A Button Heart Valentine (or ornament)

Pearl Button Heart ornamentIf you’re a button fanatic, like me, no doubt your collection includes zillions of little buttons snipped off old clothing, snapped up at flea markets and yard sales, and gratefully accepted from grandmas and friends. Show your madness for buttons with this easy and quick project, perfect for Valentine’s Day or any other time of the year. It’s a great project for children, too; my 6-year old son stitched one (with not so many buttons as mom’s) as a valentine for his teacher.
Yes, you COULD use a glue gun to stick the buttons onto the heart. But it ruins the buttons for any other purpose, and often they don’t stay stuck. By stitching them on, you can use some wonderful collectible buttons (glass or maybe even Bakelite, if you’re so lucky), plus the perle cotton thread adds extra detail and texture.

I used lots of pearly recycled shirt buttons, with a few real mother-of-pearl buttons on the top layer for extra glow. My next heart will be of multi-colored buttons, with a few novelty shapes for extra pizzazz.

You’ll need:

* 70-90 sew-through buttons, from 1/4″ up to about 7/8″ in diameter

* Plastic cross-stitch canvas or perforated paper for cross-stitching

* Perle cotton #5

* Tapestry needle

* Ribbon or sparkly thread (optional)

You’ll be stitching the buttons on in two layers. Use your less-than-wonderful buttons on the bottom layer, reserving your best and lots of 2-hole buttons for the top layer. Using the template below, cut out a heart shape from the plastic cross stitch canvas or perforated paper. Thread needle with perle cotton, doubled; knot the end.

Button Heart templateStarting at the bottom of the heart, sew on a button to hide the canvas or paper edge as much as possible. Sew buttons all around the outer edge. (Leave a small space at the center top of the heart if you’ll add a ribbon bow later). Sew buttons to fill in the heart in a single, uniform layer. Don’t worry about gaps — the second layer hides most of them.

Stitch a second layer of buttons to hide the spaces between buttons on the bottom layer — 2 hole buttons work well for this, since often the gaps aren’t big enough to sew on a 4-hole button. When second layer is complete, knot off thread neatly at the back. Dab at knots with FrayCheck or clear nail polish. To finish, run a hanging thread through the top center of the heart or sew a ribbon to the heart. If you like, hide your stitching on the back with a backing of ultrasuede or felt adhered with craft glue.

Here’s another version I made, when I was feeling less than angelic :-)

Black Button Heart Ornament

Cute as a bug on a button!