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Button Dish

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
-buttons (I used 100)
-Elmer's glue
-Mod Podge
-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?

  • Bonnie
    Bonnie Eloy, AZ

    This is so cute. I have a bunch of buttons that I just love and no where to put them. We are moving and I probably would have given them away and then seen this project and would have kicked myself. I will definitely make this one.

  • Bobbi Convery
    Bobbi Convery Spanish Fork, UT

    I like this! I may just have to try it!

  • Dianne Muse Snow

    love this project.. wish I had some little kids to do it with.. it would also be good for an activities director in an elderly home. etc.. thanks for taking the time to post this

  • Bromlowd

    Love it! Will be making this, thanks for sharing.

  • Teresa
    Teresa Schenectady, NY

    This is one of the most clever ideas I have seen in a while! Thank you for sharing! My grand daughter and I will have fun making presents for the holidays!

  • Sirkku
    Sirkku Finland

    What a fun idea, I really like this project. I may just have to try it too

  • Kristen Crawford
    Kristen Crawford Cassville, MO

    Sweet project! Very cute and most of us crafters have the materials on hand!
    Thank you for sharing.

  • Lbourque99

    love the pretty dish. I will be making one with all the old buttons I have.

  • Evelyn Brown

    What is mod podge

  • Sarah Doss Farrer


  • Darlene Brandon
    Darlene Brandon Dayton, OH

    Yes, I will try it ! I saw a similar idea in a magazine where you use fake autumn leaves to make a 'fall bowl'. I need to try that this fall ! Thank you for the idea, too cute !

  • Jan
    Jan American Fork, UT

    I'm trying to find unique ways to use buttons in every room of the house in memory of our daughter who was killed. (She collected buttons, among other things.) This idea is adorable and different from anything I've done. Thanks so much for the great

    • Jan
      Jan American Fork, UT

      Hi, Sherry! Thanks so much for your sweet reply. We belong to a club we'd both wish we'd never been invited to but we do find comfort in sharing with others who also walk this path. Our Rachel is forever 26 and as I sit here this morning, I'm

  • Maetta York

    yes I love it im going to do this with my grandaughter

  • Ekanmaz
    Ekanmaz Turkey


  • Leta Turner

    Love this idea, I have so many buttons my mom would cut off old clothes and keep and she had a thing of buying different buttons and fill the fruit jar, so I am looking for ways to use them in memory of mom.

  • Nancy
    Nancy Baird, TX

    I too have many buttons from my Mom's collections. I have been wondering how I was ever going to use them in memory of her, this is an awesome idea, thank you for sharing!

  • Julie Matson
    Julie Matson Sheboygan, WI

    Love it! I intend to do this with my Seniors. We will have a few sessions. I will do some of the steps at home. Cannot wait. jULIE

  • Julie Matson
    Julie Matson Sheboygan, WI

    So excited!

  • Elaine DiAntonio
    Elaine DiAntonio Sun City Center, FL

    I love this little project..just about to make one with flat glass stones (actually 3 ), then attach my bowls to make a tall one as deco. Going to cover almost the entire balloon, not sure how this idea will work, we'll see!

  • D. Oliver
    D. Oliver Shallotte, NC

    yes,it's too cute ,easy and clever not too. Besides I have tons of all sizes,shapes and colors of buttons. Thanks so much for sharing this with us.

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