3/31/12

Paper Button Tutorial




This tutorial blog hop is brought to you by STITCHED - online video workshops with over 20 projects using fabric and stitch in innovative ways. This is one of the stops on our spring Tutorial Blog Hop...be sure to visit the rest of the links below for all the free goodies!

I'll be giving away my paper button bracelet cuff (pictured below) on March 30, 2012. Cindy of Guilt and Orangery--you're the winner! 

Paper buttons are a riff on paper beads, which I have been making for many years. You can find full instructions for paper beads in Stitch Alchemy. You can use your paper buttons on jewelry like bracelets (glued on with e-6000), fabric necklaces (stitched and beaded on ribbon), and mini quilts like my small house quilt (stitched and beaded onto the quilt top).

 


The basic instructions are detailed below and I've included a brief video demonstration so you can better see the actual process of embossing the buttons.


First, gather some supplies:

 
-old book text
-glue stick
-scissors
-markers
-awl
-wooden skewer
-boss gloss (embossing fluid or stamp pad)
-clear UTEE
-heat gun
-opt. gold/silver and other colors UTEE
Begin by glueing three sheets of book text together. Then trim off the edges outside the text--you don't need this part.

Decide what size circles you want for your buttons and cut them out of the text sheet. I freehand cut my circles, but you can use a circle cutter if you'd like! Cut a bunch all at once.


Get out your markers and color the circles fanciful and spritely colors. I'm using art markers, but you can get creative here. Watercolor, crayons and the like should work.

Here's the tricky part and you can view the video if you'd like to see it first hand. Poke a hole in the center of your paper button, using an awl or sharp pointy thing. Get the button wet with embossing fluid. Here I'm using Boss Gloss in a dabber bottle and also an embossing pad underneath. Get one side juicy wet and then the other. Poke the button onto the pointed end of a skewer and roll it in some clear ultra thick embossing enamel (UTEE).  Roll it around so it coats both sides.


Now, hold the coated button in front of a heat gun or embossing gun until the UTEE melts...then quickly redip it in enamel and heat it again. The second layer of embossing enamel melts into the second layer to form a nice, thick coating of gloss. There is a foil pan underneath my heat gun, to catch all the extra UTEE that goes flying and to capture any drips. Don't overheat the button or the UTEE will begin to bubble up and drip off. Just heat it enough to melt the beads of enamel. If you'd like, you can roll the edges in gold or silver UTEE and reheat briefly. Typically I work with at least two at a time. I set one aside to cool while I am melting the next. Let your button cool for few minutes, then pop it off the end of the skewer. Voila!

 When you're done making your beads, clean them off with a soft cloth and snip off any rough edges in the center.


Enjoy playing with your paper buttons. Don't flex them too much or they might crack if they are larger. But they are water resistant and can be wiped with a damp cloth. Sew them onto art quilts and jewelry projects and have fun!

Here are the rest of the STITCHED blog hop tutorials. They are each available after the date posted. Happy Spring! Kelli

If you'd like to win the paper button bracelet at the top, please leave a comment and I will draw a random winner on March 30, 2012 and mail you the cuff!

38 comments:

  1. Check out the options for viewing the blog listed on the first tab...flipcard, mosaic, snapshot and etc. I love this new format, but please let me know if you are having any difficulty with it! Kelli

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  2. HI Kelli,

    This is such a cool project.
    Thank you for sharing.

    Alma

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  3. Those are so cool!!! I can't wait to make these! Got to get some UTEE. TY so much for the tute! I like your hair, Kelli! :)

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  4. Love the idea. I have done a lot of the beads. I will definitely have to try the buttons. Great vid, Kelli.
    Belinda

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  5. Oh, my goodness!!! I have this thing for buttons - any kind of button! I hope I win!

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  6. How fabulous!! Thanks for the tutorial and the chance to win!!

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  7. What a wonderful tutorial and love the buttons. I like how you incorporated them into your other artwork. I am going to try my hand at it. I would love to win!

