Xena Nierobisz
Xena Nierobisz
  • Hometalker
  • Raleigh, NC
Asked on Jul 30, 2013

What to do with old/vintage buttons ?

LindaLinda Risser Hilltop Country GreenhouseVivian Lee Wood
+57

Answered

my mom gave me some old buttons. I think they are very nice and wanted to use them for cool crafts but I just went blank. I need an advice on an interesting crafty project. Anyone?
q what to do with old vintage buttons, crafts, repurposing upcycling
57 answers
  • Miriam I
    on Jul 30, 2013

    Here's something cute by @Carolyn ~ homework. It's a little early for holiday decorating, but you might want to save them: http://www.hometalk.com/851156/vintage-button-snowflake

  • Kimberly Barney
    on Jul 30, 2013

    The sparkly buttons can be attached to hair clips. The larger buttons can be sewn to pillows as embellishments. The smaller buttons can be arranged as flowers on a mixed-media art piece. Buttons are also nice displays in jars.

  • Xena Nierobisz
    on Jul 30, 2013

    Miriam, it is never too early cor Christmas decorations :) I love your idea. I will keep some of the buttons and add some of my other ones I have at home. Kimberly, I was actually going to make a pillow today so I can pick some buttons for this project. Didn't even think about it. Thank you so much :) And I love buttons in jars too.

  • Mary Insana
    on Jul 30, 2013

    A nice thing to do is to get an article of your moms clothing that she doesn't wear anymore preferably something with sentimental value and make a pillow and sew the buttons on one side in a pattern, her monogram or just randomly. It makes a pretty conversation piece and the memories will last forever. You can also make one for any siblings or children you have for Christmas gifts. I've done something similar for friends when their Mom/Dad passed away and they treasure it.

  • Sheriva S
    on Jul 30, 2013

    Here are some suggestions~decorate a pillow in one corner start with sewing the smaller buttons graduating to the larger ones as if they all are/have gathered to the corner. Or line them up in straight lines in the middle or bottom of pillow. Or buy a canvas, cut off the shank of the buttons and glue them on in any pattern/group you choose. I have removed the shank of the button, glued it on a blank lapel or hat pin.

  • Xena Nierobisz
    on Jul 30, 2013

    Thank you all for cool ideas. Sheriva do you have pics of any of these projects?

  • Dee Mock
    on Jul 30, 2013

    You can easily make some adorable jewelry with them. Just add some jump rings and you can attach to bracelet or necklace chains. Also easy to add an eye pin and make earrings!

  • Xena Nierobisz
    on Jul 30, 2013

    Thank you. oh so many cool ideas... thank you all :)

  • Sherrie
    on Jul 30, 2013

    I like media art. With your buttons laid out I saw a tree and its branches. But I love texture!

  • Xena Nierobisz
    on Jul 30, 2013

    I do too Sherrie. Thank you for your idea :)

  • MaryKay@Studio23Thirty
    on Jul 31, 2013

    I like to make magnets out of vintage buttons.

  • Xena Nierobisz
    on Jul 31, 2013

    cool. I love magnets. Where can I find the magnet part? Michaels maybe...?

  • Linda Stone
    on Aug 1, 2013

    I have a friend who makes rings from old buttons. She orders the rings online and uses a strong glue, something like E6000, to attach to ring. You would cut off the shank and glue button on. Also, if you make handmade cards, or no someone who does, they are a good embellishment for cards and scrapbooking.

  • Valerie
    on Aug 1, 2013

    I love old buttons and use them regularly in crafting projects. Here are some examples:

    q what to do with old vintage buttons, crafts, repurposing upcycling, In this one I have used buttons to make the flower stems and leaves and have used beads and buttons to decorate the frameq what to do with old vintage buttons, crafts, repurposing upcycling, This is an ordinary kitchen clock where I have simply used silicone to attach the buttonsq what to do with old vintage buttons, crafts, repurposing upcycling, A picture frame which hangs in my sewing room I painted a plain frame and attached the buttons using siliconeq what to do with old vintage buttons, crafts, repurposing upcycling, Not a great photograph used to store items in my sewing room Again painted a plain color and added buttons using my trusted siliconeq what to do with old vintage buttons, crafts, repurposing upcycling, A tote decorated with buttons and very simple hand embroidery
  • Joan Bohonsky
    on Aug 1, 2013

    Some could be made into rings

  • Starla Swanson
    on Aug 1, 2013

    I have earrings made from antique buttons. I've also seen them used to hang jewelry...recycle an old frame, taking out the glass and replacing it with a soft padded fabric backed with cardboard. Attach the buttons in place of hooks for necklaces. And I've also seen frames completely covered in buttons. It was actually rather cute!

