Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Button, Button, Who's Got the Button?

I love making new things out of things that other people might discard - or in other words, other people's crap. :-)

One thing that I like having on hand is hand-made buttons. I've made buttons out of polymer clay in the past, and that is great fun, but another way to have fun, unique buttons available is to use bottle caps.

I don't ever drink anything in a bottle, so I had to rely on my brother-in-law and son to provide some bottle caps for me. They come in every color and variety. I even got some larger Snapple caps that I wasn't sure would work, but they did.

I've had these waiting for me since Christmas - so last weekend I decided it was time to get button-moving.

I first head to the small slab of cement holding my hot-water-heater in my dirt-floor basement. A sort of sad thing to picture, I'm sure, but my normal cement-pounding location was not in service.

I use a hammer and a small piece of scrap wood to pound the bottle caps flat. Next, a nice strong construction nail creates the sewing holes in the buttons.

Whew. Now that I'm back upstairs, I get out my handy-dandy spray primer. A couple coats on both sides of the buttons and they are ready for color.

This time, I really wanted to use some fun, springy colors. I think I found some good ones!

A couple coats of spray paint on both sides followed by spray poly - and I have some fun new buttons to use on my wool pieces!  Whoo Hoo!


  1. Totally awesome! I can't wait to see what you do with them! Guess I better start collecting a few of those myself!

  2. P.S. Several years ago I took a bunch of flattened rusty bottle caps and used them for shingles on a rustic birdhouse - they looked really cute!

  3. Great idea using bottle caps for shingles! Love it!

    I'm so pathetic, that one day I was walking with my sister in a store parking lot and saw a nicely flattened bottle cap. I ALMOST stopped and picked it up - but my sister wouldn't let me! :-)

  4. Oooooh! How totally gorgeous and super green!

  5. What a GREAT idea! I can't wait until the Super Bowl is over to grab all those tops!
    Michele P

  6. Ha! That's a great idea Michelle! Think of all the hoping-to-be-buttons that will get tossed in the garbage that day. You made me laugh with that one though. :-)

  7. O goodness! I'm a few days behind, sure, but what an amazing idea! Bottle cap buttons... now I know why I've been collecting them for so long. Thanks for posting this, I'm newly inspired!

  8. Good for you for collecting them! You've got the first step done already! Have fun!

  9. I love this idea, but I have a question, well 2 questions. Is the whole for the thread sharp at all? Does it break the thread? I love using "garbage" to make things even more beautiful!

  10. When I pound the holes (using a little larger nail) I also turn them over again and pound the holes from the back with my hammer as well. Sometimes it will fill the hole a little and I have to go back with the nail - but it doesn't usually happen too often. So pounding the back takes most of the sharpness out. And when I tie them on - I tend to use a lightweight yarn or string - so that helps as well. It might wear a light thread easier.