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Simple Kids Button Necklace Craft

Burning Daylight: Easy DIY Button Necklaces

By Melissa Summers

Another week of daylight to burn, another necklace craft. 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.

This week, we made button pendant necklaces 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.

What You Need — and What You Need to Know

Simple Button Necklace CraftHere’s my first tip o’ the day: CLICK THROUGH AAALLLL 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 that I have a good sense of direction and don’t need maps. (Spoiler: I do 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 heed my warning and click through the  links — shame on you — the original idea involved plastic canvas, a needle and thread. In retrospect, 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. Good times.

Fortunately, the kids loved what I came up with, unfortunately my process made it difficult to give them free reign to do the project on their own, because again, hot glue-seared fingertips. Maddie had total creative control over where she placed her buttons but, because I lost the roshambo round am the oldest, I was lucky enough to be the one who burned my fingers on the hot glue.

Here is our bowl of buttons ready to go.

Button Necklace How-To

Kids Button Necklace CraftOnce Maddie arranged her first layer of buttons exactly the way she wanted 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?

Of course, I had to move the buttons around to get the pendant to look like what Maddie was imagining. She didn’t care it was burning my fingers, she wanted her necklace to look 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 How ToOuch.

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.

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.

Easy DIY Kids Button NecklaceI 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]

You can see our completed project above, in the delightful photo where 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.

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).

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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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1 Comment
  • RookieMom Whitney

    August 6, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    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.