  • Sfg178760
    on Aug 1, 2013

    Ha, I was not going to comment on this because I knew you would get lots of ideas...the options are limitless..I love using buttons in all my pieces, whether it is a photography collage or jewelry! I love the antique button the most! I like them so much, I have thought about just gluing them down on a board and framing it for my wall! Good luck with your button project!

  • Eileen Smith
    on Aug 1, 2013

    You can make fabric peonies and use them for the centers. Then glue those to pin backs or hair pins for your hair. Here is a couple of sites for you to check out. http://ourdailychocolate.blogspot.com/2010/08/fabric-peony.html or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzfMF0-x2BI&feature=share

  • Xena Nierobisz
    on Aug 1, 2013

    Wow thank you everyone so much. I know there are so many ideas out there but I just wanted to find something that "speaks to me" . :)

  • June
    on Aug 1, 2013

    Staria: I especially liked your idea for using the buttons as a hook for necklaces. Very clever.

  • Su
    on Aug 1, 2013

    Have you thought about gluing them onto a pair of flip flops to make them stand out from the crowd...I played yesterday with an old pair and blinged them up, they look different to say the least...

  • Xena Nierobisz
    on Aug 1, 2013

    Well I think I already have some ideas. Thank you all. I will post pics soon :)

  • Nancy Gramm
    on Aug 1, 2013

    I'm a button fanatic but also a bit of a purist. I refuse to glue them, will only sew them down. I used vintage MOP buttons for this lampshade, which was quite time-consuming, but I love the end product.

    q what to do with old vintage buttons, crafts, repurposing upcycling
  • Judi
    on Aug 1, 2013

    A friend of mine made a Christmas tree in a picture frame with old jewelry. Don't know why you couldn't do the same with old buttons! Really pretty....

  • Xena Nierobisz
    on Aug 1, 2013

    Nancy what a cool idea with the lampshade. It looks like lots of work. really nice

  • Judy
    on Aug 1, 2013

    I don't like to alter the buttons, so I sew them, like Nancy. I have made pillows out of old hankies with antique buttons. I also have just taken a piece of fabric, or a bit of a destroyed quilt, framed it, and set the buttons on as embellishment. I also love old neckties, and have sewn buttons on and hung on the wall. Great conversation pieces, and cheap wall art!

  • Jane
    on Aug 1, 2013

    Type "buttons" into your search browser---You will have quite an array of options.

  • Peggy Hazelwood
    on Aug 1, 2013

    I wrote an article on Squidoo called Button Crafts if you want to take a look. I added some photos and lots of links to other projects. I love old buttons!

  • Lee McKenzie
    on Aug 1, 2013

    I use buttons for clasps on necklaces and bracelets. They can be added to crochet or metal pieces and really add nicely to the jewelry.

  • Gwen
    on Aug 1, 2013

    do you have kids? Mine liked using a large needle I'd double thread with a big knot, put the buttons in a container and they'd sort through and string the buttons. Was especially good on days they did not feel so great. My daughter started doing this at about four and loved it so much she continued on every so often til she was junior high and a time or two in high school. When she got married, her theme was vintage, using Grandmas buttons and pearls on silver trays with three vintage bud vases of flowers. A vignette in the foyer had an acopothery jar of her last string she'd done and she had her favorite buttons that were incorporated into her bouquet. I got the idea because my mom let me "sew buttons" when I wasn't well and I still have a few of my favorites I found when scattering buttons and pearls for the wedding!!

  • Xena Nierobisz
    on Aug 1, 2013

    Gwen I don't have kids. I have 3 dogs but they are not crafty at all :) ;) But I love when kids do crafts. I was crafty one too and I enjoyed helping my mom with little projects

  • Jennie Roberts
    on Aug 1, 2013

    You could always do a mosaic on a birdbath or something like that. Maybe draw it out first and go from there!

  • Carol Harris
    on Aug 1, 2013

    I saw a wreath on Pinterest with button all around it, it was so pretty, would be nice to hang in your sewing or craft room. Also on picture frames, one of my FB friends makes things with button to auction off for dog rescue, she has some wonderful ideas.

  • Virginia A
    on Aug 1, 2013

    One of my friends has a whole page of button craft ideas. She's so creative. http://crafting.squidoo.com/button-crafts

  • AmericanWoman
    on Aug 2, 2013

    I pinned a lamp shade to my Pinterest acct. It's covered in buttons.

  • Patricia W
    on Aug 2, 2013

    If you hace large matching ones you can hot glue them to wooden drawer pulls!

