Asked on Jul 30, 2013

What to do with old/vintage buttons ?

Xena Nierobisz
by Xena Nierobisz
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?
  63 answers
  • Miriam Illions Miriam Illions 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:
  • Kimberly Barney 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 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 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 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 Xena Nierobisz on Jul 30, 2013
    Thank you all for cool ideas. Sheriva do you have pics of any of these projects?
  • Dee Mock 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 Xena Nierobisz on Jul 30, 2013
    Thank you. oh so many cool ideas... thank you all :)
  • Sherrie 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 Xena Nierobisz on Jul 30, 2013
    I do too Sherrie. Thank you for your idea :)
  • MaryKay@Studio23Thirty MaryKay@Studio23Thirty on Jul 31, 2013
    I like to make magnets out of vintage buttons.
  • Xena Nierobisz Xena Nierobisz on Jul 31, 2013
    cool. I love magnets. Where can I find the magnet part? Michaels maybe...?
  • Linda Stone Linda Stone on Jul 31, 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 Valerie on Aug 01, 2013
    I love old buttons and use them regularly in crafting projects. Here are some examples:
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  • Joan Bohonsky Joan Bohonsky on Aug 01, 2013
    Some could be made into rings
  • Starla Swanson Starla Swanson on Aug 01, 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 Sfg178760 on Aug 01, 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 Eileen Smith on Aug 01, 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. or
  • Xena Nierobisz Xena Nierobisz on Aug 01, 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 June on Aug 01, 2013
    Staria: I especially liked your idea for using the buttons as a hook for necklaces. Very clever.
  • Su Su on Aug 01, 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 Xena Nierobisz on Aug 01, 2013
    Well I think I already have some ideas. Thank you all. I will post pics soon :)
  • Nancy Gramm Nancy Gramm on Aug 01, 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.
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  • Judi Judi on Aug 01, 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 Xena Nierobisz on Aug 01, 2013
    Nancy what a cool idea with the lampshade. It looks like lots of work. really nice
  • Judy Judy on Aug 01, 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 Jane on Aug 01, 2013
    Type "buttons" into your search browser---You will have quite an array of options.
  • Peggy Hazelwood Peggy Hazelwood on Aug 01, 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 Lee McKenzie on Aug 01, 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 Gwen on Aug 01, 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 Xena Nierobisz on Aug 01, 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 Jennie Roberts on Aug 01, 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 Carol Harris on Aug 01, 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 Virginia A on Aug 01, 2013
    One of my friends has a whole page of button craft ideas. She's so creative.
  • AmericanWoman AmericanWoman on Aug 01, 2013
    I pinned a lamp shade to my Pinterest acct. It's covered in buttons.
  • Patricia W Patricia W on Aug 02, 2013
    If you hace large matching ones you can hot glue them to wooden drawer pulls!
  • Xena Nierobisz Xena Nierobisz on Aug 02, 2013
    Patricia, that's a great idea! :)
  • Xena Nierobisz Xena Nierobisz on Aug 02, 2013
    Jennie I love your mosaic idea.
  • Xena Nierobisz Xena Nierobisz on Aug 02, 2013
    Found this idea on line. I really like it. I think I might do something like this :)
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  • Project Princess Project Princess on Aug 02, 2013
    I like to use buttons for magnets or if you have enough, then garland for a crafty Christmas tree.
  • Robin Seefahrt Robin Seefahrt on Aug 02, 2013
    I attached and layered them to a long chain and made a nice necklace- always get complements.
  • Teri Teri on Aug 02, 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 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.
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  • Susan Susan on Aug 04, 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.
    • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Jul 26, 2014
      @Susan I love sewing one at the bottom of the point of a v neck top.
  • Maggie Maggie on Aug 04, 2013
    Buttons can be used to hold pairs of earrings together in a jewelry box or dish.
  • Barbara Barbara on Aug 04, 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 Holly Morgan on Aug 06, 2013
    THANK YOU MAGGIE! That is an awesome idea!
  • Colleen Colleen on Aug 06, 2013
    Someone posted a photo of a metal strip in a heart shape form filled with buttons.
  • Larose LoganOakes Larose LoganOakes on Aug 06, 2013
    I think this is what Colleen was talking about and I am trying to do the same thing . Good Luck!:)
  • Mary Kay McDonnell Mary Kay McDonnell on Sep 03, 2013
    Multi media art. i add them to cards, scrapbooks, canvases and journals. Always gives the 3-d affect.
  • Amy Petracek 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 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.)
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  • Joanna Stoltzfus 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 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 Barbara Heist on Sep 08, 2015
    Maybe putting them around a picture frame with your mom's picture
  • Vivian Lee Wood Vivian Lee Wood on Sep 08, 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 Linda on Apr 06, 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
  • Janice Janice on Mar 15, 2024

    Buttons can be added to most anything to accent an item and make it more unique. I've seen shank buttons sewn just beneath the pinch pleats of draperies to add some pizazz! They could be added here and there along the edges of draperies to add some interest and maybe even at the hem. I enjoyed reading through all the other suggestions!

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Mar 16, 2024

    Draw a design or maybe a picture and sew buttons on in suitable colours to fill the area. Then you could mount it up and frame it.

  • Betsy Betsy on Mar 16, 2024

    Hi Xena: You can glue them to a picture frame. Here's a site that may give you some ideas:

  • Moid Moid on Mar 20, 2024

    Repurpose your old or vintage buttons creatively! Use them for crafting projects like embellishing clothing, making jewelry, or decorating accessories. Alternatively, incorporate them into home decor such as button art, button bouquets, or decorative accents on pillows or curtains. Read more about buttons These buttons are also used in decor parties Get imaginative and transform your buttons into unique pieces that add character and charm to your surroundings.

  • Hi Xena! You can watch this video regarding your concern. Hope this helps!

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Mar 23, 2024

    Inflate a balloon and glue the buttons to the outside of it. When the glue is dry, you'll have a creative bowl, it will make a great conversation piece. It will also hold light weight decorations like paper flowers, pine cones...