Five Ways to Use Buttons on Crafts

Who doesn't love buttons?! You can get them just about anywhere like the craft store, thrift store, or even from your own old clothes. I always stash the button packets you get when you buy new clothes … I love those little envelopes with extra buttons! There are a lot of things you can do with buttons on craft projects like put them in rows, sew them on a scrapbook page, and use them as the centers of flowers but I wanted to highlight FIVE of my favorite ways to use buttons.

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Five Ways to Use Buttons on Crafts

1. Put brads through the button holes.

I first saw this idea on a layout Cindy Tobey had published in Memory Makers Magazine (on the cover) in 2008. I’ve even seen other designers doing this same technique—just too much fun!

I made Mickey Heads on buttons with brads in the “Disney Magic” class I taught at The Scrappin' Table, a local scrapbook store:

2. Create a trail with buttons

Put buttons in a line or “trail” following a die cut star, cloud sticker, or rainbow embellishment … just make the buttons follow some kind of curve or line on the scrapbook page, card, or canvas you're creating. On this scrapbook page layout I followed the rays coming out of the flowers on the paper on the right-hand side with a trail of buttons:

On this layout below, I created a hand-cut curve on a piece of paper that I layered onto the bottom of the page. I then followed that curve with the letters for the title and repeated the curved line with a row of buttons just below the title.

On this next scrapbook page,  I used the buttons to form a trail from a star.

3. Scatter buttons across the project

Spill the buttons over a card, scrapbook page, or canvas and see where they look the best. Then start gluing them down wherever they fell!!
Use this scatter technique to add color and interest to boring, static parts of a scrapbook layout like I did on this soy sauce scrapbook page below:

On the scrapbook page below, I spilled the buttons onto the page and then smooshed them really close together because I wanted them to look like an overcrowded pumpkin patch on the page …

I dumped out these buttons to see if they matched the paper and they looked cool where they fell so I just stuck them down along the edge of the photo on this scrapbook page.

4. Decorate plain buttons

Did you know you can stamp, paint, and alter plain buttons!?

Stamp on them with a solvent ink like Staz-On, ink the edges alcohol inks, or even use rub-ons on your buttons to give them more depth. I used to really love SEI and Basic Grey buttons best for this technique since they are flat on the front but SEI and Basic Grey have since gone out of business.

Here are some buttons I recommend for this technique:

On this scrapbook page I stamped stars on some of the buttons so they would match the motif in the paper:

5. Line ‘em up.

Line up buttons in a row, making sure to also line up all the holes to face same direction.

On this layout I used the visual line created by the button holes to make sure they were straight:

Since you can see through the holes, it is easy to line up the buttons along the edge of a photo or piece of paper.

Though the buttons are not in a row on this page, I made all the holes face the same direction to keep the look crisp and clean:

And here's a BONUS technique- Button Flowers!!

Auntie T at has these cool button flowers in her gallery and I spied them there the other day. She was so nice to allow me to post them here!! Thank you!! If you want to know how to make these, she has the instructions so please contact her.

Hopefully I've shown you something “new” and you'll be inspired to break out the buttons and create!

About the Author

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Jennifer Priest is a 20+ year designer in the arts & crafts industry and home DIYer with a passion for creativity. An Army veteran raised on a ranch, from her experience, she shares smart DIY projects that save money and fun craft ideas that anyone can make. Besides blogging, Jennifer is a Master Practitioner and Trainer of NLP, Hypnosis, and MER, and coaches other online entrepreneurs on money mindset, business, and living an intentional life. When not blogging, Jennifer is having adventures in the wilderness, on road trips, playing with her cats, and making paleo food.

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  1. i love all the layouts you featured today…it was like a walk down memory lane! can’t get enough of buttons either. thanks for sharing those buttons flowers…i know what i’ll be making today during nap time!!

  2. Jennifer, I just want to say that I was disappointed too. I thought for sure that you would have made the MMM contest. At the very least one of you gals. I read some of the blogs on the girls who were chosen. Some of them have tried numerous times. And I want you to know that you have grown as an artist in the last year. It is just a matter of time before you begin to get the appreciation you deserve. You are a blessing to your family and an inspiration to all of us. I love checking your blog and finding out all the stuff that you do. I have started to organize my scrapbook place because of your post on your scrapbook room. And there are times when I feel drained, I’ll tell myself that Jennifer is probably still up – she can do it so can you! You inspire me and I appreciate you. -Susan B.

  3. You’re amazing … again! Can’t wait to employ some of these techniques. Thanks for taking the time to do this every Friday. ~ Krista

  4. Beautiful layouts and great button ideas! Thanks for the sweet mention, I have to say who I got the button/brad idea from though…the fabulous Lisa Garay! 🙂

  5. Please post directions for the flower buttons. I tried to click through the other site but couldn’t find them. They’re darling!

  6. I am looking for some fun MOPS crafts…the ladies would love these!!! I would love the directions also!! Thanks!

    1. There is a link to them in the blog post – sorry, they weren’t my project, just one I shared 🙂

  7. Hello Jennifer,

    Can you please email me the instructions for Auntie button flowers.

    They are so pretty.

    1. Hello,

      I don’t have the instructions but they look like you just glue them all together. Hope that helps 🙂

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