My Vintage Button Obsession
A while back, I was at an antique show not feeling very inspired when I came across a jar of old assorted buttons.
For some reason it caught my attention and since then I have been a bit obsessed with old buttons. If you buy the right jar, you could wind up with a little treasure trove of tiny works of art – mother of pearl, Bakelite, wood, glass.
Each one holds a secret as to what great old garment it might have been on. An Edwardian wedding gown? A flapper’s little black dress?
A Great DIY Gift Idea – Or to Keep!
Of course if you had some really cool old buttons you would want to display them. But how about displaying them on an attractive piece of décor that takes up only wall space and also helps you organize your jewelry?
Something so pretty and practical that it would also make a great gift – that is if you can bring yourself to give it away?
You only need a few supplies and a little time to make this fun earring hanger.
Or a necklace hanger.
Round Up The Supplies
First you’ll need a frame. Not a fancy frame, but something very plain with a good flat surface that you can easily glue buttons to.
You will need craft paint or spray paint if you want to paint your frame.
If you’re painting over wood or over a dark color, you might have to prime the frame before painting.
You will also need craft glue.
If you’re making an earring hanger, you will need a medium to heavy-duty staple gun, wire cutters, and some quarter-inch mesh screen (found in hardware stores).
For the necklace hanger, use small hooks instead of the mesh screen. You might also need to drill holes for the hooks if they don’t screw easily into the frame.
And of course you will need buttons. Some vintage buttons are highly collectible and you can spend a pretty penny on them if you are so inclined. But you can also find jars or bags of old buttons at thrift stores and antique stores at bargain prices.
Sometimes jars of buttons are sorted by color, so think about an overall color scheme and the look you would like to achieve for your frame. This is the fun part! Just keep in mind you can only use buttons with flat backs or they won’t adhere to the frame very well.
You have probably already guessed that this project is very easy. It’s also lots of fun.
First, paint the frame and let it dry.
For the earring hanger, you will need to use the wire cutters to cut the mesh screen to size so that it fits inside the frame. If you look at the back of the frame, there should be about a half-inch recessed rim around the inside and this is the area you want your screen to fit into.
Attach your screen to the frame by stapling it to this rim.
If you’re making the necklace hanger, get small hooks from the hardware store in a finish you like and screw them into the frame from the back, as shown in this photo.
You want to be able to hang necklaces on the hooks, so make sure you get hooks large enough if you will be hanging bulkier necklaces like pearls.
Then the creativity starts: Then lay the buttons out on the frame in a pattern that you like and glue them on.
Attach a picture hook or hanger to the back of the frame if it doesn’t have one.
I love projects that repurpose used materials in unique ways. These hangers were made using second-hand frames from the thrift store and of course the old buttons.
They are a great way to display collections of vintage jewelry.
Not as hooked on buttons as I am? Skip them and just use a pretty little frame.
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