Using buttons in decorating

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All Buttoned Up

Using Buttons in Decorating

When I was a kid, my mom had a button jar full of all the buttons she’d removed from old clothes before they were discarded or turned into rags. Not even something as small as a button went to waste at our house! 

Recently, I found myself looking at my own button collection and wondered what use I could put them to in my decorating. Granted, the idea of a “button jar” is a somewhat old-fashioned idea so, if you don’t have a collection of buttons on hand, head to the dollar store. Dollarama has buttons packaged by colour and Dollar Tree is where I found the patterned buttons you’ll see below.

Then, after seeing what I came up with using buttons in decorating, see if you get the notion to become “all buttoned up.”

Shady Business

I sewed these decorative buttons directly onto a small fabric lamp shade. As the buttons came in three different sizes, I chose to put them on from largest to smallest. 

If you’re not into sewing or the lampshade isn’t fabric, a bit of glue would do the trick or, for a less permanent solution, glue round magnets to the back of the button and use another magnet on the inside of the lamp shade to hold the buttons in place.

Bow be Gone 

This old coat button reminded me of a flower and, with the addition of faux leaves pulled from a stem, becomes a pretty package decoration.

For this project you will need:

– 1 large flower-like button
– Three leaves (joined) from a stem of faux flowers
– Thin cord or string

Thread the string through the back of the button and then through the hole in the middle of the fake leaves. Both ends of the string should go through the leaves together.

Add some hot glue to the back of the button and pull the string tight to secure the button to the leaves. Add some hot glue around the hole at the back of the leaves for added security.

You can use the remainder of the attached string to tie your decoration to a small package as an alternative to a bow. For a larger package, use two-sided tape to secure your embellishment after trimming the string. 

Buttoned Up Candle 

The package of white buttons that I bought at Dollarama included buttons in a variety of sizes and types. This button reminded me of a belt buckle, and I used it to decorate a pillar candle.

You will need:

– A ‘buckle’ button
– A pillar candle
– A length of thin fabric ribbon in your choice of colour
– Pearl headed straight pins

Cut a length of ribbon to circle the circumference of the candle you want to decorate and thread it through the button’s openings.


A large pearl headed straight pin is perfect for securing the ribbon ends to the back of the candle and means that your decoration can be easily removed as the candle burns down.


To complete the look of your belted candle, cut about a two-inch piece of the same kind of ribbon and use a small pearl headed pin to secure it behind the button.

Buttoned-Up Magnets

To make these button fridge magnets you will need:

–  A variety of medium to large flat buttons
–  Small buttons (different shapes and light reflecting buttons desirable)
–  Hot glue gun
–  Round craft magnets (about 1/2-inch round)

Choose three or four large flat buttons to begin. Buttons with round or square indentations in the middle of them means that you can easily centre smaller buttons matching those shapes. 

Buttons that are shiny and/or have different shapes make great magnet embellishments.

You can also layer buttons to make things more interesting. 

Try different colour combinations and shapes until you find something you like. The sky’s the limit when it comes to making these fridge magnets. It all depends on the buttons you have on hand and your imagination.


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