Friday, January 13, 2012

Sweet Home Button Sign

A few months ago, I was browsing around on Pinterest (my new favorite online addiction) and I noticed that button art was trending.

This was my inspiration.  I loved the look of the buttons on the gorgeous fabric print.

Keeping this beauty in mind I started thinking through how I could make something like this work on a larger scale for our "living area" in our town home.  To clarify, I refer to the middle floor of our house as the living area.  Basically it's one open space that we use both as a living room and our dining area where we eat all our meals.  I struggle all the time with how to define the two spaces and the design just kills me.  I have one very large wall that the living room and dining area share that particularly makes me bonkers.  

Prior to this point I had a large piece of framed art (an oil painting of three potted orchids) hanging on the wall above the couch.  One day I was looking at it and the plan all came together.  

Step one.  I bought 1 yard of this fabric at JoAnns and using my handy JoAnns cell phone app I got it for 50% off so it was only 3.99.  I also bought 5 packages of the cranberry colored Favorite Findings Basic Buttons in assorted sizes.  Each package came with 130 buttons.


Step two.  I fired up my trusty hot glue gun and wrapped the fabric around the existing board that the orchid painting was on.  I glued and tugged to make it tight being very careful to keep the print as centered as I could.

Step three.  I started laying out the buttons (without glue) trying to decide which type of lettering I wanted.  I even polled my Facebook friends.  The almost unanimous choice was the block style lettering.

Step four.  Without any gluing I started laying out the buttons to form the word 'home'.  I know now I could have used a pattern or traced the word on there lightly, but I (like to do things the hard way) felt that was the most organic way to do it at the time.  It wouldn't have been so painstaking except that there were a few times I bumped the board and sent hundreds of hand placed buttons sliding.  Also, I would like to point out that I used 575 of the 650 buttons I purchased which leaves me some extras to replace them if little hands should pry one off (which has already happened once).  I thought when I bought them I was buying too many, but turns out I had just enough.

Step five.  Once I had it centered on the board I started picking up buttons and gluing them on one by one with hot glue.  I burned myself a few (or five hundred) times.  This was mind numbing work, but I did it while watching Real Housewives so it wasn't too bad.  Then I decided that I wanted mine to have a more layered look than my inspiration piece so I went back a second time and one by one glued one more layer of buttons on top of the buttons.  This was easier, but I did spend some time trying to variegate the sizes and sheens of the buttons to get the right look.

Step six.  The old frame was pretty with lots of detailed carving, but it was gold.  So I got my trusty Rustoleum out and gave it two coats of antique gloss white.  Then I sanded it a bit to make it look "distressed" which is the word I always come across on design blogs these days.

Step seven.  You could stop at step six and have a beautiful piece of button artwork, but once I hung mine up I just felt like there was something missing.  After lots of thought and a few other tries with embroidery floss and vinyl I finally came upon some crafting wire at JoAnns that was the same cranberry color as the buttons.  Using a pair of needle nose pliers I freehand scripted the word 'sweet' to hang.  I used just the tiniest bit of hot glue to stick the word on the fabric.

Now that it's complete I love it and it only cost me about $15 to make it if you factor in a bag of hot glue sticks and the spray paint for the frame.  And it always makes me smile when I see it.


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