Using Buttons in Jewelry Designs

Nov 27, 2007

Do you use buttons in your jewelry? When I was a little girl, I inherited a large jar of buttons from my grandmother. By using them in jewelry, I can not only appreciate their beauty and uniqueness, but also maintain a connection with my family.

One common use for buttons is as a bracelet clasp. Here are three bracelets on Beading Daily that use buttons for closures:

At left: Some buttons from my personal collection.

Here are a few more ideas for using buttons in jewelry:


 Just for Fun . . . My First Beaded Holiday Gift

As promised, here's the gift I made for my new office mate, Bertha. She usually models for Knitting Daily (I think they bribe her with free yarn), but graciously agreed to pose with her new necklace. 

I created this quick necklace as a joke, using leftover, inexpensive beads that I found in my stash: aqua glass rounds, black plastic triangles, size 11 purple seed beads, and iridescent glass ovals that are black on one side, purple/cobalt/aqua on the other. (I may be crazy enough to design for a mannequin, but I'm not crazy enough to use expensive beads!) I did not include a clasp--an advantage of designing for a headless client!

One surprising twist: I received a number of compliments on my "joke" necklace. It was a good reminder that while the quality of materials is important, you shouldn't discount your own skill in combining colors, shapes, and finishes and creating a beautiful piece. You are talented!

Coming Friday: Winners of the first Beading Daily challenge!

Are you making any beaded gifts this year? This poll ended Friday, November 30, 2007.

Does location matter when selling your jewelry? On Monday ("Elegant Netted Bracelet"), I talked about seeing jewelry in two very different places and how that affected me as a buyer. Sue S. pointed out the importance of the display itself, not just the venue. Sue K. agreed, saying, "I could probably sell ice cream to Eskimos if the set-up was right." And Zitta S. pointed out that the "overload" problem is common in shop display windows. Please join the conversation by adding your comments on this topic!

Michelle Mach is the editor of Beading Daily. Despite her best efforts, she continues to add to her button collection.

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MelanieM@27 wrote
on Nov 28, 2007 2:48 PM
I too make jewellery using buttons, but my designs are somewhat different to those shown. I use vintage glass buttons as pendants, you're more than welcome to have a look if you're interested my friend Jen also uses buttons her shop is I think you can make something quite elegant with some of the buttons that are out there, they're beautiful.
Zaz wrote
on Nov 28, 2007 8:17 PM
thanks michelle! yet a very intersting and inspiring newsletter. i love those buttons related beading links. yours is a very pretty collection. mom recently sent me twice a bagful of vintage buttons she had thought too pretty to throw away. most come at least by threesomes, some even have big and smaller buttons (those for coats).
she used to have a tailor making her all her clothes to fit, inspired back then by vogue magazine and the buttons then had to be of match with the very chic fabrics. unfortunatly now all is like supermarkets, you consume and throw away.
well she did get rid of the beautiful dresses, etc, she had made especially for her and my big sister's soirees (like long debutante gowns)
too bad huh? i managed to save two dresses both of which are beaded with real cristals de boheme.
EleanorJ@8 wrote
on Nov 29, 2007 2:12 AM
Thanks for this. I'd not taken much notice of buttons before but it's great to see how I could use up some of my stash, particularly as button jewellery really seems to be taking off here in the UK
SueC@76 wrote
on Nov 29, 2007 12:18 PM
I have made a couple of necklaces using buttons as the center bead and have gotten great comments. I like the idea.
SaraJ wrote
on Jan 7, 2008 6:26 PM
I recently saw a bracelet my daughter had made perhaps at school or a friend's house, or was given; I'm enamored of how they look in this arrangement, and may try to make one for myself!