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How to Make a Button-and-Wire Brooch
I'm still noodling with buttons and wire over here... and this is the latest result. I like how the design can take on a "shooting star" effect, or resemble a little flower vase.
This isn't a complicated project - please don't let the number of photos here fool you! I was just trying to be thorough.
You'll need some 24 gauge craft wire and some assorted buttons. One of them should be a large shank button. The others should be smaller sew-through buttons. Oh - and, wire cutters and needle-nose pliers are useful.
So, begin with one of the sew-through buttons. Poke the end of the wire up through one of the holes in the button, from back to front. Leave the wire attached to the spool for now.
Pull the button along until you have about 8" of wire sticking up through it. Then, take the end of the wire and poke it back down through the opposite hole.
Pull this little wire "stitch" as snug as you can.
Next, take the end of the wire and poke it back up through the next hole, as shown. Pull the wire through snugly, leaving another little "stitch" on the back of the button.
Poke that wire back down through the last hole in the button, creating another "stitch" on the front, as shown. Pull this stitch as snug as you can.
Now, place the two strands of wire coming from the back of the button side by side, as shown.
...And then gently twist the wires together. Try to keep the part of the wire that's stitched through the button really snug at this stage - if it gets loose, your button will kind of flop around on its wire stem.
There are worse fates, but still...
If things have gotten a little loosey-goosey, you can often correct it by mashing the wire a bit with your pliers.
You can now cut the wire away from its spool. Cut the strand so it's about 30" in length. And then, feed the next button onto the end you just cut.
Pull this button along until it's placed where you'll want it in the finished piece. Then, repeat the wiring process to stitch this button into place and twist up a stem.
When you've finished the second button, you'll have something that looks like this, with a small space between the two stems.
Incidentally, if you want to create a little "leaf" in your stem, it's really easy. Just twist to the place where you want that leaf to be...
...And then make a little loop in one of the wires, like this.
Twist that little loop once or twice, and then continue twisting the stem.
Add as many button-stems as you like. When you're done adding buttons, you can cut away any excess wire, leaving two tails of about 4" , as shown.
Take a moment to gather the button stems closer together, or fan them out, or bend them a little - whatever you want them to do.
Pass the two ends of the wire through the button shank.
Wrap the ends of the wire around the button shank a few times, and then cut away any excess.
A little note on shanks, by the way: my blue button has a fairly shallow shank, which doesn't stick up from the back of the button too much, so I was able to glue the felt right over it. That red button, on the other hand, as a much deeper shank, so I cut a tiny slit in the felt so it would lay flatter.
...And now you can glue on a pin back. Your brooch might be a little top-heavy, especially if it has buttons sticking out from the top, so make sure you place your pin back near the top of the brooch to help balance it.
I hope you like! I could totally see these as little holiday gifty-things.
...Too early to use the "H" word?