2.01.2011

Make Custom Polymer Clay Engraved Buttons for your Knitted Items

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I have been looking for the “right” buttons for a sweater. I can’t find what I want so I decided I would play around and see if I could create some.

I thought of trying polymer clay. I bought a neutral color because I wanted to embed the design into it, and then bring it out with paint.

First I purchased some Polymer Clay

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I made 3 simple buttons by:

Warming the clay up until it was pliable and made a flattened piece of clay, like you would a sugar cookie, approx. 1/4 inch thick.

I think used a sharpie pen, (the fat kind) as a rolling pin to even it out and make the top portion smooth.

I used a bottle cap (from some body lotion) to punch the button out.

A cuticle stick to make the button holes.

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I also used the cuticle stick to try and scrape a design into the button. I wanted to make a bamboo like design.

(I made the design first and then punched the holes), Go into both sides of the button with your stick for the holes.

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Now bake according to the instructions on your clay package.

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When I took mine out, (this is the first time I have ever used polymer clay) it was still soft. I discovered it hardens when it dries.

Let dry overnight. (you may not need to let it dry this long?) The next day it is hard and feels like a ceramic button.

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I then used an acrylic paint and Cream coat varnish/gloss.

Mixed them together. I used a small amount of paint to gloss. My plan was to “antique” the button.

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I then rubbed the paint/gloss into the button well, getting it down into the lines that I had scraped.

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After this dries, I put a coat of gloss on it to make it shiny.

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Yay, now I have three custom made buttons for my sweater! Not too bad for a first try at handmade buttons.

I also made three plain buttons to paint a design on, more on that later!

-Knit Fast, Dye Yarn
"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass... it's about learning how to dance in the rain."

13 comments:

  1. Very cool idea! You could also make buttons and stuff to sew on art quilts

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  2. I love those buttons! I've got polymer clay but I haven't done anything with it yet. I don't need buttons, but your ideas would work well for other projects as well.

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  3. I just read that polymer clay is machine washable, kudos!!!

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  4. Thanks for this. I have everything needed to start working with polymer clay but haven't taken the leap yet. Your buttons turned out very nicely!

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  5. Nice! Buttons are so hard to match when I finish a project - it's nice to be able to make ones perfectly for a project.

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  6. I always wondered how to make buttons. Thanks! So simple! I never knew. Yours are beautiful!

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  7. Well.... aren't you just the nifty one! I love this idea. Never used polymer clay. How durable is it?

    This is great... got me thinking about making buttons - and other stuff - too!

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  8. Dear Vicki,
    What a multi talented woman you are!! Your sumie(yes, banboo is so good), cartoon, knitting are all amazing. Now, you do more and made the bottons. I...admire you!!!
    Cheers, Sadami

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  9. Thanks so much for the instructions for making buttons. What an awesome idea.

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  10. Jo-Ann's has polymer clay on sale for 50% off so I bought some last night to try this. I got 20 buttons out of one bar. I need to work on the edges but OMG so amazing! I went back and bought a few more colors to match some sweaters I am working on now. So much nicer!

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  11. I am in the same boat. My sweater has a chevron pattern, so I'm planning on making triangular buttons. This is very exciting stuff. Hand made for hand made. I like it.

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    Replies
    1. Good luck, I would love to see your results! It is not hard at all & I have found myself even looking at expensive buttons and making a very similar one!
      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, I appreciate it!
      Take care
      Vicki

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