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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?

  • Lorraine Hartman
    Lorraine Hartman Frederick, MD

    I loved this project. I plan on doing it soon. I have thousands of buttons and am excited to see them used so well. Thanks for the instructions and the video. Lori in Frederick, MD

  • Weedee
    Weedee Euless, TX

    What is the geek app?

    • Kenna Austin-Cole

      Hubby uses his phone & buys from something called Geek. It's shipped from overseas & takes a while. He's been happy with all he's bought.

  • Michelle
    Michelle Lancaster, KY

    I think this would be super cute too as a hanging lantern in my daughters room, just by covering with more buttons. Thanks for sharing.

  • Elizabeth Jackson

    Very nice project. Turned out lovely

  • Clelia
    Clelia Argentina

    Amazing!beautiful

  • Jamielynn63

    Can you do it with just glue or do you have to have the mod podge?

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

      The thing with Mod Podge is that it's also considered a sealant and is considered a decoupage adhesive. You could try just using glue but I'm not sure how well/long it will hold up.

  • Shirley long
    Shirley long Houston, TX

    I love these questions....hellllooo?!?!

  • Jeanette S
    Jeanette S Atlanta, GA

    Adorable!

    • Bernice H
      Bernice H Woodburn, OR

      Hey Jeanette....We are getting nearer to closing on our little house here in Oregon. We moved from Palm Desert ca...toooo durn hot. So in a month or so I will be getting back to "doing".... lots of updating to do! But I don't have the energy to do

  • Bernice H
    Bernice H Woodburn, OR

    Cute!

  • D. Oliver
    D. Oliver Shallotte, NC

    So cute,creative and useful. I have tons of buttons,thanx for sharing this with us.

  • Quiltgal456

    Yes will do this project just need to get buttons. I have many but lots have shanks and won't work. I may use them if I figure how to take the shanks off and still make the outside look good..

  • C.rudolph1

    Wow!! The button dish is awesome 👍💛

  • Elizabeth Frye

    I think this is def something I will try so cool thanks for sharing

  • Kay Pettit Hicks

    I have a friend who is a true button collector. Can't wait to share this with her. Maybe now she will do something with the buttons to display them better than in her jars.

  • Leah Alls

    I have a ton of buttons from my mom and grandmother,this is a very cute idea! To make a larger bowl, do you think that an inflatable beach ball would work in place of a balloon?

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

      Hmmmm good question! I'd venture to say yes but I wouldn't spend a ton of money on the ball just in case it doesn't work out.

  • Deborah Anthony
    Deborah Anthony Brasstown, NC

    I tried this and it was fun, thank you for the post. I use my little bowl for some candies and my daily jewelry. :D

  • Linda Holmes Keating

    Love this! ❤ I too have a button loving friend who I am going to share this with!

  • Sue Mazza

    Hi - I thought I'd try this project over the holidays if my two grown daughters (24 and 27) got bored. Well, one daughter had already left town to go home and my younger daughter and I got to discussing it. We were at our lake house and she said -

    • Sue Mazza

      Aw, thanks! I'm going to work on making them more rigid next time I head into town.

  • Cathy Kirkman
    Cathy Kirkman Eden, NC

    Thank you for this idea. My next project

  • Jojodalber

    For sure! I am going to try it as soon as I find that mod podge. I have the other ingredients already.

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