Thursday 21 April 2011

Bespoke Buttons

 Hello everyone :)
I love Buttons!! They are a fabulous embellishment for any project, they are centres for flowers, they make great borders on a layout and they come in sooooo many shapes, sizes and colours.
So why make your own buttons? 
Making your own buttons means you will always have the perfect button for your project and it's fun!!
This month I tried lots of different techniques I found around the internet and magazines for creating my own unique buttons, here are 2 of my favourites.

The first method is using Chipboard. You can buy a huge range of die cut chipboard shapes suitable for buttons. These can be painted, stamped or covered with pattern paper. To make your own shapes you will need some chipboard, the thickness of the chipboard will depend on how you are cutting your shapes. If you want thicker buttons you can adhere several layers together.
You will also need some pattern paper, adhesive, stamps, ink pad, distress inks, Glossy accents, Crackle accents, punches, dies and die cutting machine.

Adhere the pattern paper to the chipboard, allow it to dry completely. Punch or die cut button shapes then
punch 2 or 4 button boles in the centre of the buttons. Ink the edges with distress inks to give them an Aged effect & cover the chipboard edges, Vintage photo works great for an aged effect. Stamp onto the buttons using black ink, when completely dry cover with crackle  or glossy accents.

The second technique uses air dry clay. This has to be my favourite method and so addictive! I know have a box full of clay buttons ready to colour in lots of different shapes.
Air Dry clay is available from lots of craft stores, I prefer the Air dry clay to the oven bake version because I am prone to burning thing in the oven lol!
Along with the clay you will need some cutters ( I used various lids for circle buttons!), paints, varnish and / or glossy accents, cocktail stick, somewhere flat to work and something flat such as a tray to dry the buttons. You will also need some stamps or anything with texture such as a brush.

Knead and prepare the clay, roll out on a flat surface to an even thickness.  Press a stamp or any textured surface such as a brush or texture plate into the clay and carefully lift off. Using cutters cut button shapes from the clay. Pierce holes in the centre of each button with a cocktail stick. Pierce from both sides so that it will thread smoothly. Place on a flat surface and allow to dry completely. Mine were dry within 24 hours, drying time will depend on the thickness of the buttons.

 If the buttons are a little rough around the edges use some sandpaper to smooth them.
You can now paint, stamp or ink your buttons. I used acrylic paints and Distress inks to colour my buttons.
Add clear varnish or glossy accents for a shiny finish. It is a good idea to give the back of the buttons a coat of varnish to seal them.

There are lots of ways to stamp, paint and finish your buttons I had lots of fun experimenting and getting messy!
Have fun making your own unique buttons!
Michele :)

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