Here are a couple of button crafts from the May 2003 issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine http://www.marthastewart.com
Buttons pull us together day after day, fastening our skirts, cinching our cuffs, closing our jackets. And yet their indispensability often goes unnoticed until we discover one missing.
How things have changed. In centuries past, buttons were stars of the fashion world. "They were worn as jewelry," says Jacquie Hatton, president of the Friends of the Keep Homestead Museum in Monson, Massachusetts, which has one of the largest button collections on display in the country. "People clipped them off worn clothing to pass down as valuables," adds her daughter, Moira Hatton, another enthusiast. Carefully preserved in tins or boxes for reuse, these family heirlooms now turn up at flea markets and antiques stores and are picked over by shrewd collectors. You can buy a box of them for a few dollars, though a single beauty can cost several thousand.
In the May 2003 issue of "Martha Stewart Living," we've taken buttons out of their familiar sartorial context to showcase them on clocks, drawers, cards, totes, and table linens. Converted into colorful handles, intertwined with embroidery, or overlapped like sequins, they display surprising flair. You'll never take another button for granted.
MAKING A BUTTON CLOCK
Purchase a clock movement, hands, and dial template from a clock-parts supplier or a hobby store, and find a tin lid deep enough to conceal the works.
Round cookie-tin lid
12 buttons in various sizes, shapes, and colors
1. Poke a hole through the center of the lid with an awl. Using a nail set, widen the hole to accommodate the shaft.
2. Refer to the dial template to position the button hour markers. Affix buttons with multipurpose cement. To assemble mechanism, follow manufacturer's instructions.
MAKING BUTTON TEA NAPKINS
Winsome tea napkins carry a harvest of buttons to the table. It takes only a bit of embroidery to flesh out the suggestion of cherries, apples, lemons, grapes, or a pea pod.
Print simple embroidery instructions to help you with this project.
MAKING A BUTTON BAG
In the world of vintage buttons, brown ones are plentiful and can be inexpensive. It should not take long to collect a hundred or so to transform a basic brown handbag into a smart study in neutrals. Or buy dozens of orange buttons and sew them in multiple layers to create a dazzling sequinlike effect. For complete instructions, see our exclusive web-only feature, Making a Button Bag.