For a while I’ve been pondering the idea of making a button necklace that doesn’t use any metal parts. There are two reasons – one is that lots of people are sensitive to metals, and while I mostly use surgical steel fitting these days, which a lot of people are all right with, it doesn’t cover everyone. The other reason is that using any metal at all has an environmental impact. This is something I think about a lot, particularly given that jewellery is, if we’re honest, rather a non-essential frippery. I am working to improve on my overall environmental impact in running a jewellery making business, although it’s a slow, complicated process from where I am at the moment and deserves a whole post of its own (hopefully someday soon…).
On with the necklaces! These are the first few colour schemes I’ve made, and there’s also the option of choosing your own colours on my custom button jewellery page. The maximum length of these necklaces is 65cm, and from there they can be adjusted to any length down to as tight as is comfortable around your neck, as a choker. The knotted clasp holds the threads in place, or you can tie them up for extra security at the back if you prefer.
You can see the whole collection in my online shop here.
More custom button necklaces! I’ve made two different variations on my chunky cord button necklaces, which are normally a medium length (around 46 – 56cm). This week, one person wanted extra long necklaces at 75cm, and someone else (separately) wanted a short choker at 37cm.
If you’re looking for a custom button necklace like these – or one that’s a different length – you can get in touch here.
Back in February, I got a message from Heather in Lincolnshire. She had recently lost a favourite button necklace, which wasn’t one that I’d made – it was slightly different. The main difference was that it was one continuous piece, with no clasp, which she preferred because she is sensitive to metals. Given that there was no clasp, it was also slightly longer than most of the necklaces I make, so that it could fit over a person’s head to put it on. The colour scheme was also a bit different to any single one of my regular ones – Heather described it as a combination of my autumn colours necklace and vintage summer pastels necklace.
She asked if I could recreate this lost necklace – and thanks to her detailed description, I was able to make something that she said was very close to it. This is what it looked like:
Heather got in touch again last week and told me she’s still wearing it almost every day. She had a new commission for me too – she’d raided her mum’s button tin and wanted me to make another necklace using the buttons. So she posted them to me, and once they arrived, I made another one in the same style.
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.