button snowmen, a tutorial

November 26, 2014

Sometimes I like to hang out in my sewing room all day and make things.  I especially get this urge as Christmas nears.  A favorite Christmas tradition of mine is to make a few new ornaments each year.  I set out to use things that I already have on hand as my sewing room is filled with a lifetime of squirreling away odd bits and pieces too precious in my mind to throw away.  I'm that person, who when given a pretty card with a sequin, will pry off that sequin and save it. Although I never met my mother's mother, I think we may be cut from the same cloth.  I have her old button case, plus boxes of her vintage trims and lace, all of which look like they've been purloined from old clothing!  As for the button case, I have added to it over the years.  When I was little, my mother's best friend gave me a pink robe with pink rhinestone buttons. I loved that robe so much and cried when I outgrew it.  When I was finally convinced, under duress I'm sure, to give it away, I secretly snipped off the buttons.  I still have the pretty pink rhinestone buttons, and they are waiting patiently in the button box for their next incarnation.

Always inspired by Pinterest, this is what I came up with this year.

The snowmen are made from vintage mother of pearl buttons.

Top left you can see a bit of plastic packaging that I rescued from the recycling bin.  I cut little strips from this and piped a line of glue, see lower right, then placed the buttons on top.  Using a tweezer, I placed tiny seed beads into the button holes for buttons, eyes and mouth.  After they were dry I came back and added the felt hats and scarves. 

When the snowmen are dry attach the hanger: 
On the back put a dab of glue to affix a piece of twine.  Hold in place with another button.
The button box top left, is just one of the button boxes in my grandmother's big button case.

I purchased the hand felted and over-dyed wool at Purl when I was in NYC last year.
The teensy leaf was snipped from a ribbon I found in San Francisco
and the holly berry is the tip of a floral stamen.

I added a picture to show the supplies I used.  The felt is just lovely and came in many colors.
I'll keep a few of these for my tree and the rest will be tied to the top of Christmas presents.
Edited 12/16 to add these colorful snowmen.  That post is here.  xoxo


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  1. So adorable and I love all of the family history - and thrifting history - too. This year's ornament for me was knitted acorns. I love them!!!

  2. Sweet, thank you for sharing this! :)

  3. Kristen, I love your button snowmen. This is such a creative use of button cast offs. Fantastic!

  4. I love your idea of using plastic strips to glue the buttons in place. I was wondering how you did that!

  5. Thank you for sharing this. I have a large collection of buttons and this has trigger my creative juices. They are so very cute

  6. These are very cute. I also have a large collection of buttons that I can use.


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