Supplies: buttons, hot glue, scissors, fabric, embroidery thread/needle (optional)
Time: 5 minutes- 2 hours
I hope you like today’s project because if you do you can buy the finished product on Etsy (proceeds go to the American Cancer Society)! Last night I left my phone at work, so while deciding what to make for today I thought I’d take full advantage of the bike ride downtown to retrieve it. I love button earrings and I have a nice stash of buttons, so on my way home from my phone pick-up I made a pit stop at Cool Stuff to get backs for a couple sets of earrings. (For those of you outside of Columbia, Mo Cool Stuff is the local novelty/strange toy/bead/brewing supply/hippie store. As the name implies, it is very cool.) The guy working there asked what I was making, so I told him about this whole project. Turns out, he’s another (way too young to be a) cancer survivor! What a perfect day to get a listing up on Etsy!
The buttons I chose are from a chair it’s hard to believe was ever in style. It almost looks like the orange version of Martin’s chair on Frasier (ps- I LOVE Frasier).
I took the buttons to Cool Stuff and they were nice enough to let me use their wire cutters since I have none. So, with the backs cut off the buttons and the earring hardware acquired I was ready to make them pretty!
I wanted to make one pair with the plain buttons and another with covered buttons. Let’s start with the covered ones. My favorite craft is embroidery, so that was the obvious choice for these earrings. I found some fabric in my pile and traced the buttons on it.
Make the circle a bit bigger than the button so you have room to stretch it around the back. At this point I whipped out my tiny embroidery hoop and embroidered a little design in the circle. If you have a really pretty fabric you can just skip the embroidery.
Next, I wrapped the button in a little piece of felt. This was just to make sure the texture of the button fabric wouldn’t show through. I think I’ll skip that next time as it was probably unnecessary. It could be helpful for your button. Better safe than sorry, right? Then I went on to attach the (now cut out) embroidered circles. I love hot glue, so I used that. Just put a little dot of glue on the back edge of the button and glue a tiny piece of the circle. Repeat on edge opposite the first, making sure to pull the fabric tight. Continue around the button. Watch out for little corners that will want to form. This part will just take some experimenting. Don’t forget to trim the excess!
Next, you’ll attach the posts. Glue them on at an edge of the earring. If you put the post in the middle of the back it’ll get top heavy on your ears.
Let everything dry and you’ve got a new pair of earrings! And they’re cheap! I made a second pair for myself with the lovely uncovered buttons. I don’t usually like post earrings, so those might end up on Etsy too…
Since this is my first Etsy creation for this project (and in my new apartment) it was time to get a make-shift photography studio set up. I have fantastic east and west facing windows, which provide excellent natural light. I set up my little memory chest with a book on it as my platform (angled toward the window, of course).
I’ll tell you right now that I hate taking pictures of stuff for Etsy. Hate it. But I’ve read a lot of articles about how it should be done. In addition to natural light, which showcases the true colors of your products nicely, you want to have a plain, non-distracting background. I need to go get a piece of fabric for that, but today I used a pillowcase (iron and lint rolled!). I draped it over the box in a photography studio way.
I have a nice sheer curtain on my window, which acts as a very nice light diffuser. I use my phone to take the blog pictures, but I pulled out the nice camera for this task. I want people to buy these things!
Pop over to the brand new Etsy shop and check out the final pictures and the first listing.