  • Xena Nierobisz
    on Aug 2, 2013

    Patricia, that's a great idea! :)

  • Xena Nierobisz
    on Aug 2, 2013

    Jennie I love your mosaic idea.

  • Xena Nierobisz
    on Aug 2, 2013

    Found this idea on line. I really like it. I think I might do something like this :)

    q what to do with old vintage buttons, crafts, repurposing upcycling
  • Project Princess
    on Aug 2, 2013

    I like to use buttons for magnets or if you have enough, then garland for a crafty Christmas tree.

  • Robin Seefahrt
    on Aug 2, 2013

    I attached and layered them to a long chain and made a nice necklace- always get complements.

  • Teri
    on Aug 2, 2013

    My friend sold button bracelets. You take a piece of elastic measure it to go around your wrist. sew ends together and cover the whole piece with vintage buttons. They are so awesome and she has no problem selling them.Now you have a stunning bracelet.

    • Cynthia H
      on Jul 26, 2014

      @Teri I've done this also, and they are a great accessory! Plus if you get tired of the bracelet, cut the threads and start over.

      q what to do with old vintage buttons, crafts, repurposing upcycling, A bracelet I made
  • Susan
    on Aug 4, 2013

    Take the ones you really love and sew them to a plain shirt in a pattern. I created a design around the neck and hemline with one on each sleeve. People were always asking me where I purchased it.

  • Maggie
    on Aug 4, 2013

    Buttons can be used to hold pairs of earrings together in a jewelry box or dish.

  • Barbara
    on Aug 4, 2013

    I've never done anything with buttons, but what popped into my head was sewing or gluing them onto a canvas belt to spruce it up considerably. Barbara, Zebulon, NC

  • Holly Morgan
    on Aug 6, 2013

    THANK YOU MAGGIE! That is an awesome idea!

  • Colleen
    on Aug 7, 2013

    Someone posted a photo of a metal strip in a heart shape form filled with buttons.

  • Larose LoganOakes
    on Aug 7, 2013

    I think this is what Colleen was talking about and I am trying to do the same thing . http://www.hometalk.com/1963369/button-art Good Luck!:)

  • Mary Kay McDonnell
    on Sep 3, 2013

    Multi media art. i add them to cards, scrapbooks, canvases and journals. Always gives the 3-d affect.

  • Amy Petracek
    on Jun 11, 2014

    Pinterest has a million button art ideas. You can sew or glue them onto a pretty piece of material in the first letter of your last name or first name. Then frame it. That was my favorite idea, but there are so many more.

  • Nancy Gramm
    on Jun 11, 2014

    Ah, the button thread, back again. I showed a pic earlier of the lampshade I embellished with buttons. Here's one of the pillow I recently made. I'm still loving it! I did a button picture (I think I used linen on a picture backer) of a high-heeled shoe for my sister, white on blue, and one of the word EAT for another sister, red on white. (I don't have pics for either of those. It was a matter of hurry up and get 'em done and out of here!) I've also done button icicles as gifts for friends at Christmas. (The pic's not mine, nor is the original idea.)

    q what to do with old vintage buttons, crafts, repurposing upcyclingq what to do with old vintage buttons, crafts, repurposing upcycling
  • Joanna Stoltzfus
    on Jun 11, 2014

    the first thing i thought of was using them to make a design on a decorative pillow or sham. but if you need more, just visit pinterest! pinterest has so many awesome ideas. good luck

  • Mary B Pinson
    on Aug 26, 2015

    I used floral wire and made a flower by placing a button or two on the end of each, These are now a floral/button arrangement in an antique milk jar. The buttons came from my grandmothers sewing machine drawer and include those off of her suit dresses as well as men's shirts. Some can be used to make rings or earrings depending on how ornate they are.

  • Barbara Heist
    on Sep 8, 2015

    Maybe putting them around a picture frame with your mom's picture

  • Vivian Lee Wood
    on Sep 8, 2015

    take a piece of fabric and arrange them as a heart or your mother's initials.. And frame the 'picture' you create with the buttons in a frame. It will remind you of your Mom.

  • Hilltop Country Greenhouse, St Charles, MN I hot glued different size buttons together to make miniature tables and miniature stools. i also used thread to make miniature angels with ribbon wings.

  • Linda
    on Apr 6, 2016

    When my Mom passed I also had a big box full of her old buttons she had collected so when I became a Grandma I made each of my Grandkids A wired shape heart filled with her buttons it was very beautiful and as they never had the chance to meet this wonderful women I wrote them each a letter about her and how this wired button heart would be a special memory that would bond us all together. They have hung their Mimi's heart in their bedroom

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