I intended to post my arts and crafts projects on here — hence the name! — but I have been so busy with work and trying to buy a home that I have hardly made anything recently.  But I do have one new item that I put together and completely forgot to post about!

A few weeks ago, T humored me by going to a craft fair in SLC called Craft Lake City.  The theme of this craft show is DIY and recycling — so there were lots of really cool, funky found-art items for sale.  I was keeping an eye on the jewelry, since that’s what usually catches my eye at craft fairs.  And people made jewelry from everything — bottlecaps, magazines, records, wire, beads, baubles — you name it, they had it!  And one table in particular caught my attention, a vendor who made lovely necklaces from antique buttons.  I took one look, and said, I can make one of those!

I was lucky enough to inherit my grandmother’s button box, and I am always looking for ways to use her buttons.  I have put together three shadow box displays that hang on my walls.  I have decorated a two-deck card box for my dad (they are from his mother), and a little jewelry dresser for my sister with buttons.  I allowed my old knitting group to take buttons for their projects, and I knitted a series of neckwarmers for my cousins, aunts, mom, and sister using those buttons last Christmas.  Ialso  knitted a little felted sheep that I covered in buttons to be his “wool.”  But I still have a TON of buttons left, especially those little mother-of-pearl ones, and I knew that this project would be a great way to wear some of her buttons on a more regular basis.

Two or three years ago, I made a quilt square for my friend TC’s daughter’s baby blanket.  She and her husband are HUGE into cycling, and I decided to find a necklace with bicycle charms on it to use on the square.  I snipped off the charms, but like the crafting packrat I am, I held onto the chain to use in the future.  As soon as I saw the button jewelry booth, I knew I had finally found a use for that necklace!

I don’t make a lot of jewelry, but I have a basic set of jewelrymaking pliers, a bunch of jump rings, and some other odds and ends.  The chain had little black beads on it, which I liked, but I didn’t have enough matching black buttons to go with them.  Then I remembered that I had trimmed the end of my wedding necklace, where the large links you use to make a necklace adjustable were interspersed with tiny pearls.  Of course, I had kept it, so those pearls went on in place of the black beads (which I also squirreled away for the future, of course *smile*).

Grandma's buttons with my wedding beads

It took some finagling and experimenting, trial and error, until I had the right number of buttons that laid the right way when I put the necklace on.  But I think it came out pretty well, considering that I had to undo and redo it several times before everything was said and done!

I am sure that there are plenty more button projects in my future, too.  Feel free to comment if you have any ideas!

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