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The Perfect Button

12/03/2008

Here in Colorado (or Northern/Front Range Colorado, to be specific) we’re having our first truly snowy day of the year. We’ve had a bit of snowfall before now, but it was always at night and melted quickly by day.

Loki, the little kitten who eats my yarn, was quite impressed.

Brrr
Brrr

I mention the yarn eating because it turns out he has had yarn to eat recently: I have been knitting! Specifically, I have been holiday knitting.

Don't look, Mom
Don’t look, Mom

This is Flora. The pattern is, of course, from knitty; the yarn is RK Cashcotton and Kidsilk Haze. I’ve had this yarn around and earmarked for this project for a very long time (it was, in fact, a gift) and suddenly, whilst I was engaged in the annual Christmas Presents for the Difficult battle, it popped into mind.

Flower
Flower

Deliciously soft and fuzzy, Flora was a quick knit, and very engaging for a relatively simple project. I love the result and plan to make my own (though I’ll need more yarn to do it). Upon finishing the knitting portion of this project, however, I was left with a single glaring issue: Flora is one of those pieces that requires (dum dum DUMMMMMM!!!!) THE PERFECT BUTTON.

To get the full effect, you should imagine those last three words in booming-movie-trailer-god-voice. How hard is it to find the perfect button? Digging through fabric and craft store, thrift shop and forgotten bits of stash just didn’t appeal to me for this project. No, I needed a novel solution: I needed to make my own button.

I suppose it was inevitable, with how much polymer clay work I’ve been doing recently. I even threw together a quick visual guide/mini-tutorial. I call it:

How I Made The Perfect Button

Wanted- The Perfect Button
Wanted- The Perfect Button

First, I pulled out a bunch of bits and bobs of polymer clay that matched or complimented my yarn colors.

Checking Size
Checking Size

I then picked a base color and rolled a ball of clay a bit over half the size of the stretched buttonhole- basically, so big that it wouldn’t fall through but no larger. I flattened this ball out into the rough thickness I wanted my button and then double-checked that it would fit through the hole without just slipping through when you least expect it. This would make for a very bad button, as far as functionality is concerned.

Thumbprint Cookie
Thumbprint Cookie

I squished down the center of the button like you would a thumbprint cookie, taking care to make it neat and symmetrical.

That looks about right
That looks about right

I made the holes with a knitting needle. Hey, whatever does the job, right? After checking one more time to make sure it was the appropriate size (that’s how all those little bits of fiber got into the mix), it was time to embelish my button base. Is it just me, or is embellishing usually the fun part?

Ta da!
Ta da!

The Perfect Button!
The Perfect Button!

There you have it! Bake at 270 degrees F for fifteen minutes and presto, a custom button. I plan to finish it off with a glossy coat of ye olde Rusoleum Crystal Clear Enamel, but like I said, it’s snowing, and I know from past experience that subzero temperatures make my Rustoleum Crystal Clear not so crystal, nor clear. Alas. I will have to finish Flora a warmer day.

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