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The Button Tree Project

The Button Tree Project

I love collecting buttons of different colors, sizes, and shapes!  Even though they may be a small detail, picking the right button to use on a project – whether it’s a blouse, pillow, or doll – gives people a glimpse of your style…or the style that you are trying to convey.  Using buttons of different designs and textures can add such a lovely dimension to any project.

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But, as much as I love buttons, I have to admit they can be expensive to purchase.  For me, it’s a lot cheaper to buy buttons that are pre-packed from the craft stores.  The only downfall is that you never know what you’ll get inside the package.  There may be a few flawless buttons, but then there’s a handful of defective, chipped, or broken buttons.  Also, you may find a pack of buttons that you love and, two weeks later when you return for more, they are no longer in stock.

Last year, I decided that I could make my own buttons…in any way that I wanted!  I purchased polymer clay bars of my favorite colors and created designs that reminded me of things that I loved the most, such as hearts, flowers, and animals.  Here are some of the designs that I made:

The Button Tree Project 2

As I practiced making buttons, I started thinking of a way to make a structure that could “showcase” the different colors, designs, and shapes of my handmade buttons.  I just grab some of my collected buttons from my mason jar and aluminum wires in two different sizes to create “branches.”   I cut 12 pieces of the thicker wire 12 inches in length and 22 pieces of the thinner wires in shorter lengths.   I started to twist the wires so that they would gather in the middle and then forms several branches.

Before attaching the buttons to the branches, I arranged my buttons in sequence and laid them out so that no similar colors would be near each other.  It was really fun arranging them!  I found myself changing positions of the buttons, moving them from one location to another until I was happy with the color formation!

The last step was to use air dry clay and to form it into a round base which would hold the tree in place.  You can form the base in any shape, but just make sure to balance the tree stem to stand straight.  I waited for the clay to dry for 24 hours and the project was complete! 

Here is how it looks:

The Button Tree Project

This is definitely a project that I plan to continue making with new buttons.  With handmade buttons, no tree will ever be the same!

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