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Burning Daylight: Button Necklaces

By Melissa Summers

Another week of daylight to burn, another few necklaces. I know I’m leaving my little boy out these last few weeks but he’s been the one with a million things to do each day and my daughter is the one who’s sitting around a little bored.
We ended up making these button pendant necklaces I saw at Crafty Crow because the girls in the neighborhood liked the paper bead necklaces we made last week and wanted more jewelry. When there’s daylight to burn, your wish is my command.
Here’s my first tip O’ the day. CLICK THROUGH THE LINKS when you see interesting things at a “Craft Collective” website. I thought I didn’t need to click through to the original project and could figure out the process all by myself. This is a lot like my (false) belief I have a good sense of direction and don’t need maps.
I decided to use a hot glue gun, buttons, wire and elastic cord to make our button pendant necklaces. (In case you didn’t click through the other links (shame on you); the original idea involved plastic canvas, a needle and thread. This seems much more kid friendly than my version, even with the needle. Hot glue and the way it burns my fingertips takes me right back to those four years I spent as a day camp counselor making the (incredible) salary of $650 for six weeks of searing my fingerprints off.
Still, the kids loved what I came up with, unfortunately my process made it difficult to give a kid free reign to do the project. Maddie had total creative control over where we placed our buttons but, because I lost the roshambo round am the oldest, I was lucky enough to burn my fingers on the hot glue.
Here is our bowl of buttons ready to go.
button necklace craft
This is Maddie arranging her first layer of buttons (almost) exactly as she wants them.

I made our designs by layering several different buttons with a lot of (very hot) glue from the glue gun. Did I mention how it burned my fingers?
button necklace craft
Here I am moving buttons around by demand. Maddie didn’t care it was burning my fingers, she wanted a necklace. A necklace the way she wanted it to look. Is it her fault her mother didn’t read all the instructions before embarking on this task? No.
button necklace craft
To connect our necklaces I used a little wire, twisted into a loop with a long enough tail to be glued along the back of our pendant.
button necklace craft
Here you can see the attached loop with my double chins, you know, as a bonus.
button necklace craft
Here’s another picture of the attached loop where I got wise to the double chin and tried to pretend I was looking for the mailman out the front window.
button necklace craft
To make the pendant turn into a necklace I used the same elastic cord we used to make our paper bead necklaces last week. I cut a length to fit Maddie’s neck and folded it in half, pulling the loop through the wire loop on the buttons.
I then pulled it tight, making the pendant stay put in the middle of the cord rather than swinging around from side to side like a desperate politician. [Rim Shot]
Here is our completed project when my daughter thought I wasn’t going to get any of her face in the frame. Her smile is the focus in this picture, not the necklace. But we’re entering the age when all smiles are precious so I thought you should see it.
button necklace craft
Here is our completed project when my daughter realized I was getting some of her face in the frame. She is frowning, but the necklace is in focus so you can see what we ended up with.
button necklace craft
We made four necklaces and Maddie was excited to give them to the girls down the street. We burned around an hour doing this project because we already had all the supplies we needed. On the one hand it’s not a lot of daylight to burn, on the other it makes it a pretty easy project to throw together with your favorite little kid.
It’s especially nice if your kid likes to see your fingers burned and relishes the chance to tell you exactly what to do (at least when it comes to placing buttons).

Melissa Summers
About the Author

Melissa Summers

Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.


Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.

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  • I LOVE this and have been saving buttons for I-don’t-know-what. Thanks for the advice for those of us who are always too lazy to click through. I busted out the hot glue gun for the first time in front of my almost 4 year old yesterday and I said, “this is a hot glue gun.” He responded, “Don’t say ‘gun’, Mommy.” Hmm.