I have, in my come-in-handy store, a box of buttons – all shapes and sizes and colours. Some of them I’ve had for years – lots that I just haven’t been able to use because the colours are, let’s face it, pretty awful. I can’t just throw them away, it feels so wasteful. Buttons can be difficult to get hold of, and you can’t buy them for a few pence any more. Then there’s finding the right colour – much harder than you always think it will be.
In my humble opinon details are important and a good button can make all the difference to the finish of a lovely handmade piece. There’s nothing worse than having spent hours of your precious time making something beautiful, only to go and spoil it with a a trim that just doesn’t do it justice
If I can’t find buttons to match or tone, I’ve found a nice simple way of getting what I need.
Unsurprisingly in my stash I also have a box of nail varnishes. From back in my ‘girl about town’ days when I had time on my hands to apply it, when I didn’t wash half as many dishes as I do now and it didn’t chip after five minutes.
There they sit in the hope that, one day, I’ll have the time to use them before they go all thick and gloopy.
However… Ive found another way to use those lovely little bottles of colour. Yep, you guessed right – buttons. Nail Varnish is as good for colouring buttons as it is your fingernails. There are so many different shades out there these days – if you don’t have the colour you need it’s bound to be in the shops somewhere and most of them are really not expensive.
Here’s what you do:-
All you need are your buttons, a bottle of nail varnish in or matching the colour of your choice, and some double-sided sticky tape.
Peel off a legth of the double-sided tape – enough to easily fit all of your button on, and stick them down firmly with the right side facing up. These keeps them firmly in place.
Paint the buttons carefully with the nail varnish, not forgetting the sides of the buttons. Being stuck to the tape allows the to be manoevered around easily. You may need to apply two or more coats, depending on the colour and thickness of the varnish.
Allow to dry for several hours, preferably overnight, so that the nail varnish has dried to a nice hard finish.
Lift off from the tape, and there you have your new matching buttons…..ready to sew onto your garment.
Very Inportant – Make sure the buttons are completely dry before you use them. Nail varnish is hard to remove, particularly from fibres.
It really is that simple. Yes, and so obvious. I’ve been doing it for years. It wears pretty well too as buttons really don’t get anywhere near as much action as your fingertips, so the varnish dries nice and hard and doesn’t chip.
…And there are some some great options here. You can have pearlescent, two-tone, smooth and glitter finishes – and my current favourites fluoro seen above after having painted a couple of pretty awful plastic buttons. Aren’t they fab – they look geat as a contrast on a neutral background. These colour buttons are pretty hard to get hold of, particularly in small packs of the same size – believe me, I’ve tried.
This is a great little upcycling project. By doing this not only will you be saving money, you’ll be using what you would have otherwise probably thrown away, and best af all you’ll be getting something unique that looks great.