DIY : Button Art & Ideas

Last week I stumbled upon a cool Reindeer Button Art photo that I shared with our facebook followers. And that sort of set the ball rolling. If you recall my not so legendary fashion college education from the previous posts, you would know any person who passes out from a design course ends up with about two tonnes of raw material accumulated from various projects.

So here I am, drowning in my drawers of Buttons and I decide to give them a new purpose in life – BUTTON ART ! What I love most about Button Artworks is their absolute lack of any discrimination against any kind of buttons. They don’t need to match in color, in size, in shape, in detailing or in any way. And somehow it will always end up looking good.

Online has two kinds of button art. One’s the intensive exhibition kind – massive installations done by professional artists. And the second are the DIY projects (which normal souls like us can execute). Here’s the best examples of Button Art (the do-able ones) I could find online.





Starting of with the one that got this post going. The image on the right is what I had posted on our facebook page. I initially found it on a DIY page and loved the shape and color mix. When I got this blog idea, I revisited the photo and discovered the origins at which also had many more tutorials on Button Art. You can read all about these two and others here. When I saw the reindeer, my first thought was – how cute would a wall full of assorted animals be !



Coming to the intense ones, Lil Blue Boo has created some of the popular characters through Buttons. I can already imagine the effort that has gone into making this one, but I guess the number of hours you put into this will directly reflect on the end result. So if you do have some time, then portraits would be pretty cool. the trick is to find many tones of the color to show proper shading. They have uploaded a video tutorial showing how they went about it, which you can access here.





This one’s for the romantics (or for that matter, anyone you love). Create a heart-shape through assorted Red buttons give it an added edge with some nice background or pattern. You can grab a printed fabric or wrapping paper for the background. The image on the left was done by Mama’s Crafty Place on a square tile. The right image is by Southern Lovely Stripes done on striped burlap cloth which was framed. 





Taking the love theme forward, you can try doing the word instead of the basic heart if you want. Infact if you check out the basics of this DIY tutorial by Jen Goode,you can pretty much use that info and come up with any word on a plaque – either some word thats important to you, or a personalised one like a name or family name. If you would notice, this particular image above has a Pink Ribbon, which is in support of the Breast cancer campaign – such a subtle but important message. When you try button art, you can also think of what causes are important to you personally.





Stemming off from the previous idea, I found lots of Button Art ideas for Alphabets. I think this would make for a very cool birthday gift for your friends and family – you can make it in assorted colors or maybe their favorite colors and get it framed for their wall or desks. If you’re into bigger-DIY mode, then you can also consider making a wall collage of the first alphabets of your family’s names. Living Pretty Blog has a pretty great Tutorial explaining the nuances of decorating alphabets.





For your living rooms and more neutral themes, you can always take inspiration from Mother Nature. Starting with flowers to scenery to foliage, you can end up with a landscape masterpiece. The images above are from East HomeStead’s blog where they have assembled lots of tree projects for 2D and 3D looks. You can either go traditional mixing up green and brown shades, or create a completely psychedelic tree using multiple colors.





A unique take on Button Art, Iris Fuller  paints her subject on a smaller canvas before copying her design onto wood and covering it with buttons. If you’re looking at a detailed project, then this might be the best advice on offer for you. Ofcourse if painting is not your forte, you can consider using an existing photo/painting as your reference point. You can check out more about Iris & her amazing work here.




This one was honestly jaw-dropping for me – I’m probably never going to gather my guts to go so intense DIY, but if you’re up for the challenge, then lots of luck to you. This particular artwork is titled “Girl with a Pearl Earring” and was created by Jane Perkins, over at Using assorted buttons has been the key in developing such an effect here, if you’ll notice – you would find everything from pearl tops to flat square buttons here.





One of the most appropriate recycling projects for anyone who’s from a design school – taking the raw material back to the fashion theme ! These artworks are the creation of artist, Lauren Levy, who created it as a part of her Exhibit in Texas,USA in 2009. You can find more images of her Exhibit and products here. I think designers with their own studio’s and shops can work this one so well – recreating design stationary like scissors, bobbin and thread, dress forms etc. and hang them on their walls or entrance.





Here’s an idea for a personalised touch. Using Button Art to create a cute little parachute, they have hung a photo from the base using strings. I personally thought this was adorable because of the colors and graphics. It has a real charm to it. I couldn’t find any specific tutorial for this one, but you can go snooping around at Collage Scraps where I found this image.





I found many good examples of Button Art on Tumblr that I think can easily be converted into DIY projects. Two of my favorites from there are the Button Embroidery Circles (imagine them on a design studio wall) and the Lady (i’m not 100% sure if it was supposed to be Marilyn). You can check out all the Tumblr ideas here.





I also found lots of artists who had uploaded their Button Artworks on Flickr. The first image that caught my eye is titled Curacao Button Art, its by Chrissy Olson.This particular one is crazy with the detailing and you can also note how she has created multiple layers to give the peacock more dimension. You can find the detailed photo and more about the artist through her Flickr account.






Also on Flickr was this adorable little owl, made in 3D and uploaded by Melmashman. It would be harder to create a button sculpture and would definitely involve stitching, so keep that in mind while going for this project. If you are bored of flat button art, then this one is definitely for you. You can find the Owl image here.





Etsy is a popular website in US that acts as a platform for independent artists to sell their handcrafted wares. So I was bound to find some Button artworks there. But I had no idea they would be this awesome ! My first and immediate favorite was a Bird artwork by BellePapiers  who mixed up playful button shapes to create a delicate flying bird. The use of shaped buttons like flowers has added a new dimension to the design. It even got me thinking – how about a tree full of colored birds. The image on the right is a wallpaper, but I think it could work very well as a DIY inspiration for buttons.



union jack britain


Since Britain and the royal baby is on everyone’s mind, this one is quite apt ! The Union Jack artwork by CardsByJane is available on Etsy for $48. Consider creating your special flag using the flag color buttons for a patriotic DIY project.



bird detailed white


Remember how I started the post segregating Button Art into two categories. In case you were feeling deprived of knowing about the first Exhibit kind, here’s a sample. Artist Ran Hwang creates this large wall installation from buttons inspired by the flock of birds. You can view more of his Installation art here.


Here’s hoping you would have found something to inspire you to upcycle buttons for your homes !