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  8. Marjie3/21/2012

    How fun. I can't wait to try them! I've made paper and fabric beads, but never thought about using embossing powder to enamel them. Thanks!!

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  9. I love your paper buttons! I'd love to make some! is UTEE widely available?? (I'm in the UK)or is there an alternative? I'm off to google it!

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  10. Fabby tutorial! A new follower now and looking forward to exploring your site. What great inspiration. :)

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  11. A really nicely presented tutorial, well done.

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  12. Such happiness- those colors the book text- oh happiness! Thank you for sharing such a fabulous tutorial!!

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  13. OMG...where do you get these muses??? Fantastic! Thanks for sharing!

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  14. Audrey Bosley3/21/2012

    Great tutorial! A friend told me about the UTEE. Now I need to buy some, and the Boss Gloss too!!

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  15. Love buttons, love paper - love this. How fun...

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  16. I'm making them tonight! Oh no maybe I'll just wait and win one from you! LOL

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  17. Love these buttons. So bright and cheerful. Thank you for this opportunity.

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  18. I love the project Kelli

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  19. So interesting! I never thought to use paper for buttons. Awesome idea, very creative, very colorful!

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  20. This is JUST the kind of inspiration my muse was looking for! It will be so fun to add these to my paper bead and paper fabric projects. Thank you so much for sharing!

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    1. Hey Cindy...you are the winner and I'd love to send you the bracelet! Kelli

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  21. I can think of a pieces I have that I could embellish with paper buttons! Thnaks for showing us the technique you use.

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  22. Wy wrist is tingling with anticipation. Lovely! Your colors continue to inspire me and make me want to rush into the studio.

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  23. Wowza! Too cool. I see and embellished Easter basket in someone's future.

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  24. What a fabulous idea, one I must try, thanks for sharing :)

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  25. OOOOOOOOOO this looks like fun could see cute little flower garden!
    ANg

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  26. Most of all, I love your color sense. You have such a good eye! I would love to win the bracelet,but I'm also winning lots by participating in Stitched and learning from all the instructors.

    edie

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  27. Love these! They can even be used on mixed-media collages, or as a faux latch on the outside cover of a hand-made book (put a metal strip on the obverse side, so it attaches like a magnet). Great Idea, Kelli
    -Denise

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  28. I'd love to be randomly selected! Do you remember the "Naughty Secretary" book? I could see this technique combined with some of the ideas in that book.

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  29. I love buttons and this is so cool! Thanks for sharing.

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  30. WOW so very creative and colorful and unique. would love to be the winner of anything you create.

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  31. Have you ever ordered something to make something you saw on the internet and then when it came in... you forgot what you ordered it for? I saw this (because I'm a follower of your blog) and I immediately ordered some of the UTEE ultra thick embossing enamel. When it came in the mail I just looked at it and could not remember why I ordered it. Thank goodness I follow you on Pinterest also and I saw this and remembered. I think my memory just loves to get the better of me. I know I'm too late to enter but U just wanted to tell you my crazy story and to let you know I love everything you do. I have attended two of the CREATE retreats and this is where I saw you first. Keep putting that art out there and inspiring us all with your creativity!!

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    1. Thanks for your lovely post Sharon! I think you can find all sorts of uses for UTEE. It'll glaze all sorts of cool things. I've even done some projects on canvas where I stitched and painted and then dabbed embossing fluid on it, sprinkled utee and melted it with a heat gun. I hope you enjoy using it. I'm glad you're enjoying taking classes like those at CREATE. It's always worthwhile investing in yourself. Cheers! Kelli

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  32. Kelli -- these buttons are just great! I am going to try them out with the kids at our library. We did your beads last summer and they were a hit. I took a class with you at the first CREATE in Chicago. It was the best class. Thanks for all your ideas and inspirations.

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  33. Wow! That looks like such fun! I will have to look for some of that Boss Gloss and clear UTEE.. Thanks for this tutorial!

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  34. This will be my first time using embossing enamel, can a blow dryer on a high setting be used or is the heating gun better.

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    1. You won't be able to use anything which blows since it will blow the enamel away before it melts.

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