Who doesn't have a jar of mismatched buttons lying around the house? Button bracelets are the perfect way to recycle old buttons, and you don't need advanced jewelry-making skills or special equipment to make them. Button bracelet making is a perfect craft project to do with children or teens. With a little creative effort, you'll have charming, colorful, one-of-a-kind bracelets.
Any buttons can be used. They don't have to be the same size. In fact, it's preferable to mix different shapes and sizes. Create a cohesive design with color. Pick shades of one color, or choose contrasting colors. If you have a special button, a large or antique button for instance, you might want to make it the centerpiece of the bracelet, surrounded by more subtle buttons. Or you could make an all over design, alternating smaller and larger buttons. To add more interest, try layering buttons, placing smaller buttons on top of larger buttons.
To plan your design, place your buttons in a row on a flat surface. The row should measure about 7 to 8 inches, with about 1/6 inch between each button.
You can link your buttons together using any number of threads or decorative ribbons. The important thing is to use a stringing material strong enough that the bracelet doesn't fall apart, but thin enough to thread through the button holes. Embroidery floss, beading thread, ribbon or elastic thread are all good choices.
The length of your stringing material will vary. It's always best to have more than less. If you're using ribbon, make sure the length of ribbon is at least several inches longer than final size of the bracelet. Trim the ends of the ribbon to create a sharp point, so that it inserts easily through the button holes.
If you're using thread, you'll need a longer piece than with ribbon. Start with a yard of thread, to be on the safe side. Use a beading needle or a use bit of glue stiffen the tip of your thread.
The basic concept is to string together your buttons by bringing your stringing material up through the first button hole then down through the next button hole. Then repeat with the next button, and so on. Of course, how you string the buttons will depend on the design of your buttons. If you're using embroidery floss or beading thread, you can use two strands and go through twice--one thread starting at the bottom of the buttons, and one at the top. Knot the two threads together after each button.
If you make the button bracelet large enough to slip on and off the wrist, you can simply tie off the ends of your stringing material and dab it with clear nail polish to keep it from unraveling. Or purchase a jewelry clasp to attach to either end of the bracelet. If you're using embroidery floss or thread, you can create a decorative loop of seed beads at one end of the bracelet, and attach it to a clasp.
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