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

Thursday 26 May 2011

Creative & Contemporary

It's time for another customer profile! Let me introduce Victoria Avery from Creative & Contemporary:

Creative and Contemporary is my company which i run from my home in Surrey. I specialise in making handmade decorations for wedding and parties, helping to add creativity and quirkiness to special occasions.

Making things by hand has always been something which interests me, and the idea for Creative and Contemporary came about after helping my sister with her wedding preparations. I was given the task of creating all her decorations as she just didn't have time, and she didn't want the standard decorations you can buy in the shops. Helping her made me realise that there must be hundreds of people who want handmade, beautiful decorations which are different to the norm. So I decided to create a range of unique, affordable decorations, and launched my first products in January 2011.

Customising products for individuals is really what I love doing. Creative and Conte
mporary allows people to add their own special touches to my creations, be it customising text which is stamped on, or matching colour schemes. I am also always happy to think of new ideas for interesting themes.

I currently sell my products through my website www.creativeandcontemporary.comand also through Etsy

Thanks for getting in touch, Victoria, we're loving the button name place hangers!
If you would like to be considered for a customer profile, let me know, I am planning on doing some more over the coming months!

Saturday 7 May 2011

Alpaca Select & The Button Company

We always like it when we find people using our buttons in creative ways, so we were delighted when we found that Liz Baxter, an English knitwear designer, was using our buttons in her designs for Alpaca Select.
This is the Thea kit, which uses our vintage theme bag. I usually associate the vintage themed buttons with more period tones, so it's really refreshing to see them on a pink background - I think it really works.

And this one is the Asha kit, which also uses the vintage buttons (but I think would also look great with Wuthering Heights, don't you agree?)

So after this I've decided I really want to know where our buttons have found themselves after we send them out into the world. What projects have they been used on? Let us know what you are using our buttons on - we'd love to see!

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