Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Fabric Covered Button Earring Tutorial

I feel like this is the best picture I've taken in a while - therefore I put it up here for you all to see!

My friend Ashleigh and I got together over the weekend and had a craft day!
Our Mission: Fabric Covered Button Earrings
We were hoping to make them for Valentine's Day gifts.
I'd say it was a rather successful venture - here's a tutorial so that you too can master the art of these fabulous little earrings!

Some of the finished product!

Supplies:
  • Fabric covered button KIT
    Buying the kit is important - this should include 2 little pieces that we will refer to as the "mold" (usually white) and "pusher" (usually blue.) It also comes in many sizes - Ashleigh prefers smaller earrings so she went with 1/2" while I went with the slightly larger 5/8"
  • An extra pack or 2 of buttons to cover
    The kits only come with a enough to make about 3 pairs of earrings. Mine came with 8 while Ashleigh's came with 7 - we still can't figure that one out. We each bought an extra pack or two of the buttons just in case we fell in love - which we most certainly did!
  • Earring Posts
    The posts with a flat side - I noticed that some came with earring backs and others did not something to pay attention to. Also, make sure that your the flat part will fit inside the button back - we ran into a bit of a problem with this.
  • Fabric
    After circling JoAnn's for quite a long time we ended up in the fat quarter section where we each picked up a few pieces we liked - this was not the intention as we could have used fabric I already had at home. It was just too difficult to pass up the prints! Be brave in your choices - the smaller the print the more detail you'll be able to capture in the earring.
  • Ribbon/Lace/Overlay Fabric (Optional)
    We actually had a lot of fun layering ribbon and lace from the dollar section - although I would suggest trying to make a pair without layering first just to make sure you know what you're doing. :D
  • Pliers
    To modify the earring back in order to accommodate the post.
  • Glue Gun or Jewelry Glue
    Pick you poison - hot glue dries faster. :)
  • Pen
    To trace the circle pattern onto the fabric.
  • Paper Scissors
    To cut out the pattern on the back of the button packaging.
  • Fabric Scissors
    To cut out the circles and trim bulk as necessary

Cut out the circle pattern on the back of the covered button kit packaging. BONUS - each refill you buy also has the pattern, so don't worry about losing the tiny circle!

This chart is on the back of the button and kit package - which means it's important! This is how to make a fabric covered button - lucky for you I've broken it down below...

Once you are satisfied with the placement of your traced circle use your fabric scissors to cut it out from the fabric.

If you are going to try to create a layered look cut a piece of ribbon/lace/overlay fabric that is about a wide as your circle. Ashleigh preferred to eyeball this while I used the circle template.

Try to match the two fabrics - cut the ribbon/lace/overlay fabric to be relatively the same shape - or - use the template.

Place your fabric in the mold (1) ribbon/lace/overlay fabric then (2) main fabric.

Use your finger or the end of a pen to push the fabric down into the mold.

Insert the button shell into the well - this may take more force than you realize. The fabric will gather around the shell and may need to be trimmed if it begins to get too bulky - Remember- we still need to place to button back on top of all of this material. This is a good time to pop the button and fabric out to see if you are satisfied with the placement of the fabric as well as a great time to notice and fix any bunches or folds.

Use the pliers to wiggle the metal loop out from the button's back - this surface needs to be smooth in order to attach the earring back. Some of these backs gave us a more difficult time than others - and yes - we did mangle a few of them.

Tuck the fabric into the space on the back of the button shell and place the button back on top the side that you removed the metal loop from should be facing outward.

Using the plunger and your fingers secure the button back to the shell by pressing with all of your might - some of the bulkier buttons took more might than others. BEWARE - Once you complete this step there is really no going back, make sure that your fabric is placed just as you want it to be. Don't worry - Ashleigh and I did have a pile of "reject" buttons by the end...

Now it's time to glue the earring back to the back of the button. I noticed in my bag of earring backs some of the pieces didn't fit together - if at first you don't succeed try another!

Use a few dots of hot glue or jewelry glue to attach the post to the button back. Watch you fingers - we did get burnt a few times!

TA-DA! You now have a fabulous pair of covered button earrings!

Wear them with your bulky bulky sweater if you live in blizzard country!

Ashleigh looks super cute in her FAVORITE pair - It took her about an hour to decide which pair that was -- ha ha ha!

Get ready to impress your Valentine! These are easy to send through the mail too - wrap them in a little bubble wrap and stick them in a pretty envelope with a happy little note!

The Girl Creative
Make it Yours @ My Backyard Eden

Photobucket

10 comments:

  1. cute...i recently bought a button making kit...now i need to get to work making some of these cuties!

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  2. Wonderful tutorial! I love these earrings by KJP, can't wait to try making my own!

    Thank you :)

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  3. What a great tutorial. I've always been a bit nervous about covering buttons. These look great.

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  4. Pretty and fun. Covering buttons makes limitless earring possibilities!

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  5. Sweet! I am going to share this on my Facebook page! Stay warm!!!

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  6. Hop on over to the Party! Would love for you to link-up @

    http://thetreasurista.blogspot.com/p/treasuristas-thursday-treasures-come.html

    The Treasurista
    Finding and Creating FUN things...

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great tutorial! I'll have to try some for myself! Where did you get the kits? I would love for you to link up any of your projects to my Ten Buck Tuesday link parties!

    And I'm a new follower :)

    www.youngnester.blogspot.com

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  8. so adorable, and great tutorial! I have been wanting to make these for a long time--and now I know how, thanks to YOU!

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  9. These are so cute, I just put button covering kit on my "to buy" list for my next trip to JoAnn's. Thanks for sharing!

    Britany
    www.shemadeitcrafts.com

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  10. Hi! Great tute! I will be linking at http://www.handmade-jewelry-club.com/ in future post.

    Thanks!
    Jane
    http://diylessons.org/
    http://www.handmade-jewelry-club.com/

    ReplyDelete

Hey - so - what do you think?