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.
For each you will need one large two-hole button and a smaller 4-hole button.

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.  That top hole in the middle of the snowman's forehead will be covered up by his hat in the next step. After they were dry I came back and added the felt hats and scarves. 

When the snowmen are dry attach the hangers: 
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.

  7. These would be cute glued on card stock for hand made cards or when we can get together again as name place cards for the holiday table

    1. I love those ideas! Place cards would be so cute, but then so would greeting cards. Thank you for the idea.

      Best, Kristen


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