How to Turn Blah Buttons into Bodacious Buttonscomments (21) March 20th, 2009
I love buying old tins and jars of buttons at thrift stores or on eBay. They always contain a few treasures—but they also usually contain a lot of rather uninteresting white plastic buttons. As much as I love buttons, these plain ones don't seem to lend themselves as well to crafting as their prettier counterparts. So I've been experimenting with ways to brighten them up with paint.
What you'll need:
- Plastic buttons
- Paint (see types below)
- Thinner (as needed—see below)
- Paper towels or cleaning rags
- Small paintbrush
- Round toothpicks
A couple of notes before we begin: Plastic buttons can be made from lots of different plastics, and if you get them in thrift stores, you'll probably have no way of knowing what kind of plastic you're working with. The paints I'll recommend here may perform differently on different kinds of plastics, so I recommend keeping an experimental mindset. If you like, you can make a little test spot on the back of the button first and see how it performs and how it dries.
All of the paint options I'll cover here will release fumes. Please be sure to use them in a well-ventilated room.
I subjected all four paints to a washer and dryer test: I sewed a few of each kind of painted button to some muslin, and then ran this through a cold-water wash and tumble dry along with a regular load of laundry. You'll see the results below. Overall, I would recommend that if you use painted buttons for a wearable project, it's probably best to wash it by hand or on the gentle cycle of your machine, and hang to dry.
A Great Tool for Painting Buttons
Keep a handful of round toothpicks near you when you paint buttons. They allow you to move the button around easily without touching fresh paint. I usually hold two toothpicks at a time, placing them through two of the holes in the button to hold it steady.
If you want to paint the edges of a button, just put the toothpicks through the holes, and use them as a handle. Works like a charm!
After you make this project, show off your work to other members!
Post your project in the gallery
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