Introduction: Laser Cut Wooden Buttons

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Up until about a year ago I hardly ever wore shirts with buttons. Now, I have a collection of dress shirts that I am fairly proud of. One shirt in particular though was lacking a bit of character. What it needed was some wooden buttons.

I used a laser cutter for these buttons but they could be made with hole saw and a drill (and a little more time investment).

Step 1: Laminate the Stock Material

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My first step was to make custom plywood. This is an optional step as you could use 1/8 inch instead. I decided to make custom ply because I could use more exotic hardwood.

First, cut 4 small sheets of veneer about 4 by 4 inches.

Next, spread glue on three of the four pieces and stack them up.

Finally, clamp the stack really tightly between two pieces of wood and wait a few hours.

Step 2: Cut Them Out

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Once you have a small piece of plywood lay out an array of buttons on Illustrator matches the dimensions of your stock. My buttons have a 1/2 inch diameter with 1/16 inch holes. The laser cutter gives you the power to get really creative here. You could put as many holes as you want in the buttons. You could even etch a design into the top. If you do anything particularly awesome with your buttons please don't hesitate to post a photo below.


Set the laser cutter to the appropriate settings for 1/8 inch plywood and cut out your buttons.

Step 3: Sew Them On

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The final step is to simply sew them onto your shirt. Use a seam ripper or sharp blade to remove the old buttons and replace them with your fancy new wooden ones.

Comments

lozmoz (author)2014-11-13

These look great I am definitely going to have a go

Did you varnish or wax these buttons or does the glue protect them in the wash ?

CobyUnger (author)lozmoz2014-11-14

Oh, I should have mentioned that. I put a few coats of danish oil on them. A more substantial finish would have probably been a good idea, but I was in a hurry.

bushman89 (author)2014-11-12

I've only got this .... acceptable substitute ?

peppypickle (author)2014-11-11

so amazing! I really like this instructable! Great craftmenship, the buttons are amazing!

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Bio: I build, I teach, I learn. Happiest when covered in saw dust, sweat and machine grease. Visit CobyUngerDesign.com for more projects and info.
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