The Button Jar
Since I was a child I loved my mother’s button jars, they were so exciting and in our house they were colour coded. There was the white jar which contained the shirt buttons, snipped from exhausted shirts worn to within an inch of their lives with turned collars and cuffs and strung together for re-use and then my favourites, the dainty Mother of Pearl buttons, that caught the light and sparkled. Then there was the bigger jar with huge coat and jacket buttons, in forbidding hues of navy, black and brown with horn buttons thrown in for light relief. And finally, my favourite the oddities, they were the bright shiny buttons, or the small delicate jobs shaped like flowers and I even seem to remember a few stray RAF buttons removed from my father’s Greatcoat.
Before my mother died she joked, “I’m not worried about making a will as I know that you two have got the contents of the house divvied up down to the button jars!”
So I thought we would make a practical and personal gift this week – a button jar with handmade buttons. You will need:
A heavy drill cotton scrap – eg, Ticking
Glue gun (well now I have one I should practice with it!)
6 Self covering buttons
Contrasting fabric scrap
Iron on fabric paints – or
Pencil or fabric marking pen
Now using a double thread, tie a knot in the end and starting from the back of the fabric, make small running stitches about 1/4" from the edge. Bundle up your stuffing and place it on top of the metal disc and capture the with your fabric... don't pull the fabric tight until you are happy with amount of your stuffing, ie will it be able to hold needles and pins but not too full that you cannot get the screw band over it. Now pull your thread tightly and sew off with a very firm couple of stitches.
Using the other circle, repeat the gathering process and place the cardboard circle in the centre, gather up the fabric around it and fasten off securely. Now you can either glue the cardboard circle to the lid or whipstitch the two together - whipstitch is a simple over sewing stitch to join two seams together.
Let's say that your button is an inch wide, then draw a circle that is 1.5" in radius, draw six circles like this quite closely to each other and don't cut them out as we are going to stretch them over an embroidery hoop... I said DON'T cut them out, *tuts*
Now you have two choices, if you don't enjoy embroidery use your paints to creat a simple design on the fabric... I am the least artistic person you can meet so I will have go with needle and thread. Let you imagination run riot... flowers, animals, shapes, letters, just go for it.
Carefully cut out your finished circles and with your doubled up thread sew a 1/4" from the edge, place the button in the centre and draw the fabric up.
Now this is the fiddly bit, gently place the back cover over the button shank and push home firmly, you are allowed to swear quietly if the back cover pings off, this will happen about 50% of the time, it's the law!
Cut out a square of cardboard and using a large sharp needle, sew a couple of stitches to attach the button to the card. If you have a compliant printer, print up some suitable wording to put on the card.
So there you have it a day to day button jar with everything you need for a button emergency... and something for your children to fight over when you go!
And now for the really good stuff, pop over to Wendy's Homemade Monday and don't forget to leave a comment. Have a great week :)