How to Make a Stacked-Button Necklace

comments (14) June 12th, 2012     

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kaytet kayte terry, contributor
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My finished necklace!
Make piles of different-sized buttons.
My finished earrings!
My finished necklace!

My finished necklace!

Photo: Kayte Terry
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I spend a lot of time trolling around eBay, looking for good craft lots. Often I buy several hundred buttons at once! Now, usually there are some really special buttons hiding in these button lots, but for the most part, the stash is filled with your standard pearl buttons. I recently got one such button lot in the mail and thought, "Hmmm...what to do with these boring buttons?" That's when I had my aha moment: Stack them up! These accessories are super-simple to make and fun to wear. You can make them in pretty much any color you would like depending on your button assortment.

What you'll need for the necklace:

  • About 22 inches of beading thread (you can make a longer or shorter necklace as desired)
  • Two bead tips
  • About 160 buttons from very small to large
  • Needle
  • Jewelry glue
  • Pliers
  • Two jump rings
  • One clasp

To make the necklace:

1. Tie a knot close to the end of your thread, and add a bead tip with the open part of the bead tip facing the knot. Make another knot directly above the other side of the bead tip.

Make piles of different-sized buttons.

2. Separate your buttons into piles by size. I had tons of white, pearl, and off-white buttons, so I chose to use these and add a bit of random bling with some gold beads. Make sure you have an even number of all your buttons as you will be splitting them up to go on either side of the necklace.

After you add the bead tip, start threading on buttons. It doesn't matter which hole you thread the buttons on.

3. Start with the smallest buttons: Thread a needle onto the beading thread, and use this to thread half of the buttons onto the necklace. Since buttons have pretty big holes, you don't need to worry about using a beading needle.

I kept my color design sort of random, but if you want to you can plan out your colors a bit more.

4. Move on to the next size, threading half the buttons on, and continue until you reach the largest button. I used three large buttons for the center of the necklace and then started working my way down to the smallest buttons again.

5. Tie a knot at the end of the necklace, thread another bead tip on, with the halves facing outward. Tie another knot inside the tip. Clip the thread above the knot. Add a drop of jewelry glue inside the bead tip and use pliers to close the tip. Repeat for the other bead tip.

6. Add jump rings to both bead-tip hooks and close the hooks with pliers. Open one jump ring and add a clasp.

My finished necklace!

What you'll need for the earrings:

  • Four small sequins or sead beads
  • Four headpins
  • 26 to 30 buttons in different sizes
  • Wire cutters
  • Two jump rings
  • Pliers
  • Two earring wires

To make the earrings:

I used small white sequins to start the earrings since the button holes are a little large for a headpin.

1. Add one sequin or seed bead to two headpins. I like to use a sequin because you can't see it at all under the buttons.

After you have added all your buttons, trim the headpins with wire cutters.

2. Starting with the largest button, "thread" the two headpins through the button holes so the button lies flat against the sequins. Continue threading on buttons until you get to the smallest size.

3. Trim the headpins with the wire cutters. Add a jump ring to both headpins, and use your pliers to close the headpins over the jump ring. Open the jump ring and add an earring wire.

4. Repeat to make the other earring.

My finished earrings!
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Comments (14)

thejeanqueen writes: I am absolutely in love with vintage and antique buttons. Thanks for sharing this cute design.
Posted: 7:28 pm on January 16th
EchoLin writes: it's a good pattern of button jewlery.
Posted: 1:52 am on March 30th
EchoLin writes: beautiful, it's a good pattern for me, thank you.
Posted: 5:06 am on March 27th
Nodan writes: I like the buttons. I think the jewelry made by buttons are very easy to make. It will be very beautiful if you have choose the beautiful buttons.
Posted: 12:44 am on January 19th
TheButtonGirl writes: That looks really awesome! Some rare yet cheap shell buttons, especially with floral patterns: I think I'm going to make one with the multicolored buttons so it looks like a candy necklace like what you said Bmak :)
Posted: 6:04 am on September 25th
sabrina1087 writes: sooooooooooo cool
Posted: 6:04 pm on July 20th
janettalk writes: This necklace is lovely. If you explained it to me without pictures, I would have questioned the whole idea. However, you pulled it off beautifully. Thanks for sharing.
Posted: 6:45 pm on June 21st
bmakbutton writes: wow! this is beautiful. this reminds me of the candy necklaces that we used to wear when we were younger. I think what I love about this is the sparse mixture of gold on white buttons. and the differing buttons sizes adds a nice natural touch to it.

Posted: 5:33 am on June 13th
BluKatDesign writes: I love button jewelry; I have a couple pieces I made but I really like this stacked button necklace! I never seem to have enough buttons so I guess I will have to break down and buy some! Thanks!
Posted: 8:14 pm on December 30th
ojosdelaluna writes: i really love this idea.
Posted: 6:31 pm on May 30th
swinginmartinis writes: I was so inspired by this that I went on an ebay quest and found lots of plastic buttons and of Mother of Pearl Buttons. I thought the Mother of Pearl Buttons would look great stacked, but it's the tops, not the sides of those buttons that look so pretty. I was able to use those in another project, but am still putting together the best plastic buttons for this great idea!
Rock on lady!
Posted: 5:22 pm on May 1st
Plushmaven writes: I love this & just think with Diane Gilleland's nifty button painting tips you could use all your bland white buttons and add some fabulous color. Thanks for the great idea Kayte :)
Posted: 10:01 am on March 30th
CarlaT writes: I like working with button love this idea!
Posted: 9:54 am on March 30th
Silverridge0 writes: As an antiques dealer for years, I've collected thousands of buttons,some ordinary (sorted by colors!) and then some beautiful ones. But you've given me a fresh idea as to what to do with all the mundane ones! I make jewelry, so this is my next project! Summer needs a colorful button necklace, earrings and bracelet! So here goes! Thanks!! Sherry
Posted: 1:37 am on March 28th
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