Archives for posts with tag: button

Cocktail napkins

We use cloth napkins for meals in our house. Until recently, I did not have any smaller sized ones that could be used when we were entertaining without a meal involved.

I now have some linen cocktail napkins that are quite plain. They needed a little something to make them more festive. These were created with a search through the button tins and a few stitches.  The original inspiration for these had some cute grapes, but I was one tiny purple button short of being able to make that.

There are 8 more of them, but I think I’ll find ways to decorate them in sets of 4.


dorset button

I first heard about the dorset button when I was working on the CAL bag over the summer. They are usually made with floss or fine yarn and have a wagon-wheel appearance. I had crocheted buttons for projects before, and wanted to try this out since it is made around a small ring and would have more stability as a button while still maintaining the look of yarn. Very clear instructions and much better examples can be found here.

When I try something new with yarn, I often do it with a heavier weight. It is sort of like using the big thick pencils when you are first learning to write. In this case, I was able to get the technique down, but the heavier-weight yarn does hide the pretty overall weaving pattern of the button center.  These remind me of a craft my friends and I used to do as kids wrapping yarn around crossed popsicle sticks or small branches to make pretty diamond shaped decorations.


Lately, I’ve been walking into my craft room with the intention of cleaning and organizing it. Each time, I find some supply that I had misplaced or forgotten about and that distracts me from the task at hand. I’ve been trying to find a way to use the forgotten supplies as I come across them.  This sort of counts as cleaning it out.

Over the weekend I found the end of a pack of magnets that were completely in the wrong place. Then on Monday I read a blog post by Eyeballs by Day, Crafts by Night featuring some fantastic magnets that were made from buttons, birch discs and puzzle pieces.  That started the wheels turning. When the temperature hit 95f/35c I knew I wanted to work on something that did not involve yarn or fabric.  I dug through my button tins (which were in their correct spot) and found a few pretty single ones and decided to dress up my refrigerator with some new button magnets.

I used pliers/nippers to cut off the shank of the buttons that had them to give them a flatter back, then with a little bit of hot glue, the magnets were secured. I am one of those people who cover their fridge with photos, recipes and cartoons, so I can always use a few more magnets. Plus, one more item out of my stash has been used and does not need to be put away. Sometimes having a bit of clutter in the house means you get to have a mini treasure hunt whenever you start to try to sort it out.


The pattern I’m working on offers the option of putting buttons in the center of each of 6 squares. I’m not sure yet whether of not I would do that, but since I am now done square number 5, I thought I’d take a break and look through my button tins. Every time I found 6 of a kind that might work, I popped them into an egg carton to keep them organized, and to hopefully prevent the cats from turning them into new toys.

I am lucky to have my grandmother’s tin, as well as several more given to me by friends from their grandmothers. That’s a lot of grandmother buttons. It goes to show what brings one person joy can be another person’s clutter. It also might indicate my tendency toward craft hoarding probably has its roots that go back at least a couple of generations.

I have a couple friends who have given me their grandmother’s button collections.  I also have the tin that was my own grandmother’s. Some of the buttons in there are beautiful, and I wonder when I look through them about the clothes they must have been on.  Many of them are strung on thread or wire to keep a set of like buttons together.

That generation knew the meaning of reusing things. My grandmother had a jar in her kitchen where she saved twist ties from bags. It is a habit I’ve picked up from her and I find myself unable to throw them away, but instead stash them in a mug that lives in a kitchen drawer.

Day 7 button necklace

These wires wrapped button pendants came from those old tins of buttons. (Instructions here: Some day I will take the time to sort them, have tins for each color, or pull out the fancy ones. But for now, when I have a project that needs buttons, I still take the time to sift through them all.  Small plain shirt buttons, rhinestone encrusted jet black buttons, random snaps or hooks and eyes, they each have a story, I just don’t know what the story is.