So, one of the nice things about The Scoop being closed for the winter is that I suddenly have free time to work on allllllll those Pinterest projects I have backlogged. I actually started planning this one at Christmastime LAST year, but got distracted with…well…all the other things that people get distracted with around the holidays.
Upcycled jewelry is all the rage these days, particularly if it’s got a vintage feel to it. These designer pieces can go for as much as $30-50 at department stores, or even Etsy! But me…I don’t have that kind of cash for accessories. So when I found a stockpile of old buttons in my Mom’s craft room, I got really inspired.
I imagine that if your family is anything like mine, you have a grandma/mom/aunt who hoards buttons. They have no idea where they came from, but after years and years of accumulation, they have any possible button you could ever want. For FREE. I remember playing with these buttons as a kid, and thinking they were so gaudy, I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting them. Funny how much can change in a couple decades. :) And that, my friends, is how this bag o’ buttons turned into THIS, for less than $5:
I waited for Hobby Lobby to put their jewelry findings on 50% off sale; the link portion of the bracelet wasn’t on sale, so I used a 40% off coupon for that. If you want to make a gift for a fashionista friend without breaking the bank, I highly recommend this one! SO easy and cute!
What You Need:
Blank chain link bracelet (I used a necklace from the Jewelry section of Hobby Lobby since I couldn’t find a bracelet blank that had the “vintage” tone I wanted, and just cut it down to the # of links I needed. I can make another bracelet with the remaining links as a gift!)
Buttons (varying colors, shapes, patterns—whatever moves you)
Jump Rings (I got two different gauges so some of the buttons could hang more loosely than the others)
Clasp (I used a rope toggle style because I feel like they’re the easiest to close with one hand)
Jewelry pliers and/or needle-nose pliers
Start by figuring out how much chain you need, and then remove the excess section of links. Then install your clasps on each end using a small jump ring.
It helps to do this first so you can try it on right away & make sure your bracelet is the right length. I ended up removing a couple links because my first try was too long.
Now, assemble your buttons. I sorted through them to make sure I had a variety of colors & sizes, rather than too many small or large buttons next to each other. I also tried to stagger the colors, and threw in a few “blingy” buttons with pearls or rhinestones.
Now you can start adding your buttons. I put one button on each link of the chain…but then later once I tried it on, there were portions that looked too crowded so I ended up removing a couple. It takes only a few seconds to remove a button, so go ahead & fill the band, and then tinker with it once it’s done & you can see the whole piece.
I use the small jewelry pliers to open the jump rings, and then the larger needle nose pliers to close them. Having the flat, serrated surface really helps you to be able to get a grip on the ring so you can get it closed up tightly. But the serrations can leave marks on your jump rings. With these brassy nickel rings I wasn’t too worried about it, but if you’re working with a softer metal, you can get pliers that have a nylon coating on the jaws, so they grip without leaving a mark.
And that’s it! Seriously, this is such a simple project once you have all the components. I made this in less than an hour, and was so happy with it I had to wear it to church today! Today was our Christmas program, and this really popped with my white sweater & red scarf. So Christmassy!!!