Beautiful Buttons From Junk




About: Self-employed creator and maker working from studio at home. Running craft workshops and making instructional videos. Also manufacturing craft tools and templates.

These cute little buttons were created from throw away cereal boxes and discarded gift-wrap. And yet, they are robust and durable like wood. Stay with me to find out how to turn junk into pretty little buttons!

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Step 1: This Is What You Will Need

  • Some chip board from cereal or other food packaging
  • White glue
  • Some pieces of discarded gift-wrap (always unwrap presents carefully and keep the paper!)
  • Clear nail polish
  • Small craft punches such as heart, star. flower, circle and butterfly shapes
  • Piercing tool with a fine point
  • Small craft hammer
  • Toothpicks/cocktail sticks
  • Small piece of styrofoam

Step 2: Punch Out Your Shapes

Use the small craft punches to punch out six of each shape from the cereal box board.

Step 3: Layer the Shapes

Use the white glue to stick the six layers together for each shape. Align them perfectly to create neat, even stacks of each shape.

The above pictures show what you should get when you have stuck your layers together.

Repeat this for all the shapes you have cut out.

Step 4: Cut the Pretty Top Layers

Using the same small craft punches, take your old gift-wrap and cut one of each shape. Take care to punch out interesting, colorful parts of the gift-wrap. I turn my punches upside-down and remove the bottom so I can see exactly what I am punching. I adjust the paper in the punch until I find an area I really like and which will look good as a button.

Step 5: Stick the Top Layer On

Using the white glue, put a thin layer on the top of each button so it is sticky rather than slippery. Very carefully align the shapes cut from paper with their corresponding buttons until they are perfectly positioned. Smooth down firmly taking care not to move the stack or the top layer out of place. Allow to dry thoroughly.

Step 6: Make the Button Holes

Using the fine-pointed piercing tool and craft hammer, make two holes in each button big enough to get a needle through.

Step 7: Seal and Varnish the Buttons

Using the clear nail polish, seal each button with at least one layer, taking care to brush round the holes. It is easier to do if you put each button on a toothpick to hold while you are varnishing. Then, stand the toothpicks up in the Styrofoam to dry. These buttons will be splash proof but cannot be used on items that require washing. If you accidentally brush varnish over the holes, just push them through again when dry.

Step 8: The Finished Buttons

This is what your finished button should look like. They are brilliant for a number of crafting projects and are made almost entirely from recycled materials. It's win win!

1 Person Made This Project!


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12 Discussions


3 years ago

I loved the idea (especially recycling) and your instructions. I wonder if larger sizes have been tried, maybe up to an inch or inch and a quarter. I wonder if they get weaker if larger? Thinking of these for crocheted items.Thanks.


4 years ago

Question: I am wondering what kind of surface you use under your buttons when you are making your button holes? A hard surface could dull the point of your piercing tool. Could you please elaborate?

1 reply

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Hello there, thanks for stopping by. The surface I work on is self-healing (like a self-healing cutting mat). And I am pretty good at judging when the point has gone through. I had another work surface (a wooden one) that was full of tiny holes from my piercings! My piercing tools are fine - they don't seem to get blunt. I also have another tool which punches 1.8mm round holes and I use that a lot now. I am just working on a project using that tool which will be on here shortly. Have a good day.


4 years ago on Introduction

I love this idea! I never would have thought of it :-)


Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Glad you like them - good luck with the sale - your buttons will be great, they are very easy to make! Thanks for looking.