Sunday, March 27, 2011

Covered Button Tutorial and Badge Reels I made with them

First I'll show you what I've been making this weekend for Farmers Market, then I'll explain how to make the covered buttons. What fun it was to find the vintage fabric in my stash and pick out designs I thought might appeal to a wide variety of people! Of course with this being Kansas and all AND with it being a Farmers Market, when I came across remnants of the John Deere fabric that I'd used years ago when my husband has his school kids make 12 inch squares for a quilt I just KNEW those HAD to be included! Heck, if nobody buys them I'll wear them with my badge at work! And don't you just LOVE those sunflowers? Also remnants from another quilt his kids made blocks for and I sewed together.

The pink, blue and green fabric on the left is from upholstery samples and the black is beautiful velvet left over from a skirt I made for my daughter years ago (come to think of it I never finished that skirt...)

The buttons below are made from a variety of fabric. For instance that purple and gold one is from an old tie, as is the red paisley button. The pink, yellow and green watermelon fabric is left over from a cute little jumpsuit I made my daughter some 20 years ago and the pink dotted fabric is actually new, but without a home or project in mind, just got a good deal on it (yes ladies, I KNOW you ALL know what I'm talking about!)
 This gives you an idea of the different colors of badge reels that I used. What I had available was white, dark pink, blue and black, so I just had to make it all work together. I think they turned out great!

 OK, NOW on with the tutorial. First you'll need to gather your supplies. The only real necessity for making the covered buttons is the button kit. It will include a base (the round white thing) and the pusher (blue round thing that isn't a badge reel) along with a few button blanks in two pieces. You will want the blanks that do not have shank backs, although the shank piece is easily removable if that's all you can find. The package has a template on the back showing how large to cut your circles for the size of button you are using. The circle cutter on the right is strictly optional. I bought one because I thought I'd be making a bunch of yo-yo's, but it's a little more cumbersome than I'd hoped and hasn't gotten as much use as I'd expected. It did come in handy for this project though, so I'm glad I had it. My glue of choice is E-6000 because it is VERY strong when cured, but you can use whatever you prefer, just make sure it will create a permanent bond to metal. Oh and the last thing, of course, is your fabric. The one below turned out to be just a bit thicker than normal, making it a little tricky to get the back of the button to push down into the front, but I made it work anyway (where there's a will, there's a way, but I won't be demonstrating THAT part of it here today...)
 Step 1:  Cut your circle according to the size indicated on your package template.
 Step 2:  Line up your button front in the center of the fabric circle.
 Step 3:  Place the fabric with the metal button front on it over the top of the white base and push down evenly.
 Step 4: Smoosh the button down so the white base hugs it really tight, then using your fingernail, evenly smoosh the fabric down all the way around. When using thinner fabric this step isn't a necessity, but with the thicker fabric it makes a much nicer button.
 Step 5:  Place the button base over the top of the smooshed down fabric.
Step 6:  Place the blue pusher thingy over the metal button base and push down in the middle. Ok, so this is where it got really tricky with the thick fabric and the blue thingy just kind of bent rather than pushing the base down into the fabric, so I'd suggest starting with thinner fabric.
Step 7:  What the button looks like after you've pushed the base into the button top. (Or what the other button I made with thinner fabric looked like anyway since the thicker fabric one got a little bent up by my alternative method.)
 Step 8:  Tada! Your beautiful finished button! I love this one so much that I think I'll wear it tomorrow!
 Step 9:  Go check on the dog (or cat or kids or spouse or whatever!) LOL! and find out it's snowing AGAIN!!!
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  1. Oooh, I love all of the fabric swatches that you used!!! The John Deere & sunflower ones will be perfect for the Market. I wear mine all the time and I love it!


  2. What a great project!!!! Step 9 cracked me up.

  3. I can't even remember where I got that fabric, but would love more of the John Deere so I could make more stuff. Like maybe an apron or two? What fun!

  4. Love all the fabrics you used- bet you would love the I-top to make them faster?
    Just wanted to pop over and thank you for entering my goveaway but most of all for sharing on your sidebar.
    Good Luck


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