Craft ideas using buttons

Updated February 21, 2017

If you have old buttons from clothing, abandoned sewing projects, or a vintage stash, you can use them up with creative craft projects. Buttons can be used in projects with or without sewing to accommodate the skill level and different ages, from young children to adults. Depending on your tastes and ability, button crafts can produce usable items.


Buttons can be used in craft projects in the same way you would use embroidery. You can sew brightly-coloured buttons onto a plain make-up bag or canvas bag to make an interesting design or onto a T-shirt for a unique and colourful look. Look for items in plain materials without designs or prints, and find buttons that create the kind of look you prefer. For a more sophisticated look, choose antique buttons in soft colours or metallics. For children, use glue to cover vases or tote bags, and for adults, use thread to attach buttons for a more permanent look.


Buttons can be used to create jewellery for children. Find bright colours, interesting shapes, and varying sizes of buttons to create one-of-a-kind necklaces and bracelets. For older children, provide more advanced materials like necklace closures, earring backs, and a variety of wires and threads to create unique, eye-catching designs. Encourage children to experiment with different patterns, shapes, and methods of attaching buttons.

Button Flowers

Button flowers are a pretty craft for kids of all ages. To make them, stack buttons in varying sizes and colours, and fasten them together using craft wire. Create stems by twisting together lengths of floral wire, and create leaves using green buttons or wire. Take the various stems and display individually in bud vases or together as a bouquet.

Button Barrettes

For girls, buttons can be used to embellish barrettes. Start with simple barrettes in plain metal or painted finishes. Provide strong glue and a selection of buttons, and have your crafters create their own designs. For standard barrettes, the easiest way to add a button is by gluing it to the widest end, where it will not interrupt the function of the hair clip. For larger, wider barrettes, you can glue smaller buttons along the length. Consider stacking buttons of different sizes to create an interesting look, and use contrasting colours.


With a canvas, some glue, and a selection of paint and buttons, your children can create multimedia artwork. Encourage kids to be creative with the way they use the buttons and paint: they can paint the canvas and glue buttons on into shapes like flowers, or they can use a less-literal interpretation and use buttons in a more abstract way.

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About the Author

Elizabeth Smith has been a scientific and engineering writer since 2004. Her work has appeared in numerous journals, newspapers and corporate publications. A frequent traveler, she also has penned articles as a travel writer. Smith has a Bachelor of Arts in communications and writing from Michigan State University.