Monday, 30 May 2011

The Monday Project - 2 Tier Button Necklace

I have a million variations I think on the button necklace, and over the next few months I'm going to try and get them all on here for you - as well as some other button projects as and when I come to them. For now, here's a variation on a simple theme - the double stranded button necklace:

What you need:
  • 30-40 mixed buttons. I like smaller (up to 20mm ones, but bigger ones work just as well.) My necklace only used 30 buttons, but I like a shorter necklace than many people.
  • 2m of 1mm or 0.5mm waxed cotton cord. (This is much longer than you will need, but trust me, it's just easier having more than less.)
  • 1 lobster clasp
  • 1 calotte (crimpy thing)
  • 1 split ring (any size will do)
Here's how to:

Thread your lobster clasp onto your cord, approximately 3/5 of the way, and tie a knot (as shown.) The different lengths of the cord will help with your two tiers.
Start threading your buttons onto your cord. Always thread from the back to the front. For 4 hole buttons (fig.1) thread diagonally, and for shank buttons (fig.2) tie on with a knot at the back.
(Here's a secret to button jewellery: people ask me all the time what keeps the buttons from twisting around and not facing the front all the time - after all, they do it in the books, right? - wrong. They only lie flat in the books because the photographer has laid them all out flat. You know for sure as soon as it's picked up the buttons will twist around in whatever which way they want. They're buttons, they like to thwart you in their un-neatness. Deal with it.)

Space the buttons a few centimetres apart. The thickness of the cord should hold them in place. If your cord starts to fray and it gets hard to thread, whatever you do, don't suck it! Trim it off with a pair of sharp scissors - that should do it. This, and the knots, is one of the reasons you want extra cord to start off with. If you are working with children, their sticky fingers will mean you probably have to cut off twice as much as you do with your cool, dry hands.

Hold the necklace up to yourself several times to check length. This is a personal thing - some people love it longer, some people shorter. I guess I'm a short-to-mid kinda girl myself. When you're ready with the length, tie both the ends together. Pull the knot as tight as you can to make it as small as you can. Make sure you are ready to knot, 'cause unpicking this will be a pain! Because of your different lengths of cord when you started, when you hold it up to yourself, you should now have two tiers!

Get out your calotte (I had to look up what this was called, before this I knew it as 'one of those crimpy things'), and lay the knot across it. Close the calotte, trapping the knot. Before you do this you may want to fix the knot with a dab of glue or clear nail varnish. I sometimes bother, sometimes I don't! Trim the loose ends. Excuse the fluffy ends on my pic, I didn't have my nice sharp embroidery snips with me. Fold down the loop, trapping your split ring in it.
Check you like the placement of the buttons. If you don't, just move them about a bit until you're happy. And that's it. Make again in as many different colours as you have in your wardrobe!

a x

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