There’s no way around it, buttons are magical. They are both commonplace and remarkable, functional and decorative. Did you know that, even though buttons appear as far back as 2000 BC, the buttonhole did not appear until the thirteenth century? Before that, they were solely for show. They’ve been made of wood and metal, plastic and bone, rubber and mother of pearl.
And I love each and every one of them! From vintage to modern, outrageous to simple, button collecting has become one of my favorite creative addictions. Sorting through bins of buttons at a flea market, and discovering the ones that I cannot live without, is truly one of my greatest sources of inspiration. So much so that, a few years ago, I decided to share my button passion via a book, Button Ware. In it we provided over thirty different projects that transformed buttons into all manners of jewelry–bracelets, necklaces, pendants and more. One of those projects I’d like to share with you today – making button rings. They are wonderful accessories…and so incredibly easy to make.
Rather than drawing diagrams for something this simple, I’ve produced a short, simple video on the making of button rings. Head over to the “Learning” section here and take a look.
Two things to remember when you start this project. First, finding the right mix of buttons is key. Mix and match vintage with new, patterned with solids. As I mentioned before, you can always find buttons at flea markets, in your grandmother’s attic and the like.
Lastly, if you’re looking for a creative boost to get started, you can always start with our Button Ware book and use buttons from our partner, JHB. For years, JHB has been making some of the most creative and stylish buttons you will find anywhere. While they only sell to wholesale accounts on their Web site, they do provide a link to retailers that carry their buttons. You can see that list here.
Making button jewelry is a wonderfully simple way to both recycle vintage goods into something stylish and engage your creativity. Once you get started, I’m sure we’ll be seeing each other over a bin of buttons one of these days.
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For my BurdaStyle readers only, I’m giving away a copy of my book, Button Ware. Tell me about some of the more remarkable one’s you’ve found…or about your favorite one…or about something you’ve made using vintage or unique buttons…and you could be the winner of the book. Please leave your comments by 9:30 am EST on Wednesday, February 23rd to be eligible to win!
Amy Barickman is the founder and owner of Indygo Junction, The Vintage Workshop and AmyBarckman.com. She is a leader in the sewing, needle arts and retail crafting industry having sold more than two-million sewing patterns and published 80 books sold throughout the world. Her recent endeavor is the book “Amy Barickman’s Vintage Notions: An Inspirational Guide to Needlework, Cooking, Sewing, Fashion and Fun”, is already on its third printing since its release in September of 2010. Other best-selling titles include: “Indygo Junction’s Button Ware” and, most recently, “Hankie Style”.