Art is What You Make it!

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Buttons were calling me. Button artwork showed up on Pinterest, and I saved it. Fancy buttons, from grandmas gone by, revealed themselves to me. While searching for measuring tape in an old sewing basket, a decorative button appeared, from a Great Great Grandma. When looking for a sewing tool in another spot, impressive buttons from yet another Grandma showed up. My own buttons, the ones that come with a newly-purchased piece of clothing, piled up in a drawer, reminded me of their whereabouts.

Wouldn’t it be cool if I could combine a bunch of buttons from the grandmas and give it to my granddaughter for a birthday present? Here’s how I made that happen.

Directions:

  • Draw a paper heart, like we made in elementary school, where you fold the paper in half and cut it with scissors.  My paper heart was approximately 7 inches x 7 inches.
  • Open and center the paper heart onto a piece of Aida cloth, and trace the shape with a sewing marker.
  • Contact any other grandmothers to ask for buttons to add to the piece.
  • Collect buttons and store in one place.
  • Get more buttons at a craft store.
  • Arrange buttons on cloth to get an idea of how the piece might look (optional).
  • Sew buttons on one-by-one.
  • Start at the bottom and work along the right edge. Fill in middle as you go. Continue to go around the edge of the rest of the heart.
  • Sew buttons to fill in so cloth does not show through, as best as possible, if you like.
  • When complete, hand wash with laundry detergent and warm water making sure to rub off any marks.
  • Remove excess water by placing piece between bath towels.
  • Let air dry overnight by setting on a dry towel.
  • Iron wrinkles out the next day, using the cotton setting.
  • Frame in regular or shadow box frame.  The shadow box I purchased was 8 inches x 8 inches.

On the designs I saw on Pinterest, the buttons lay flat.  My design has buttons popping out all over the place, but I like how it looks.  Art is what you make it!

Those old buttons took on a shine I didn’t know they had, after I washed them clean. To finish, I wrote a note to my granddaughter, and placed it on the back of the frame. The note described how the heart is “filled with grandma love” and explained where the buttons came from.  I let her know “I mixed a little bit of the old with a little bit of the new.”

I hope my granddaughter will cherish and feel the love that went into this piece.  🙂

As the sun colors flowers, so does art color life. ~John Lubbock

10 thoughts on “Art is What You Make it!

  1. That turned out great! I hate sewing, so this is not the project for me. I do, however, have a jar of buttons that I have saved that I used to enjoy playing with as a child. It would be fun to come up with a non-sewing project for them.

    • Thanks, Mary!! Thanks for the re-blog too – that’s a first for me. 😊

      When I first started working on the heart, I felt it wasn’t going my way and wanted to rip out the buttons and start over. Instead I kept going and was eventually pleased with how it turned out.

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