Designing with Buttons
by Ali MacDonald
Please note, this is an abridged version of a longer blog article by Ali MacDonald.
I love to use buttons in a variety of ways on my layouts, cards and altered projects.
I buy most of my buttons from a vintage clothing store where they’re removed from items of clothing too damaged to resell.
(Card is based on a sketch by Noella Arsenault.)
So, remember that:
Neutrals are handy
Clear buttons add dimension
Variety in colour and shape is good
Buy large buttons in moderation!
Shanks can be removed
You can never have enough small buttons!
Preparing Buttons for Use
Use safety precautions when nipping off the shanks as it sometimes flies off with some velocity.
Button Design Inspiration:
Buttons can become flowers, balloons, snowmen, planets, and wheels. Great for creating kids’ layouts!
A relaxed country look: run embroidery floss through the buttonholes, tie a tiny knot and leave the floss poking up.
Frame a photo with buttons. It’s eye-catching.
Doodle around your buttons for a beautiful look. Use a pen in a colour that contrasts with your cardstock. (I like Uniball Signo Gel Pens, and use the white one frequently! These pens are available at the SBCH store.)
Vintage buttons used as accents look right at home on heritage-style layouts.
Use buttons on handmade cards to add a bit of flair.
A button border makes a visually punched-up page accent as do the large buttons used as flower centres on this layout.
Adding buttons to trees or vines as “fruit” or “blooms” will add an unexpected colour accent, as seen below. This card demonstrates how using buttons on handmade cards can add a bit of flair.
Button clusters are my ‘signature’ and I often use them on my creations.
Fiddle with button placement to get just the right look. Remember that in the case of a cluster of buttons, the cluster is the embellishment, not the single buttons within it.
Place your cluster on your LO, card or altered item where you feel an accent is needed.
Example; an Altered File Folder decorated with medium-sized buttons in an elongated cluster:
A button cluster will draw attention. Be sure the cluster complements the item and doesn’t overwhelm it! In the layout below, it’s easy to see how the cluster, made with mainly tiny buttons in tones of grey and black, draws the eye to the journaling. A bit of doodling around the buttons has the same effect.
I bet your wheels are-a-turnin’ now!! What kind of a special “look” can YOU create with buttons the next time you scrap?
Have fun and be sure to share your creation with the gals over at Scrapbooker’s Club House. After all, sharing is what scrapbooking is all about. We all learn from one another!