They’re hitting tack-, cork- and pinboards (and soon-to-be ponytails) from coast to coast—at least that’s what we figure because they’re so cute. Fabric-covered buttons are all the rage, and so fun and easy and affordable to make, that it’s seriously addictive. Better, we found that they open doors for loads of little would-be doodads for friends and coworkers.
We saw fabric-covered thumbtacks on several blogs and traced them to what we think are their origins. We took Jessica’s tutorial one step further to include larger buttons (for larger pins) and—enter genius idea, if we do say so ourselves—the cutest, fabric-covered elastics, and also, stylish magnets.
We’ll start with a tutorial on fabric-covered thumbtacks:
First, you’ll need a “Buttons To Cover” kit—usually $1-$2 at most craft stores. We spotted them at Hancock Fabrics and JoAnn’s, though the brands vary. You’ll need size “20″ buttons to cover typical, fingernail-sized thumbtacks. We also hunted down larger “Quilter’s Thumbtacks” (spied at Robert’s) to make larger, more-fun pushpins. To cover those, you will need to buy a size “30″ button kit. The quilter’s thumbtack should fit inside the button perfectly.
Using the pattern provided with the kit, trace circles onto the fabric you want to use. Be creative: We used old napkins and tablecloths from Maeve’s grandmother along with some quilting squares picked up at local fabric stores. Then cut out the circles.
You’ll also need to employ a pair of needlenose pliers to remove the loops on the backs of the button-backing pieces. If you squeeze the loop together until it folds and then twist lightly, the loop removes pretty easily.
Follow the directions on the back of the package and the image links above (from left to right) to make your own thumbtacks. It’s a cinch, and so much fun. You’ll use the tools provided with the kit to cover the buttons and secure their now-loopless backs. Then use a high-temp glue gun to attach thumbtacks to the backsides of the buttons. Ta da! A perfect gift for your cubicle-mate.
To make your own fabric-covered bobbin elastics:
To make these little sayonara-bad-hair-day elastics, you’ll follow the same instructions above, only don’t remove the loops on the button-backing pieces. You’ll need them to tie your elastics through.
Your ponytail bobbin will look best if you buy a larger button-covering kit than size 20. We used size 30. Once your buttons are covered in fabric, simply pull the elastic through the loop, and then pull the elastic through itself. You can use just one button to decorate the everyday elastic, or secure two buttons on either end of the elastic and wrap it around your ponytail like you used to when you were a wee one.
Other ideas: Secure a mini magnet to the back of the button to further personalize your fridge door, or actually use the buttons as they were intended to spiff-up a getting-old top. If you come up with any other ideas of your own, tell us about it, and send us photos. We’ll be sure to share your brilliance with everyone else. We can’t wait to see what you come up with.