifully both as base and top coats . Since I'm working with paper I let it dry well and apply at least three top coats. Then poly top

  • Mjpaul4200

    Love it 😊

  • Beth
    Beth Bradenton, FL

    Thanks for sharing,now I know what to do with my surplus buttons

  • Serapbilgin51

    İ liked it and i'm going to try .thanks for ideas

  • MaryJane Nuskey

    Hi, I saw your bowl and loved it so much I got right on the computer and ordered buttons and Mod Podge from Amazon. I didn't bother with the Elmers because the Mod Podge said it was a sealer, glue and finish. I put a coat of it on the balloon and

  • Deborah Axelson
    Deborah Axelson Waupun, WI

    love this, must try it with my granddaughters

  • Jeneen Alix Ellis

    I will try this ! Thank you😊

  • Janice
    Janice Columbus, NE

    I would like to try this. I have a fabric bowl that I made a few years ago when they were popular, and I use it all the time. This looks easier to make than the fabric bowl. I would like to make one for my sewing room and use it for small items,

  • Linda
    Linda Mineral Point, WI

    has anyone tried this other than these special buttons? I have a ton of gifted bling, and beads, etc - would that work? I only work with the kids for a couple hours on Wed so I would have to do prep ahead to let them do the fun stuff. Please let

Inspired? Will you try this project? Let the author know!