Mary Ann Goldberg
Mary Ann Goldberg
  • Tutorial Team
  • Lake Saint Louis, MO

Another Button Project - Huge Scale!

My future husband was in another state, and I needed something to keep busy. I had made my wedding bouquet, cake topper and boutonnieres out of buttons and jewelry. I needed another project to keep busy and I came up with this idea. I would make a landscape utilizing a window screen! The screen is 55" long x 2' high, and is separated into 3 sections. The original screening was not in very good shape, so I stretched a new piece over the frame for sewing on the buttons.
another button project huge scale , crafts, Work Area
Work Area
Being from a Wisconsin farm, I had a nostalgic vision of this being a country scene, so it came together one section at a time. I set up an area of the LR, using tables to make a "U" shape. I did not have the metal storage drawers yet, so I had containers of buttons all over the place. I laid the screen on the tables and it became the bottom of the "U" shape. This way I could work from both the top and bottom of the project.
To create this artwork, every one of these buttons was sewn on! Yes, every one of them, and there were thousands. I tried counting them once and didn't get finished with even the first panel. Someday, when I don't have anything else to do, I will try again.
another button project huge scale , crafts, Panel 1 Barn and Orchard
Panel 1 - Barn and Orchard
I had a lot of buttons, but not nearly enough. I won some lots on Ebay. When they came I had to clean and wash all the buttons, which took a long time. Then they had to dry, and I would keep flipping them to get all the sides dried off. I even tried to clean them in the washer, but that didn't work so good. The lingerie bags couldn't hold up to the weight of them.
Finally, they were sorted by color. Every container I had was used for sorting, and still more were needed.
another button project huge scale , crafts, Panel 2 Windmill
Panel 2 - Windmill
another button project huge scale , crafts
Panel 3 - Farmhouse
another button project huge scale , crafts, Coloring the Buttons
Coloring the Buttons
Because of the sky and trees in the project taking up a lot of the space, I ended up hand-painting white ones and turning them blue or green to save on expenses. Next time I will dye them! I have the dyes already.
another button project huge scale , crafts
Here are pics in more detail. There's even a rope swing on this tree! The leaves here turned out an exciting way - without trying, the way they were sewn on make them look textured.
another button project huge scale , crafts
This shows the detail on the house. It includes my "Key To My Heart" motif as a door ornament. If you look closely, you can see I used Swarovski Crystals scattered throughout the panels to add an element of surprise and sparkle!
another button project huge scale , crafts
I used a sealant to finish off the buttons. This was to seal the threads and keep the buttons in place. I then used a Styrofoam backing to protect the buttons.
another button project huge scale , crafts
Almost finished! The final step was to cover the back with felt, for more protection.
another button project huge scale , crafts, The Final Artwork
The Final Artwork!
It's done! The project took over 5 months!
I am researching ideas for my next one, probably to be done this Fall/Winter.

Suggested materials:

  • Buttons - Thousands of Them
  • Window Screen
  • Jewelry
See all materials

Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Nancy Haggerty
    on May 5, 2016

    Where did you start?

    • Mary Ann Goldberg
      on May 5, 2016

      @Nancy Haggerty I started with the barn. Originally the last panel held photos of our families. I decided to switch it out for the farm house instead. I debated a long time about what to use as the center item and saw a windmill while driving. Perfect!

  • Dianne
    on May 5, 2016

    Would it be possible to take pictures of your cake topper and other items you made for your wedding . Work is beautiful . Thank you for sharing

    • Molly F
      on Jun 3, 2016

      they are all lovely and quite artistic - great idea and use of buttons!

  • Dee B
    on May 7, 2016

    Out of curiosity, have you any guesstimate of the number of hours this took to conplete.

    • Mary Ann Goldberg
      on Jun 6, 2016

      That is a very hard question. I was working full time and worked on this in the evenings and weekends. I would estimate 800-1,000 hours, but that is a rough estimate.

Join the conversation

4 of 165 comments
  • Stephanie Raimondi
    on May 24, 2017

    love it. I collect buttons and have thousands of them, might try something like this but on a much smaller scale.

    • Mary Ann Goldberg
      on May 30, 2017

      Go for it, Stephanie! There's all shapes and sizes of window or picture frames out there waiting for you. I'm starting my next one in the next couple weeks, when it gets too hot outside to be out doors.

  • Ginger the farm gal
    on Nov 4, 2017

    Enjoy all your projects, but this one "takes the cake" Wonderfully creative, better than a jigsaw puzzle :>)

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