What to do with your old buttons, or Christmas crafts ALREADY?

The Five-Year-Old’s tree. (Photo: Michael Howell)

My goodness, can it be Friday evening already? Where has the day gone? Oh yeah. The Five-Year-Old and I have been busy testing out a few ideas for Christmas ornaments made of buttons.

Apparently the Button Wreath Ornament originates with Martha Stewart, but I actually learned about both the Button Wreath Ornament and the Christmas Tree Ornament on Modern Minerals and the Mama’s Style Facebook page.

My tree. (Photo: Michael Howell)

Both ornaments are relatively easy to do, and since I have a huge stock of buttons and ribbons already (inherited from my grandmother), the only cost to us was buying the 16-gauge copper wire and the 4-in-1 pliers beaders use for wire cutting and for spreading whatever pixie dust is required to keep their handmade jewelry from totally falling apart.

So that was nice, but I think it’s safe to say that after this afternoon, we have a love-hate relationship with both projects.

The Five-Year-Old’s wreath (Photo: Michael Howell)

The Five-Year-Old and I love how easy the buttons were to string on the wire. But I hate how hard it was for me to figure out how to close the wire at the end of the project (I’m not a beader, so had to figure it out on the fly). And of course, after watching me struggle with the wire for a good thirty minutes this afternoon, The Five-Year-Old hates not being allowed to use the 4-in-1 pliers herself.

Still, since both projects finish off with ribbon, it was relatively easy to hide my inevitably awful wire clumps behind artfully placed ribbon. On the other hand, this is me we’re talking about, and the definition of artful that relates to me generally isn’t the one that refers to actual crafts.

My wreath. (Photo: Michael Howell)

Clearly I have a mixed opinion about this project, but since I do have so very many buttons, I suspect we’ll be making more.  Next year.

So, what have you been up to today?

Related Links:

(Updated because Michael came home early today, and kindly took some better photos for me.)

About Shala Howell

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book, Did Dinosaurs Have Belly Buttons?, is currently planned for release in 2018. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Ten-Year-Old at Caterpickles.com, chatting about books and the writing life at BostonWriters.blog, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
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3 Responses to What to do with your old buttons, or Christmas crafts ALREADY?

  1. susan says:

    I think they look great!


  2. Tamara says:

    two planned crafts for Christmas…one, make more drawstring gift bags out of Christmas (and Hannukah) materials…two, make a photo wreath or small photo Christmas tree with the 30 2.5×3 silver photo farames I bought on sale….I made many bags over the last two years so this will be the last year for that project for a while and I have wanted to make a photo ornament tree for years, but always balked at how much it would cost…pictures to follow! T


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