Tuesday, January 7, 2014

DIY Button Bracelet


Crafting: Button Bracelets

Love buttons? Who doesn't?! Chances are, whether you are crafty or not, you have a stash of them laying around, or maybe an addiction to collecting vintage ones. Well today I have a simple project that will put them to good use, button bracelets! You can also use new buttons for this project, and these days there are so many cool ones available at your local fabric store, the design possibilities are endless.

What you'll need:
Elastic, 1/4" or 3/8" thick
Needle and Thread

I decided on a yellow and seafoam green color palette for my bracelet, using a mix of some chunkier vintage buttons I have collected and a few new ones I purchased to match. You can use a repeating pattern or all one-of-a-kinds and I think it adds interest to stack some of them, so keep that in mind when choosing your buttons. I also chose a gold thread that I thought would be a nice pop, but you can match your thread to each button or even use clear nylon thread.

Start by wrapping the elastic loosely around your wrist where you would like the bracelet to sit. Cut it to size with about 3/4" or so of overlap. Make a small mark on the elastic right past the overlap. I also find it helpful to mark the middle.

With the elastic laid flat as a guide, make a rough layout of your button placement to determine the design and how many buttons you will need. Do not include the end past your mark, see photo above for reference. You want the buttons to overlap each other a little so account for this when setting them out.

Once your layout is ready, you can sew the elastic together securely, forming the bracelet. I did this by hand but you can use a sewing machine if you choose.

Next, begin sewing the buttons in place, one at a time, starting at your marked center of the bracelet. Be sure to securely knot the thread after each button is attached. Above I show a method I find to be really easy and secure. Thread the needle up under the stitches, pulling the string through, then thread the needle through the resulting loop, under the thread closest to you and pull tight. Repeat this a few times.

As I mentioned, you want the buttons to overlap each other a bit so you do not see the elastic when you are wearing it. I find it helpful to just put one stitch through the button and try it on to make sure you like the way it is laying, then finish stitching it in place. As you go, you may also decide to change your button layout.

Continue adding buttons until you cover the bracelet and you're done! It may take a bit of adjusting to get them to fit properly toward the end, but just be flexible with your design. You can always move or replace a button pretty easily if needed since they are all sewn on separately.

I love this project because it's easy, inexpensive and a lot of fun. I also think these bracelets would make really sweet gifts, so if you're on my christmas list, you'll be getting one of these and some teabags

If you try your hand at this project, I'd love to hear about it! I'll also be starting a flickr group soon for sharing your own craft project photos, so I'll keep you posted on that. In the meantime, have fun crafting your own button bracelets!