These necklaces are great for petite necklines and people who want something subtle and buttony. They also make good presents for children, who can wear them as a longer necklace when they are small (I’d suggest around age 8 and up) but also continue to wear them as they grow, as they still fit as a shorter necklace on an adult.
The buttons used to make these necklaces are usually between 8 – 11mm across, and the necklaces measure around 45cm (exact lengths are specified on individual listings).
You can browse my button necklace collection here.
At the moment I’m doing some using-up-of-leftover-materials from previous projects (as with my upcycled bead bracelets) and next in the queue was my box of felt beads. Previously I’ve made big batches of identical necklaces, but with the odd ones left over, over the past couple of days, I’ve made the first few of some one-of-a-kind felt necklaces. There are some more lying in a big fuzzy pile on my workbench waiting to have their clasps put on, but these three are finished and available to buy at Unexpected Boutique’s felt necklaces page.
My newest limited edition button necklaces are all made with woven cord, and sterling silver findings. For these ones I’ve made more than one in each design, so they’re identical, limited edition runs of just five pieces each. I had several cards of identical vintage buttons, usually with around five buttons, so once I’d collected enough of these, it was just a case of putting the design together and then doing the weaving and knotting part, over and over until they were all safely knotted together (I normally do this fairly quickly in case the buttons spill everywhere).
Most recently I’ve been making my button necklaces using various cords and weaving or stitching techniques. The first time I ever saw someone wearing a necklace made with buttons (which inspired me to make one for my friend’s birthday, then for myself, and then – well, the rest of this story is here, so I won’t repeat it right now) it was actually quite unlike the first button necklaces I made. It was made with small buttons, all the same size, woven together with cord. But when I sat down to make button necklaces, my first button necklace design used wire, and all kinds of different sized buttons, like this pink button necklace here:
I haven’t stopped making necklaces in this style (you can see some of my current colour schemes in my necklace section here) but I have been experimenting with different ways to join buttons together to make jewellery – I’ve made button charm necklaces and bracelets using lots of buttons attached to chains (which are more jangly); long-length button necklaces which are reversible, so that as they move and flip over the necklace still looks good; tapered necklaces made with thick cord knotted strongly so that the buttons don’t turn over; and also some slim, lightweight button necklaces a bit like the one I first saw someone wearing.
The buttons in these necklaces are tiny and light, so they don’t need such a thick cord to keep them in place and stop them turning over. They are woven to stay in a straight line, using a strong but fairly thin nylon cord. They are made to rest gently on or just below the collarbone, and they’re especially good for people of more of a petite build. I’ve sometimes had requests in my bespoke button jewellery service for necklaces that are made with smaller buttons, because smaller people in chunky jewellery report sometimes feeling as though the necklace is wearing them, rather than the reverse. So now I’ve included these slimmer necklaces in my “regular” section. So far I only have a few colour schemes ready-made, but if you’d like a necklace like these in any other colours, I can make them with different coloured buttons as a bespoke order. These ones use silver-plated findings, but if sterling silver is more your things, that’s fine too – it just costs a little extra.
UPDATE: These have all been sold now, but you can get “lucky dip” unique, bright coloured necklaces from my new listing here. What’s more, the more you buy, the more you save – great for stocking up on gifts…
Here are some of my recent bright button necklace designs. Each is unique, made with vintage buttons and multistrand wire. Some of these have already sold, but there are a few left, which are for sale on my button necklaces page.
My new premium button jewellery collection is now available. These button necklaces, bracelets and earrings are the first few in a series of one-of-a-kind pieces that I’ve been working on over the past few months. The button necklaces are different to most of my others in that they are made with thread rather than wire, and they are double-sided and reversible.
One of the most common problems with thread-based button jewellery is that the buttons sometimes turn over – it’s quite difficult to get them to lie flat during day to day wear, because even the slightest movement can dislodge them from lying in a smooth line around the neck. These new necklaces don’t have this problem, as a slightly rotated button will simply reveal the other side of the necklace with another button on it, rather than the back of the button. My new website shows a view of both sides of each necklace, so you can see in detail exactly how each piece will look.
The other week I was out for some food with friends, and one of them asked me to make her a necklace a bit like the one I was wearing. I don’t make many necklaces like this one, because they take much longer to make than my other jewellery as they’re a bit more complex and fiddly. But I do like making these occasionally, and would like to develop a range of them at some point. They’re made on thread rather than wire, and they’re reversible as they have extra buttons on the back, so if you’re feeling particularly active you don’t need to worry about your necklace ending up backwards – there is no backwards.
My friend Mel said she wears mostly blue and green, so the necklace is mixture of vintage buttons in different blues, greens and neutrals. It’s finished with sterling silver findings. The larger buttons on this one are all around 16mm across, and the total length is just under 50cm. If you’re interested in commissioning a necklace a bit like this (whatever colour scheme and length you fancy), prices start at £35 – get in touch and I’ll see what I can do…
Most of the button necklaces I make are short, choker style pieces, which are made on a wire to hold the buttons flat in place against the neck.
However, over the years I’ve had lots of requests for longer button necklaces. Making longer styles with wire doesn’t really work as the wire gets bent and tangled without a neckline to rest on. So I make long button necklaces using a strong nylon cord. The trouble is, with a normal method of button threading, it’s easy for the buttons to get flipped over when they’re on a long cord, so unless the wearer sits quite still, it’s easy for some of the buttons to end up backwards.
Fortunately, I have devised a Cunning Plan. (Even more fortunately, it does not involve a turnip.)
When I make my longer button necklaces, I make them completely reversible. Small buttons are layered on top of larger buttons on both sides, so that the button cluster looks the same no matter which round it is – simple! In between the button clusters I’ve added beads for a bit of variety, too.
At the moment I have two colour schemes for sale at buttonjewellery.co.uk: bright multicoloured, and ivory.