Introduction: Free Laser Cut Buttons - Totally Customizable!
Annoyed by all those designers slathering their name over everything? Put your own name on the buttons!
It all started when I lost a few badly sewn buttons and wanted to get something a little more awesome. Not only will you see how you can make buttons for any project you need, whether for commercial production, or sprucing up some old clothes, but I will also show you how to properly attach a coat button by hand.
As you can see, this coat is missing two buttons. The coat was pretty cheap, and the buttons even cheaper, sewn on with weak cotton thread, so I decided to spruce it up with some mirror acrylic custom buttons with my own name on them.
The buttons are designed using FREE InkScape software, and this tutorial explains some of the steps.
CutYourWay.com offers FREE 1"x3" mirror samples with your custom design so you can test your button to make sure they will be perfect before ordering more. You can use the code WORLDSHIP for free worldwide shipping on samples if you're not in US.
Step 1: Measure the Button(hole)
Calipers are a designers best friend. If you're making buttons to replace old ones, you can measure the button hole or another button. Write down your measurements! You can also use regular ol' measuring tape of course.
Step 2: Create the Button Shape in InkScape
Create the button outline. You can make a circle, star, or any fun shape you can think of, then type in the dimensions to make sure it's perfect.
Step 3: Add the Button Holes
Then add two small holes (or four holes if you like) to make a place the sew the button on. I dragged in some guidelines to help with the placement.
The original buttons had a loop in the back, but with laser cutting we are working with 2-D.
You can measure a needle with calipers if you want a really tight fit, but I am eyeballing about 2mm here.
If you go by the CutYourWay.com guidelines, you will see that all lines that are 100% blue RGB value and less than .3pt will cut through a given material. The color-mapping is very specific and to make things easier, you can download the CYW palette off their website.
So after you make your outline and place the holes, select everything and make sure to set the lines to less than .3 and 100% blue. Then "GROUP" them (CTRL+G) so you don't accidently move or change anything.
Add some text! (In this case, my name!)
To put text on a path in InkScape, make your text first, then select it and the path you want it to follow.
Go to "PATH" then select "text to path"
The text will then pop onto the path but you will still have to adjust it to get it situated inside the button as well as the correct letter spacing, etc.
To get the effect I want, I'm going to outline the text in MAGENTA (100R,100B,0G) less than .3pt. This is "Light Etch" and when done on the backside of a mirror, it looks really cool.
*IMPORTANT* When etching text on the backside of a mirror, you have to flip it or the text will come out backwards!
Step 5: Submit Your File to CutYourWay.com
Tile up your buttons on a 1"x3" for testing and submit to www.CutYourWay.com on their home page. There are many materials you can get a free sample from, but you have to make sure your file is properly configured or it won't get processed.
Step 6: Attach Your Buttons!
When the buttons arrive, if they look OK you can order more.
Mine are fine, and now all I have to do is cut off all the old buttons and attach the new ones.
This coat has a ton!
I'm not going to cut them off all at once for fear of losing my place.
A curved needle will make sewing the buttons on easier, and the heavy thread will hold the button nicely. If you don't already know how to attach coat buttons, here is a quick photo illustration.
Mark the spot
Make a loop or two through the button hole
Wrap the string around to make a "post" under the button so the fabric going around the button won't be pinched.
Make one last anchor stitch and tie a good knot under the button.
You can cheat a little and reinforce this with some glue. I hate losing buttons!
Trim the threads and then continue on with the other 13 buttons!