Monday, November 22, 2010

Make Button Earrings

DIY Button Earrings
Looking for an inexpensive but alluring gift to make for Christmas? Consider buttons. If you do not have a box somewhere around your house containing extra buttons, buttons cut off from old or outgrown clothes or buttons bought for projects you never had time to even start, there likely is someone in your life who does.

Another source of buttons is the give-away clothes pile. Many outgrown, out of date or no longer wanted clothes have great buttons. Check your give-away pile for buttons that you can use for earrings and other jewelry (like the Chain & Button Bib Necklace).

There are many ways to recycle, upcycle or repurpose buttons. One of our favorites is making post earrings. The process is exceedingly simple.

Step 1
Select a matching set of buttons.Going through the button box and imagining the buttons as earrings is half the fun.

Step 2
Cut off the shanks of the earrings using a wire cutter, jewelry saw or other tool. Check to be sure the shanks are not used as rivets to hold the button together before removing the shank.

Step 3
Use files and then sandpaper to smooth the back surface where you removed the shanks. Nobody likes sharp earrings and blood on the ears really is not chic.

Step 4
Mark the back of the button where you want the post. Experiment with different positions until you have the look you like. Where you glue the post may vary depending on whether you use findings for clip on versus pierced earrings.

In most cases, you will want the to glue the post so it adheres in the top third of the button. Gluing the post in the top third of the button will cause the earring to hang correctly. There is a tendency to want to glue the post in the center of the button. Resist that impulse. For most post earrings, the post should sit on the top third of the earring in order for the earring to sit attractively on the ear when worn.

Step 5
Glue on the post earrings. Allow the glue to set overnight or according to the glue manufacturer's instructions.

Related Tutorials
How to Use Sand Paper
How to Use a File for Jewelry Making

Further Reading
Button Jewelry & Accessories: 20 Unique Projects
Beautiful Button Jewelry
How to Make and Sell Button Jewelry

Beadsmith Jewelry Wire Side Cutters (Nippers) Pliers
Flex-Wire Cutter
Xuron 410 Micro Shear Flush Cutter
Grobet Jewelers Saw Frame, 4" Throat, Polished Steel
144 Saw Blades Jewelers Hand Saw Metal Cutting Tool 2/0
General Tools S475 Swiss Pattern Needle File Set

E6000 Industrial Strength Glue Adhesive (2 Ounce)
Aleene's Jewelry & Metal Glue-.7 Ounce
Gorilla Glue 50004 Adhesive, 4-Ounces
J-B Weld 8265-S Cold Weld
Elmer's E1009 1-Ounce Superfast Epoxy Cement

Day 2. Week 1. Jewelry from Found Objects.  $ spent: 0
New Jewelry a Day. Join the adventure.

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