How to Use Buttons in Jewelry

I am, admittedly, bonkers about buttons. I work them into many of my jewelry designs and even into some of the art I create. I've had to stop buying them as I have nowhere else to store them. But, there's no reason you can't start collecting them too. You may just need some inspiration as to how best to use them. As such, I've created this tutorial on using buttons in jewelry design.
 In particular, I'm sharing my method for wire wrapping a button.

The materials are basic.
You'll only need a button, wire, pliers, and wire cutters.

To actually see my process in action, please watch the Using Buttons in Jewelry video. But, I also have complete instructions and examples of other ways to use buttons in jewelry below.

To get started, you'll insert the end of the wire about an inch into one of the buttonholes and bend it along the rest of the wire.

From there, cross the short wire across the long tail.
Before proceeding, you may want to make sure the long tail end is angled up from the button to make it easier to wrap the short end.

Then, begin wrapping the short end of the wire around the long end. Remember that the more times you wrap, the longer the wrap will be.

Trim away any excess wire on the short end and secure it using your chain-nose pliers.

After that, you'll go through the regular steps to make a wrapped loop. Begin by bending the wire at a right angle directly above the wraps.

Use your round-nose pliers to form a loop with the wire. 

Wrap your wire around and over the original wraps.

Once you have wrapped the wire around to your satisfaction, trim away the excess wire and secure the end.

You've now created a button charm. However, if you would like to make it a connector, repeat the process on the other side of the button.

Of course, this is only one of the many ways you can incorporate buttons into your designs. Here are a few other examples of ways I've used buttons in my jewelry pieces.
Simply slip jump rings into the holes of the buttons. This works best if the buttonholes are near the edges of the button.

Use waxed linen cord to tie the buttons to one another like in these Button Bracelets. (link goes to my tutorial)

Here, you see how I used the same method as above to make a chain of buttons.

Use buttons as they were intended and sew them onto fabric incorporated in your design.

Heavy gauge wire was used for the buttons in this piece in which simple loops were formed above and below each of the buttons. 

And, here's another example of button connectors used in a chain with beads to make up a necklace. 

There are still plenty more ways to use buttons in your designs. I hope I've helped you learn something and get those ideas flowing. 
So, how's your button stash looking now?

1 comment:

  1. Buttons add whimsy to a design and I always like how you use them!


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