Button Up Your Project!

Leslie Ehrlich 2010

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As crazy quilters, we are always looking for new and innovative ways to re-use items and add to our projects. One of my favorite ways to embellish is with buttons.  Button trails are terrific, but one of a kind buttons are even better! Gerry Krueger got me started loving these unique gems with her wonderful painted buttons that she attaches to projects with felt and beads. Alas, I am not tremendously adept in the painting department, so I was left to seek out other alternatives, such as a decoupage technique that Kerry Leslie introduced to me to at a recent crazy quilting retreat. I thought I would share her method with you, and then add my little twist to the pot!

First, you want to start out with some smooth buttons and some small pictures. These can be obtained from wrapping paper, books from a thrift store and/or images you print off of the computer and adjust to size (remember to pre-treat these images with a sealant to prevent the ink from running).

If your buttons have holes in them, thread them so that you can attach them to your project.  (Your picture will cover the holes when complete.) An alternative to this, would be to use E6000 or other permanent glue to attach the button to a piece of felt.

Now you are ready to apply images to the buttons. Kerry used Fimo Glaze for her project and I have used Mod Podge for mine. Simply spread a layer on the button and let it sit for a few seconds to get tacky. Then, apply the picture and press down for good adhesion.

Let this layer dry, and then add one or two more coats to smooth out the surface.

Lastly, you will then want to apply a couple of layers of acrylic spray to keep the project from being tacky if you are using Fimo Glaze. I have not experimented with putting the button into the oven to harden the glaze, but would not recommend it with plastic buttons. Next, I used a gold ink pad from the scrapbooking section of the craft store to apply a light layer around the edges of the buttons to give them a bit more luster. Voila! Completed buttons!!

Another nifty alternative that I plan to explore further, is to use stickers found in the Christmas section of Hobby Lobby. I found some great images on a clear background that when trimmed down, fit perfectly on some of my vintage buttons! I plan to apply a layer of acrylic to give them a bit more pizzazz, but it really isn't necessary from a protective standpoint.

Isn't it exciting to think of ALL the possibilities with scrapbooking supplies!?!?!

I hope you enjoy exploring this technique. If you have any other ideas that you conjure up, I hope you will share!!

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