Try-it Tuesday: Vintage Button Baubles

As much as I love jewelry now, you would think that I would have been one of those little girls who got into her mama’s pretties and paraded around with a face full of clown makeup—arms, neck, and ears dripping with bling.

But that wasn’t me. Not even a little bit.

For two reasons really: 1) My mama had zero costume jewelry (I can only remember her wearing her plain gold wedding band and a gold, heart-shaped locket for most of my early childhood), and b) I was a tomboy. Big time.

I went through a period where I got awfully touchy about wearing dresses unless they had shorts sewn into the skirt (how else was I going to hang upside down on the monkey bars without flashing my underoos at all the boys…eeeeewww).

As I think of it now, it makes me shudder a little that there were dresses made with shorts sewn into them. (Do they still exist?)

I might have even been known to rock a pair or two of culottes. *Double shudder*

ANYhoo, the point is that I didn’t get truly interested in jewelry until the anti-all-things-gold period.

Remember that?

Somewhere around the mid to late 90’s, sterling silver and white gold became all the rage, and sporting a gold accessory was practically unheard of.

As my style has evolved, though, I find myself more and more attracted to all things vintage—particularly the art deco style and costume jewelry of the early 1900’s.

And while white gold is still pretty prevalent, you’ll also come across various hues of burnished bronze, copper, and, yes, gold.

When I saw these gorgeous rings made from vintage buttons on Pinterest, I immediately pinned them to my “crafty goodness” board and figured that if I ever ran across some really great buttons, I’d totally be copycatting the idea.

 

 

Well, guess what?

I scored some fantastic specimens in gold tones during my most recent trip to The Gresham Barn Sale.

I didn’t have anything particular in mind when I bought them. In fact, I think as deep as I went with it was: “Ooooooh pretty. Must. have. now.”

And since most of the buttons were 10/$1, it wasn’t exactly breaking my bank.

But then I remembered some clearance jewelry-making supplies I’d picked up at Hancock Fabrics a few weeks back in similar shades, not knowing exactly what I’d do with them either…

…until suddenly, in one gloriously and unusually clearheaded moment, I thought, “I know! I’ll make jewelry out of my Hancock Fabric scores and my vintage buttons.”

(And, yes, I realize that that was hardly a huge mental leap, nor was it the most groundbreaking moment of cognitive clarity ever, but with three kids + BODYCOMBAT choreography overload + pregnant brain, if I can still remember what I went into the pantry for once I get there, I’m feeling pretty accomplished these days).

I started out with a pile of buttons that looked something like this:

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And after some sorting, this:

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I decided to stick with only the sparkly, shiny, warm-toned options. And when I dug through my jewelry-making stash, I was thrilled to discover that I had the makings of a bracelet, a ring, and a necklace. Suh-weet!

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Then all I needed were a few basic crafting supplies:

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    • Glenda, the glue gun
    • Needle + thread (I happened to have metallic gold on hand, which worked perfectly)
    • Necklace clasps
    • Needle-nose pliers (I used my husband’s handy-dandy Leatherman tool that I bought him for a birthday or Christmas a while back and which has been the most well-received “man gift” that I’ve ever gotten him. Ladies, if your husband is handy at all—or even if he just likes to pretend he is—and he doesn’t have one of these, put it on the list for his next gift. He’ll think you totally get him…which, hopefully you do).

1. I made the bracelet first, and my original idea was to sew the buttons to the bracelet links and then add a dab of hot glue to each one for stability because I thought the buttons would be too floppy with just the stitching. But it turned out that once I tried the bracelet on, the flopping was minimal and actually contributed to a nice fluid drape, so I left them be.

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2. Next up was the necklace, which was even more of a no-brainer. All I did was bend the little hook on the back of the button with my pliers so that it was vertical and then threaded the chain through. Then, I checked it out in the mirror to determine my length and clipped it short with the pliers. A couple more twists of the pliers later, and I had the necklace clasp installed and was read to slip it on.

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3. Finally, I stitched my big beautiful flower button onto a plain silver “ring” (it came in a pack with other circular silver doodads of various sizes, but this one just happened to work perfectly for my pointer and ring fingers). I knew the floppiness was going to be an issue this time because the large button was heavy, and the band of the ring was smooth and circular (rather than having a straight edge), which made the button slide around quite a bit.

It was nothing a reinforcing glob or two of glue couldn’t fix, though, so after a little drying time, I had this:

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Hello, gorgeous!

And here’s an up close shot of the bracelet:

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And…just because I thought they were so pretty and loved how the flower button on the bracelet mimicked the ring, here they are together:

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And now, how about a shot of all three?

