Buttons by Candlelight, aka "How to make a button bracelet"

You may recall my whinging recently about the price of buttons going up to the dizzying heights of $5 a jar at one of my local opshops...? Well when I was last in I was glad to see that the button jar pricer had come to their senses (...perhaps their sales were down due to my refusal to by buttons...? I buy enough of them so that certainly is possible...) & repriced the jars at $2. That's a dollar cheaper than they used to be before the crazy jump! So I bought 3 jars of buttony, buttony goodness, and spent an embarrassingly long period of time sorting them into colour families.

Things I learnt about opshop jars of buttons;

There are more white or clear than any other colour.
The least popular colour is yellow.
There are some hideously ugly buttons in there.

After sorting them I realised that I finally had enough red buttons of the appropriate size to make myself a button bracelet - Hurrah!

Button Bracelet Supplies;
1 candle
1 (or several... just to be safe) quite large, strong needle
A charm bracelet blank
Jump rings
As many (plastic) buttons as you want on your bracelet

Ah! Crafting by candlelight....

Light your candle
& hold the tip of your needle in the flame, I try to heat as much of the needle as I can as it makes going through the entire button a wee bit easier, but it depends on the size of your needle, you don't want to burn your fingers!

You might want to use gloves or use your pliers to hold the needle, but I found it fine to hold on it's own - just make sure you hold it as far back as possible.

Decide where you want the hole for your jump ring to go & pierce it with your needle - you have to be really fast with this step or your needle will be too cool & you'll either have to heat it up again or you'll bend the tip of your needle. Not that I know, because I wouldn't have done it any way other than perfectly... *whistles inconspicuously*

What worked for me; Holding the button up & piercing it from the side & then twisting the button down the length of the needle. Sometimes the button gets stuck at the bottom of the needle, just push the point onto a flat surface & press the button down & it will slide off.

Pierce many buttons. Attach with jump rings to bracelet using your trusty pliers. You can arrange your buttons in the order you want them before you attach them, but I just did it haphazardly, as I do.

Take artsy fartsy photos of your lovely new bracelet & admire your handy work. Perhaps even wear it. Wonder if making button bracelets counts as wardrobe refashioning.


  1. I'm sure it counts :).

  2. Thanks for this ace tute Vic! Not sure I have enough buttons.
    Interested in making one for me? :D

  3. Lovely! I reckon that counts! Ah buttons... the love of my life. :)

    I used to buy massive tins of buttons from the op shop when i lived in the UK for just £2.00. I'd spend hours sorting through those buttons and it's stil a joke with my friends because sometimes i'd refuse to go to the pub - because i was sorting buttons. lol. You just never know what you will find! :)

  4. your bracelet looks really great.

  5. Love, love, love the artsy photo of your creation.
    I am so happy for you that your button pricer came to their senses, good on you for holding out in protest!
    I don’t know what your taste in buttons is, but I think I am the girl who loves the buttons everyone else thinks are hideously ugly, I am especially fond of funny looking 50’s and 60’s plastics.
    The clear buttons are great for assembling brooches or magnets on top of.
    I am so jealous of Shagpile, massive tins of buttons, 2 pounds, what a lucky, lucky girl (not to mention all the money she saved not going to the pub, why she could spend that buying buttons!).
    I was going to pop some red buttons in with your prize because I knew your charm bracelet was going to be red, any ideas what the next colour, style you are hunting is?

    Sorry for a long, long comment again, button posts just make me soooo excited. I think I may have to swallow some more pain killers and head to the op shop to see what the prices and pickings are like in my neck of the woods today. Sorting buttons is such good therapy surely it must be good for sore backs too?

  6. Zofia - I can totally make one for you - as long as you don't mind a qustionable-not-quite-sure-where-it-came-from charm bracelet that I happen to have spare! What colour are you after...? (If you say red or yellow, your dang outta luck lol)

    Shapile - Jealous of your vintage english buttons! You ARE a button tragic when you pass up on alchohol... ;)

    Tanya - Thank you!

    Kylie - lol @ your crazy about buttons post - I so know the feeling... ;)

    Did you end up going & checking out your dealer... er, opshop..?!

    How sweet of you to offer to send me some buttons too! If you have any yellow spare I'd love them, but they seem rare & if you want to hold on to them that's totally understandable - especially by me!

  7. Nah, I haven’t made it to my “dealer” yet!! Will see how we are feeling when Little Guy wakes up.

  8. That's genius, and beautiful, that bracelet! And kudos to you for holding strong against button inflation!

  9. Love the bracelet Vic! I have a bunch of buttons that I keep collecting (or some may say hoarding). I'm thinking a quirky button bracelet is the go! Then I get to wear the awesome buttons that are just sitting in a jar. Thanks for the idea Vic. :D


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