How to Make Your Own Shrink-Art Buttonscomments (19) March 1st, 2009
Hello! I am so excited to announce that I have a new craft book coming out this week, Button It Up, published by The Taunton Press. To celebrate, our wonderful editor Michaela suggested that we put together a month of button-themed projects in all different crafty genres. So after making more than 60 projects with buttons for my book, I thought I'd switch it up and actually make a set of the buttons themselves!
I used shrink plastic to make pretty pet tags a few weeks ago, and I thought I'd use this versatile, magical substance to whip up a set of buttons, too! This is a super-customizable project—make any color, size, or style of buttons that you dream up. This tutorial is designed to make sew-through buttons (with holes drilled through instead of a back shank), and remember, this plastic is lightweight—perfect for fun decorations or craft projects but not as ideal for garment fastening or weight-bearing spots. I made mine somewhat oversized for a project I had in mind, but of course you can make yours as big or as small as you like!
What you'll need:
- Shrink plastic sheets
- A round template to trace, larger than your desired size (remember, your pieces will shrink down to less than half the original size after baking)
- Scissors or decorative-edged scissors (I used scalloped and plain for my sets of buttons)
- Standard hole punch
- Sharpie or other marker if you want to make them colorful
- Toaster oven
1. Trace a circle or other shape lightly onto the shrink plastic sheet. Cut it out using the scissors of your choice. Remember, the original size of the plastic will shrink to less than half the original size. I used a larger and a smaller set of lids to trace for two different button sizes, and used scalloped scissors to cut the larger circles and plain ones to cut the smaller circles.
2. Using a ball-point pen or pencil, lightly mark two or four spots on the front of your circle, where you want the button holes to go. (I used four for each of mine.) Use a standard-size hole punch to make these holes in a symmetrical pattern. The holes will shrink neatly just as the shape will, leaving it the perfect size for stitching or slipping a jump ring or wire through the holes of your decorative buttons.
After you make this project, show off your work to other members!
Post your project in the gallery