Craft Ideas Using Buttons

    by Elizabeth Smith

    About the Author

    Elizabeth Smith has been a scientific and engineering writer since 2004. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, newspapers and corporate publications. A frequent traveler, she also has penned articles as a travel writer. Smith has a Bachelor of Arts in communications and writing from Michigan State University.



    If you have old buttons from clothing, abandoned sewing projects or a vintage stash, use them up with creative craft projects. Buttons can be used in projects with or without sewing by crafters of all skill levels and ages, from young children to adults. Depending on your tastes and ability, button crafts can produce usable and useful items as well as decorative ones.


    Use buttons in craft projects in the same way you would use embroidery. You can sew brightly colored buttons onto a plain makeup bag or canvas bag to make an interesting design, or onto a t-shirt for a unique and colorful look. Look for items in plain materials without designs or prints, and arrange selected buttons to create a surface design. For a more sophisticated look, choose antique buttons in soft colors or metallics. For children, use glue to cover vases or tote bags; adults and older children can use thread to attach buttons for a more permanent look.


    Create jewelry for children using buttons. Find bright colors, interesting shapes, and various sizes of buttons to create one-of-a-kind necklaces and bracelets. For older children, provide more advanced materials like necklace closures, earring backs, and a variety of wires and threads to create more sophisticated designs. Encourage children to experiment with different patterns, shapes, and methods of attaching buttons.

    Button Flowers

    Button flowers are a pretty craft for kids of all ages. To make them, stack buttons in varying sizes and colors, and fasten them together using craft wire. Create stems by twisting together lengths of floral wire, and make leaves using green buttons or wire. Take the various stems and display them individually in bud vases or together as a bouquet.

    Button Barrettes

    Use buttons to embellish barrettes for girls. Start with simple barrettes in plain metal or painted finishes. Provide strong glue and a selection of buttons, and have your crafters create their own designs. For standard barrettes, the easiest way to add a button is by gluing it to the widest end, where it will not interrupt the function of the hair clip. For larger, wider barrettes, you can glue smaller buttons along the length. Consider stacking buttons of different sizes to create an interesting look, and use contrasting colors.


    With a canvas, some glue, and a selection of paint and buttons, your children can create multimedia artwork. Encourage kids to be creative with the way they use the buttons and paint: They can paint the canvas and glue buttons on into shapes like flowers, or use a less-literal interpretation and use buttons in a more abstract way.