Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Button Icicle Tutorial

The other day I was in a hurry to find a little thank you gift to include with an item someone had bought from one of my Etsy shops. Quickest thing I could think of was to whip up a small button icicle ornament. I didn't take a pic of that one, but thought I'd create a tutorial to show how I make these ornaments. They're fast and easy.

Some in the pic above were made with vintage plastic buttons. The one I'm showing is vintage MOP (mother-of-pearl).

Materials needed:

Heavy duty thread/string (I use crochet cotton; I didn't care for waxed linen.)
Buttons of varying sizes
Sheer Ribbon
Some kind of dangle--I'll be using a bead charm on this one.

First lay out your buttons in diminishing size. I try to do two of each size. The quick thank you I made only had about eight smaller buttons, but I usually do fourteen to sixteen in these larger ones.

Cut a cord at least six inches longer than the length of your buttons.

Tie a loop in one end of the cord; trim the short end. (If you're a jewelry maker, a crimp bead would work well here. I've made some using such, but am not sure where I stashed those beads so I had to improvise!)

Begin stringing the buttons. I don't use a needle since the size of the holes vary and a needle with a hole large enough to thread the crochet cotton doesn't always fit into the smallest button.

Be sure to string the buttons back to front. (I'm sure you already knew that, but believe me I had to work it out.)

Continue stringing buttons, laying back sides together.

Once all buttons are strung, tie dangle tightly onto the bottom (or use a crimp bead). Here you can get creative. I've used dangles from old earrings, old pendants, the beads from beaded fringe, plastic beads from Walmart. Practically anything goes.

If you tied rather than crimped the dangle on, thread the tied end back through the bottom few buttons and tie off. Clip the end.

Loop a length of ribbon through the beginning thread loop.


The one I showed in the tutorial is the third from the left.

While I'm at it, I'd like to show another ornament I made yesterday--not that it took that long to make. In the early '90s, while garage sale-ing with my sis Betty, I found this hand-painted pendant. I meant to give it to my mother but never got around to it. Never found anything else to do with it either and it's been stashed in a button box ever since. I think the painting is nicely done so I tied a ribbon on, sewed on a button and Voila!

Truly, I think it makes a better ornament than pendant. What think you?

I'm linking to Hope Studio's Tutorial Tuesday.

That's all for today. Take care, y'all.


Mary Keenan said...

I think it's all adorable ;^)

Kim said...

The icicles are so cute and creative, love the pink one, it reminds me of a cameo.

Diane said...

Wow, that turned out great. ♥ the blue and the buttons looks like icing Ÿ

The Rusty Teapot said...

I absolutely LoVe this! thank you so much for posting. I will have to pull out all my buttons now! thanks M

Miss Sews-it-all said...

What a great idea! Thanks for the how-to!