I started playing with clay – to make a shawl pin for a swap partner, actually – and once I got started, I got all sorts of ideas of what I could do with this great, mold-able stuff. My first thought was buttons. I spend a lot of money buying unique and interesting buttons for my knitwear. These are so easy to make that from now on, even my buttons will be originals!
So – you start with polymer clay. They sell it in little 2 ounce packages at most craft stores. I tried both Fimo and Premo! brand. I have to say that I liked the Premo best. The Fimo was stiffer and took a lot more prep work to soften it enough to mold with.
Work your clay on a smooth surface. I used a plate – a ceramic tile would be ideal. Fold it over and over, work it into a ball, squeeze it, beat it – whatever – until it’s soft enough to roll out. I rolled mine out with a pizza roller.
Cut out your button shapes just like you’re making cookies. I used Wilton Fondant cutters. They come in lots of cute shapes and are sized just about right for smallish to large, chunky buttons. The heart cutters came in a package of three sizes. This is the medium size – about one and a half inch wide.
You’ll need to create holes to sew your button on. You can use a variety of things to make your holes. I think the end of one of those skinny straws they use as coffee stirrers would work great. I used a cake decorating tip I happened to have in my craft supplies.
Now put your buttons, without those holes you cut out, onto an oven safe dish and bake them according to the directions on the package. Allow them to cool completely.
For the antique effect on my buttons, I mixed a little bit of burnt umber acrylic paint with water to make a thin wash and painted it over the entire top.
I let the paint dry for about 20 minutes, then took a soft rag and polished the top of the button which took most of the paint off the smooth surface of the button but left it in the textured areas.
Finish buttons with a couple of coats of Sculpey Satin Glaze for polymer clay.
Now you better get to spinning the yarn for knitting that sweater for your new buttons!