Many crafters like to recycle old things to make something completely new. This is a good idea especially when you want to repurpose antique or family heirlooms, such as buttons or brooches. Many of these old items are out of style to wear on clothing, or brooches may have the pins broken off. While these are no longer usable in the original way, they make good crafts.
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Make some new table decorations by creating some napkin rings with your brooches and pins. Do this one of two ways. Use a decorative elastic thread that you can put through the holes in the buttons or through the back of the brooch. Tie the ends of the elastic at the back of the button or brooch leaving a 1½- to 2-inch circle that you can use to hold rolled-up napkins. You also can choose to use wire. The process is about the same, when using wire, except that you need to twist the ends together and make sure not to leave any sharp edges. A 14-gauge wire works well when making wire napkin rings.
Create magnets to stick on your fridge. Both button and brooches work well for this craft, although the pin backing may need to be removed from the brooches. Be careful when removing the pin, as it could damage the front. Placing the front of the brooch on a soft, padded surface, such as a folded-up towel, will help protect the front of it. Purchase magnet pieces or strips, and apply them to the back of the brooches and button using an epoxy glue. If this is a craft you want to work on together with your kids, help them with the glue, as epoxy is toxic if ingested.
Ornaments for Christmas is another craft project that you can work on together as a family using old brooches and buttons. Glue buttons to foam balls, adding a ribbon to hang them by. Large buttons or brooches can simply have a ribbon threaded through them to create an ornament. Large buttons can be glued together back to back with a length of folded ribbon in between.
Creating a shadow box is a good idea for antique buttons or brooches that you do not want to use for anything else. Encasing them in a shadow box will protect them and give you a decoration that you can hang somewhere in your home. Purchase a shadow box that will contain all the brooches or buttons that you want. Use velvet for the back of the shadow box. After arranging the buttons or brooches on the velvet, attach them by sewing nylon thread through any holes. These hold the items in place in the shadow box.
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