Button wreaths

There is no better activity in life than making something. I ignored fabric and thread last weekend and played with three generations of buttons: mom’s, grandma’s, and mine. I found some cute ideas online and made four new ornaments for the Christmas tree:

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I started with a package of four 3½-inch diameter plywood circles from the craft store.

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John cut a 2-inch diameter circle from the middle of each one, leaving a ¾-inch rim for the buttons.

First, all the buttons got a quick bath in dish soap and warm water. Then I sorted them by color, setting aside the most interesting ones for the top layer of each wreath.

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Instead of hot glue, I used a size 4 flat/shader paint brush to apply tacky glue to the underside of each button.

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The tacky glue dries clear, plus I didn’t want to deal with globs and strings of hot glue on such small pieces, some as little as ¼ to ⅜ of an inch.

For the first layer, I used a combination of large and medium sized buttons, generally picking the less attractive buttons or ones that I had a lot of since they were going to be covered anyway.

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The bottom layers generally needed between 25 to 30 buttons.

The second layer was created by covering the gaps between buttons in the bottom layer. As much as possible, I tried to evenly distribute the buttons by size, value (light/medium/dark), and finish (shiny vs. matte).

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The tacky glue always came up through the holes in the buttons, but it dried clear, so it wasn’t an issue.

I used a wire cutter to clip off the shanks from buttons that had them.

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It was fun to go through all the buttons and see the prices on the cards, and recall clothes my mom made for me in junior high and high school. I also enjoyed my grandma’s notes. She would write on the card where she bought her buttons and when:

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I hope you’re having fun making something, too!

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