It all started with a post on design*sponge, the fabulous decor/diy/recipe/awesomeness blog. They featured two free printables to feature crafty leftovers. The ribbon weaving piece was lovely but the button showcase piece was even better. I instantly thought it would look amazing stitched.
Lucky for me, doe-c-doe thought the same thing and redrew the button piece to be round. The design, at the bottom of her post, is fun, free to use and sat in my Patterns folder for the last few months.
I finally got around to doing the project in May/June, on lovely dark red fabric. I reversed the colour scheme so I went with a paler thread that matched some larger seed beads I had kicking around from a previous project.
It was then button time! I went to my mother’s craft room and raided her button stash, since my own button stash is nearly nonexistent still. My mom and my sister helped me pick out paler buttons, wooden buttons, metal buttons and one bright red plastic one, which they thought wasn’t a great idea but I love anyway.
The beauty of this project is how rich all the different textures and colours look next to each other. The metal ones are probably my favourites, because they look so amazing on the red. The big one with the flower is so pretty, I am tempted to steal two more and make them into earrings (with the help of my best friend, Loctite Gel Superglue – I use it for jewellery, I use it to secure ribbon when hooping up embroidery, and the gel makes it super easy to use in a precise way!).
One hitch I hit was that the look I was going for was relatively flat and I didn’t let myself use any buttons with shanks. There were a few really gorgeous buttons that I would have loved to use, but they wouldn’t have sat straight on if I had just tacked them on. There may have been a way if I had been willing to cut into the fabric to sink them in, but… the mere thought if cutting into something I have worked on makes my skin crawl and my shoulders tense.
This project would be fun to do with a pre-picked batch of buttons. There is a beautiful textile store near my house that has a wall full of buttons in little cardboard boxes. I wonder how different the project would look if you chose your buttons carefully, making sure to have the right number of small and large buttons and matching the colours perfectly. Would it look nicer, more refined, or would it lose all meaning, not being a collection of whatever lovely findings you picked out of a jar or an old coffee tin? The question is interesting enough that I may have to try it next time I am between projects.