Sometimes you want to make a button but you only have, say, a toy dinosaur. Or an interesting coin. Or a pinback. Here’s how to make buttons out of basically anything you want.
Using sugru, this freaky moldable, adhesive, flexible silicone rubber (that I received for free so that I could play with it), I turned some custom pinback fronts, made from vintage dictionary pages, into shank buttons. Here’s how to make buttons with sugru.
How to Make Buttons
1. I made myself some pinback fronts. I have this American Button Machine that I use to make pinbacks out of comic book pages and vintage dictionary pages. I made these buttons out of dictionary pages, using an animal theme for my kid’s “Junior Ranger” vest.
2. I molded a shank button back using sugru. Until it cures, it’s moldable just like play dough. I filled in the back of each pinback with sugru (it’s supposed to be able to bond to some metals, some plastics, plus glass and wood) and then used a bamboo skewer to hollow out a shank buttonhole:
I did this for all three buttons, and then left them to cure.
3. Sew it on! After about a day, the sugru has cured into a strong but flexible solid. It’s got a little bit of a give to it, which should be handy for my rough kid buttoning up her vest with fumbling fingers, but it’s sturdy enough to be a good choice for all the hard outdoor wear it’s going to get, and it’s machine washable. I sewed it on by hand, and made buttonholes to fit:
Now my kid’s got a vest done up with custom buttons made from vintage paper and a shank that matches her fabric!
Although sugru itself isn’t made from any especially eco-friendly components (mind you, it’s not going to kill you, either, but you know what I mean), it’s pretty darned awesomely handy in a couple of especially eco-friendly aspects:
- It helps you turn random stuff, like toy dinosaurs or coins or pinback fronts, into useful stuff like shank buttons.
- It helps you make your stuff last longer by assisting in some formerly tricky, now dead easy repairs. I wrapped another package’s worth of this stuff around the frayed part of my Dyson vacuum’s power cord and Boom! It’s now 100% mended, and totally insulated.
And it was as easy as playing with play dough.
[I received some sugru for free, because people know that I like to play with stuff.]
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