Make your own Wooden Buttons

Friday, June 22nd, 2007
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Wooden Button Necklace, not by meIf you have a tree in your garden that can stand the loss of a branch, try making some wooden buttons. There’s a nice step-by-step at Pikku-Kettu Knits, and examples of the neat ways you can make buttons are at Sisäinen villapaita. I don’t speak Finnish, but if you do, there might be some great tips over there. I have no idea what it says, so I apologize if it’s a tutorial on how to poison vagrants by coating your buttons in cyanide. I do not endorse coating buttons with cyanide.

Here’s what it says over here about making buttons:

You will need a piece of dowel [Ed: or a branch!] 1 inch (3 centimeters) in diameter. Place the dowel between pieces of cardboard to shield it, and put it in a bench clamp or vice. Father [Ed: lol are you also picturing him in a sweater vest and horn-rimmed glasses?] can drill two or three holes into the end of the dowel. Center them so you can use them for the holes in the buttons. If you don’t have a drill with a bit, make holes by twisting an awl or leather punch into the wood.

Use a hand jigsaw to saw off rounds of the dowel to the thickness you desire for a button. If you have a triangular file, you can file a design in the top of each button. Make four or five similar buttons so you can use them for a set.

Use a fine sandpaper to smooth off the rough parts. You can stain, paint, or wax the buttons to the desired finish.

These instructions are especially useful for people making a multitude of buttons, because you only have to drill holes once. If you’re planning on countersinking your buttons with a special drill bit (this reduces thread wear), you’ll obviously have to do them individually. Alternatively, you could do them all at once with a thin bit and then once they have been cut into individual buttons, use a larger bit to drill out each hole by no more than a millimetre or so.

Branch-stealing ideas:

  • I’m going to ask the parents if I can steal a branch or two when I get back home.
  • There was a huge storm in Toronto when I was there a week ago, so I might sneak into the forest on the edge of Kingston to see if it took out a few branches over here.
  • I don’t know much about pruning, but if you need to prune your trees, that’s an easy route to getting a branch or two.
  • If you want to steal some branches from the neighbours after they’ve done some gardening, it’s probably best to ask them permission first. That also gives them an opening to tell you about any diseases or parasites that could be clinging to the branches. That way, you don’t have to worry about getting dutch elm disease from your cardigan.

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5 Comments to “Make your own Wooden Buttons”

  1. Thank you for the good information. I may try this for one of my current projects. … and I guess I have to look elsewhere for cyanide, buttons, and vagrants… eh? ;-)

    Comment by
    June 22, 2007 @ 9:23 am
  2. Eve,

    You are amazing! :cool: I don’t know how, but you always manage to find the neatest facts, tidbits, patterns, and other instructions or tips! I can always count on you to find something neat and new – and on an incredibly regular basis! Thank you for sharing with us your awesome finds! :lol:


    Comment by Carly
    June 22, 2007 @ 10:03 am
  3. I just read through the post from Sisäinen villapaita (Inner/Internal Woollen Sweater) so if you’d like, I can (sort of) translate it for you. I wonder how I could make some wooden buttons without a saw or a drill?

    Comment by Stitchy Fingers
    June 22, 2007 @ 10:11 am
  4. I’ve got treess in the back. Feel free to come and trim to your heart’s content! :cool:

    Comment by Carol
    June 22, 2007 @ 10:27 am
  5. That way, you don’t have to worry about getting dutch elm disease from your cardigan.

    Heh. :razz:

    Comment by naomi
    June 24, 2007 @ 4:56 pm

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