Add a new creative twist to your jewellery with our lovely button making kits now available in the shop.
You start with two pieces of metal and end up with a beautiful button that is covered in the fabric of your choice. The buttons are available in a choice of sizes, 15mm and 22mm:
and two versions: flat back and wire back.
The flat back buttons are ideal for gluing onto rings, earrings, hair pins and pendant findings, and the wire back buttons are perfect for stringing and for threading onto hairbands.
These buttons come with a making tool for assembling your buttons (each size of button needs a different tool, but different backs can be used with the same tool as long as the size of button is the same).
To make your pretty buttons just pick some fabric – thin fabric is best – and cut a circle that’s about 1-1.5cm wider than your button.
Pop the fabric onto the white part of the tool, pattern-side facing down, and sit your button over this, ensuring that any pattern is centered in the position you want it to be (this can sometimes be a bit tricky!). Then, with the red bit of the tool, press down into the white bit so that the fabric and button top are snug inside the white part of the tool.
Bunch the fabric back into the button
place the back of the button on top, ensuring it is perfectly centered
and with the red bit of the tool again press down hard so that it fits right inside the button.
Finally, pop the button out of the tool, and there you go, a perfect button that you have made yourself!
If you have chosen to use flat back buttons, you can simply glue these into place onto rings and hairpins or simply add a magnet, pin or tiny brooch back.
To use them with pendant trays, you may have to apply your glue to the edge of the button rather than to the metal back. This is because there is a 1-2mm edge where the button sides are higher than the back, so sometimes you may have to add a riser so that the back is flush with the edge so for certain applications this would be useful. You can use a rubber pad, washer, or a foam sticker (as used in card-making) – just ensure your glue is a strong one.
I have used a small riser on the hairclips above, however for items such as rings and hairpins, a riser should not be necessary.
The 15mm flat backs fit beautifully into our 15mm bezel trays, and we are investigating offering 22mm trays.
The wire back buttons have a loop at the back so that these are essentially your traditional buttons and these can certainly be used as such! Or you can also add them to hairbands – all you need to do is thread the elastic (doubled up) into the loop, and then knot it over itself. Simple! And if you use the metal fastening on the elastic at the back of the button you will have a secure tie and the metal won’t show. See pictures below for a guide:
The best fabrics to use are thinner ones, cottons and linens are ideal. Look at Japanese fabrics for beautiful designs that are little enough to use on a button, or the tiny patterns available in dollshouse shops, or use just a little detail from a bigger pattern fabric.
If you want to be totally original, consider printing your own fabric – I usually use heat-transfer paper (for printing on t-shirts) for my own designs.
Most of the above buttons use vintage images from my collection which I have printed onto heat transfer paper, and bonded to thin fabric. Or if you wanted to do this on a slightly bigger scale, consider using a fabric-printing company who will print short-runs of fabric for you to your design.
The use of fabric lends a wonderful handcrafted feel to your jewellery, whether classy or cutesy, it’s very pretty indeed!