Just in time for summer, a lovely and unique repurposing of a vintage button.
Step 1: Shell Button Choker
- I came across some LARGE vintage abalone shell buttons recently, too beautiful to relegate to the trash, but a bit too large to use on any clothing. A cousin saw them, and raved how they'd be perfect to bring out the blue in her eyes.
1 - Large shell button (I'm talking the size of a silver dollar or better.)
1 - Velvet choker (I chose a soft blue.)
Thread (Button cord is best, very strong. I only had black, but it got covered later.)
Strong needle for button cord
Jewelers Glue (Aleene's is good.)
5 - Small glass flower beads (I chose pink, to offset the blue shell.)
5 - Tiny glass beads (Green, to complement the pink and blue.)
Silver toggle and chain
Tools (Pliers, cutters, thread snips.)
Toggle setup: My choker had a standard, ugly toggle. I removed it, and added a silver heart-shaped toggle, along with a dragonfly charm, my signature on all my jewelry. I find it is far easier to do this step first, before any other work.
Determine the orientation of your button - most abalone has a pattern that just LOOKS better if rotated a certain way.
Center the button on the choker. This is an important step, especially if you're using a velvet choker - it can be a touch difficult to steam the holes closed if you sew it on and need to move it.
Attach securely with thread, dab ends with a bit of glue after knotting. Let dry for thirty minutes. (Trust me on this one, you cannot get the glue off of velvet. Ack!)
Once the glue is dried, flip 'er back over. I wanted my beads to look natural, so I played around with the positioning for a bit. I found an arrangement that didn't appear too awfully static, so I used a head pin to dot glue on the button, letting it get tacky. At the same time, I used needle-nosed pliers to allow access to the back of the flower beads, and dotted them, one at a time, with glue. I then gently set the beads on the button, pressed firmly with my fingertip, and let dry. When all the flower beads were set, I used my head pin to go around the edges of the flower beads, and ensure they were well glued. I then dotted the green glass beads with glue, pressed firmly, and followed up with extra glue as with the flower beads. LET DRY OVERNIGHT.
Enjoy!!! As my buttons are large, somewhat thick, and the choker thin, it is essential that this is worn TIGHT, lest it sags and causes the choker to flip over.