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{I wish I could have gotten a clearer one, but self-portraits in lowlight bathrooms are not conducive to crisp photography).

I love how all three are different and yet still work really well together because of the similarities in color and style. 

But you know what I REALLY love?

I have three pieces of custom jewelry for—you’re not going to believe this—less than $3.

Seriously?

I knew it was going to be cheap, but I even surprised myself when I added it up in my head just now.

I just got even more excited about my new baubles!

So…word to the wise…if you run across some vintage lovelies at a garage or estate sale, snap them up!

I guarantee they’ll be cheap, and the options for what you can do with them are pretty much wide open (I can also see these looking fantastic glued to bobby pins, made into a choker, added as accent to a little clutch, or even clipped to your belt).

Do you have any pretty buttons lying around? If so, I’d love to know what you’re going to do with them (and if the answer is “nothing,” I’m accepting donations).

See you tomorrow for Wardrobe Wednesday!

The CSI project ~ Menu Plan Monday ~ C.R.A.F.T.  ~ The Southern Institute ~ Making the World Cuter ~ Thrify Décor Chick ~ Metamorphosis Monday ~ Sumo Sweet Stuff ~ Gunny Sack ~ Singing Three Little Birds ~DIY Homes Sweet Home ~ Dittle Dattle ~ 1929 Charmer ~ Everything Under the Moon  ~ ModMix Monday ~ Sew Stylish ~ Coastal Charm ~ Under the Table and Dreaming

Tuesday ~ Get Your Craft ~ Tip Junkie ~ Blackberry Vine ~ Crafty Confessions ~ Me & my Boys ~ A Bowl Full of Lemons ~ Home Stories A-Z ~ My Uncommon Slice of Suberbia  ~ Carolyn’s Homework ~ Sugar Bee Crafts ~ House of Grace ~ Passionately Artisitc ~ My World Made by Hand ~ Uncommon Designs ~ Trendy Treehouse

Wednesday ~ Blue Cricket Design ~ Somedays Crafts ~ Sew Much Ado ~ Sew Woodsy ~ Handy Man, Crafty Woman ~ Savvy Southern Style ~ {Primp} ~ Midweek Fiesta ~ Rae Gun Ramblings ~ Polkadots On Parade ~ Lollipop Cards ~ JAQS Studio ~ Let Birdz Fly ~ Let Birdz Fly ~ My Girlish Whims

Thursday ~ Thursdays are Your Days, Transformation Thursdays ~ Somewhat simple ~ Show off your stuff ~ House of Hepworths ~ Delightful Order ~ My Simple Home Life ~ The Frugal Girls ~ Thrifty Thursday ~ DIY Diva Thursday ~ Tablescape Thursday ~ No Minimalists Here ~ Crafty, Scrappy, Happy ~ Thrifty Decorating ~ Between U and Me ~ 36th Avenue

Friday ~ The Shabby nest  ~ Show and Tell Friday ~ Finding Fabulous ~ I’m Loving it ~ Simply Sweet Home ~ Whipper Berry ~ Chic on a Shoestring decorating ~ Spunky Junky ~ Delicate Construction ~ Homemaker in Heels ~ Family Ever After~ French Country Cottage ~ Common Ground ~ Young And Crafty ~ At the Picket Fence ~ Fingerprints on the Fridge ~ Miss Mustard Seed ~ Addicted to Decorating ~Bacon Time with The Hungry Hypo ~ Making Lemonade ~ I Can’t Stop Crafting ~ Over the Big Moon ~ Shabby Art ~ Answer is Chocolate

Saturday ~ I heart nap time- Sundae Scoop ~ Tatertots and Jello ~ Be different Act Normal ~ Funky Junk ~ 2805 ~ Making Lemonade Blog ~I am Along for the Ride  ~ Lolly Jane

 

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19 thoughts on “Try-it Tuesday: Vintage Button Baubles

  1. Ooooh…so pretty! They look like expensive fashion jewelry. I love the bracelet especially! Nice job.

    Deborah

  2. I love all things vintage….your jewelry is gor-GEOUS! Perfect combos.

    I rocked some culouttes in my time as well….actually, I was thinking the other day they would cover up an awful lot of saddlebag thighs! Sad, I know.

  3. Love the idea of the button jewelry! I have been seeing similar things online, and I think I’m gonna’ get me some bling!

  4. We referred to those as “skorts” and I may or may not have rocked a few myself. And, one may or may not have been denim. Yikes!

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