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Posted on Sep 5, 2013 | 0 comments

Button Wreaths: What To Do With All Those Extra Buttons You’re Saving For No Good Reason!

Admit it: you’ve got a stash of extra buttons. (If you don’t, just pretend like you do so I feel better). They may be stuffed here and there, lost to the recesses of your closet, or they may be neatly contained in a beautiful jar labeled in a color complimentary to your bedroom decor.

Either way, you can’t get rid of them. It matters not that you don’t own thread. Or a needle. You just know for certain you will need one of these buttons, someday. Then, when you lose a button (once a decade), you don’t remember you even have an extra one. You make due without the button, have your dry cleaner sew on a new one, or discard the garment. It was time for a new shirt anyway.

Your stash is disproportionately large to the number of clothes in your closet. You’ve got buttons from 1983. You’ve got buttons to clothes you donated years ago, and you’ve got buttons you have absolutely no idea what garment they belong(ed) to. But, still, you keep them. You never know.

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Well, I’ve got a solution to your problem. (Or is it just my problem? Never mind, don’t tell me.) You can turn all those buttons into a project for your kids! That way, those loyal, patient buttons are doing something useful, so you feel better about ejecting them from your closet. They may not ever live on your clothing again, but they will live.

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I love this project. This is repurposing at it’s best! I got the idea from Our Family World, via 5 Minutes for Mom. They have a list of 10 Rainy Day Activities for Preschoolers that are doable, considering you’ve got, well, preschoolers. This idea is cheap and easy which, as you know from my Lava Lamp project, are two keys to my doing anything interactive with my kids besides gently encouraging them to go the heck outside, already.

Our Family World says these can be used as actual gifts. You can spray paint the buttons the same color, choose decorative ribbons, and generally make them purty. My two-year-old tends to destroy anything he creates within ten minutes, so I have learned not to even dream of making keepsakes. These are strictly pasttimes. If you get something nice out of it, that’s a bonus! It would make a sweet gift to a grandparent. (Like this. Or this). Just don’t stash it back in your closet for Christmas and forget about it for another decade.

 

It goes without saying, but I’m a mom so I’m gonna say it anyway: Buttons are small. Kids are curious. Watch both carefully.

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Start with some pipe cleaners. Two interesting facts about these fuzzy wires: 1) They don’t look like it, but they are skinny enough to squeeze through any buttonhole. 2) You can cut them to size with regular household scissors. You don’t need wire cutters. Which is good, because that would be way too advanced for me.

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Unearth your buttons. You can separate them into color piles if you like that sort of thing and also enjoy seeing them all mushed back together within four seconds by your child.

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Then, you just string up your buttons, in whatever pattern is appealing to you. Chances are, young children will give absolutely no thought to the aesthetics of color and size so, if you are going for gifts, you may consider buying a bunch of buttons in seasonal colors or coordinating shades.

 

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I suppose it’s good for hand-eye coordination and a whole mess of other developmental milestones. They just thought it was fun.

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When you’re finished, wrap the ends of the pipe cleaner around themselves and shape your wreath into a circle.

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Add a ribbon, if you like.

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It’s a good time to organize your ribbon box.

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Your child will help you with this by dumping all your ribbons onto the floor. Isn’t he helpful?

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Soon, your child will tire of the process, ask his brother to do his wreath for him, and commence hiding his buttons inside a silly putty egg.
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These are the finished products.

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Not bad for a day’s play.

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