Covered buttons necklace
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Designer: Kendra McCracken
I'm fascinated with the current trend of new jewelry created with a vintage feel to it. My favorite pieces tend to be those that incorporate a variety of what looks to be found items such as buttons and "mismatched" beads. A recent find from Antrhopologie led me to create this necklace. I loved the fabric covered buttons on the Anthropologie necklace and how they weren't only covered with fabric, but embellished with strips of fabric. So I purchased a few button covering kits, some inexpensive jewelry findings, and some beads and went to work!
Making fabric covered buttons is a quick and easy process. The kit comes with step-by-step instructions printed on the back of the packaging, as well as a pattern for cutting your fabric to just the right size.
I wanted to add thin fabric strips to my buttons so I used my Fiskars 18 Inch x 24 Inch Mat, the 45mm Rotary Cutter, and the 3.5 x 18.5 Acrylic Ruler to cut the strips 1/8" wide. I then used the grid on the cutting mat to center my strips on the fabric circle I cut using the pattern from the button covering kit, using fabric glue to hold the strips in place.
When the fabric glue is dry, the fabric circle is placed in this little cup, a button shell placed on top of that, with all the edges of the circle tucked inside it. Then a button back is placed over the bunched fabric and this blue pusher is used to press the back in place. I was concerned the extra bulk from the fabric strips would cause a problem with the back staying in place. Not a problem! I didn't get one button centered, couldn't get it apart again, and had to just throw it away.
After discovering it's a little difficult to keep everything centered when pressing it all together in the little cup, I used 1/2 of a Fiskars Floral Glue Rectangle to keep the fabric circle centered on the button prior to placing it in the cup. I also did a bit of trial run, putting everything in the cup but not using the pusher to finalize it. I removed it all from the cup, checked to make sure once the back was pressed in place, the button cover would be centered and then put it all back in the cup and used the pusher.
Once the buttons are completed, arrange them as desired and stitch them together using a needle and thread.
To create the chain, I assembled small groupings of beads on eye pins and connected them using jump rings. To create the groupings, I stacked beads on a eye pin and using a pair of round nosed pliers and the Fiskars Micro-Tip® Needle Nose Pliers, bent the eye pin at a 90 degree angle just above the top bead.
To make the loop in the end of the eye pin, the round nosed pliers are turned so that one tip rests beneath the horizontal wire, the other tip rests on top of it. This leaves the wire sandwiched between the tips. Using the Micro-Tip® Needle Nose Pliers, the wire is bent snugly around the tip of the pliers resting on top of it. The wire loop will need to be twisted around on the plier tip a time or two during the loop-making process.
To complete the bead grouping, use the Fiskars Diagonal Cutters to snip the end of the wire off at the loop. These pliers are great for getting right in that tiny space and snipping the wire right up against the loop, leaving no snaggly ends protruding from it.
Connect the bead groupings using jump rings, making a length of beads for each side of the necklace. Connect one end of each length of beads to each end of the covered button grouping. Attach a short length of chain to the other end of each length of beads to achieve the desired length for your necklace. You will also want to hold it up to your neck as it will be worn to help find the right length of chain for each side to make sure the completed necklace will balance and sit properly.
Finish the necklace by adding a clasp. When you're finished, you'll have a necklace that looks like those sold in trendy stores like Anthropologie, customized to your favorite colors!
Fiskars # 12-83717097 18 Inch x 24 Inch Mat
Fiskars # 95217097 45mm Rotary Cutter
Fiskars # 12-87287097 3.5 x 18.5 Acrylic Ruler
Fiskars # 01-004757 Floral Glue Rectangles
Fiskars # 95507097 Diagonal Cutter
Fiskars # 95537097 Micro-Tip® Needle Nose Pliers
Other: Fabric scraps, 12-15 buttons from button covering kits, variety of beads, clasp, chain, bead caps, jump rings, eye pins, fabric glue