My little sister paid me a quick and unexpected visit last week. The weather here has been kinda crummy and I've been a bit under the weather, so having her here was a real treat. Dark weather combined with being under the weather (har har) left me feeling like staying home instead of doing the usual things one does when one has out-of-town company, like window shopping and going to the movies. Instead, we stayed in out pajamas all day and turned to my craft supply to keep us amused.
First we took my button collection from its storage bins and put the buttons into various jars that I've collected from tag sales and thrift stores. Somehow, over the course of my lifetime I've managed to stash away 58 pounds of loose buttons. I buy buttons at flea markets, yard sales, and from eBay. I seek them out on Freecycle and I've been lucky enough to score them from friend's parents' basements and attics. I really love buttons. You know that scene in Amélie where she is pushing her hand in the sack of beans because she likes it? I'm like that except my beans are buttons.
I took these photos with my iPhone — not thinking I would ever share them with the public, so please excuse them.
Here are a couple of big jars full of buttons. I put a little jam jar in the shot for size comparison.
So what is a girl to do with all of these buttons? My sister and I turned to my craft book shelf where, luckily I had a copy of Susan Beal's Button It Up: 80 Amazing Vintage Button Projects for Necklaces, Bracelets, Embellishments, Housewares and More.
Have you seen this book yet? It is chock full of lots of crazy good button projects. Everything from a button-covered tree to necklaces to home decor projects! It was hard to choose what we were going to make. I was all about the button tree, but didn't have the right stick pins and since we weren't leaving the house, we had to work with the supplies we had on hand so we chose to make the owl button pillows. You can find the detailed instructions for making the pillows on page 163.
I happened to have some wool felt around from a holiday project I never got around to doing, but you could use any fabric really. These little guys would look good made out of an old cotton shirt, a dish towel that you no longer need, or a piece of fabric that is too small to do something "big" with. You could even use different fabrics for the front and back of the owl. In the book, Susan covers buttons with fabric, but we didn't do that here. This was a quick project, both pillows took us an afternoon to make, including hot chocolate and puppy petting breaks.
There is a website for the book, too. Look at those owl ornaments! Eek! I guess I know what my sister and I will be making the next time she visits!
What are some of your go-to craft books when you need a quick crafty fix?