I wanted to share with you a pretty DIY I shared on Hometalk. Creating a family keepsake or special gift using vintage buttons, a little sparkle, a burlap backdrop and a pretty frame. Yes…please!
First things first, and the fun part is choosing what you want your message to say. Typically one word, (Home, Love) a date (your wedding date, a birth date), an initial or even a heart work best. Then onto choosing what and how you would like to display your message. Depending upon what is going inside, you can use a rectangle, square a circle or oval frame.
I like a lot of pretty and a lot of detail.
I’ve always had a thing for vintage frames, whether wood or metal. They are always filled with so many pretty details and try to use them as often as I can. Not to say though that this project won’t look just as charming in a new or more simple frame.
Depending upon your style and what look you are going for, the painting part is all about personal preference. This is where you can personalize this to fit your style. I like to keep things on the neutral side so always opt for a bit of a white wash. It doesn’t take much paint to weather your frame so a small bottle will do. These small paint bottles are always under a $1.00 and go a long way. I also stock up on the sample containers of paint from my local Home Depot or Lowes to keep on hand. Head over to the returned paint section that is usually right near the paint counter and you can sometimes get these containers for as low as $.59!
Unless you want full coverage, I recommend brushing on several light layers of paint. In the end again depending on your style you can leave it painted as it is or grab a piece of sand paper to give it a light distressing. The light sanding brings out the pretty details and lends even more to the vintage look
I’ve always been a huge fan of burlap. It has beautiful texture, makes a great back drop for many projects and it’s a wonderful fabric that blends with so many styles. You can find many different colors and variations, but for this project I like the standard shade of burlap. It has an earthy feel and the vintage buttons, especially the mother of pearl stand out nicely.
I usually cut the burlap a bit larger than the frame so you have a little room for error or if the burlap should start to fray. At the end of the project you will trim it down to size and fit in your frame. I also cut a piece of cardboard that will go under the burlap and serve as a flat surface for your message. Keep the cardboard under your burlap during this project for support. You will also trim the cardboard down to size at the end along with the burlap.
And now for the pretty part! I so love vintage buttons ( who am I kidding, I just love buttons!). There are so many pretty buttons these days if you can’t find the vintage ones though. I even snip them from damaged clothing that we no longer wear and keep them for projects down the road. It’s a sweet way to use buttons from your entire family. I use the neutral ones, but you can get really creative here and pick a color that fits your style. I’ve done a few in the past where I’ve used varying shades of one color and it looks so pretty.
I add a bit of sparkle to each of mine, but again that’s all about personal preference. I like the basic clear rhinestone, but colored rhinestones would really pop off of the burlap as well! Rhinestones not your thing, you can add a pretty flower, butterfly or a broken piece of jewelry you have on hand. The buttons are pretty on their own and will look just as nice without the rhinestones though.
After choosing your buttons you are going to lay them out for size on the burlap. I always keep the frame near by so I can judge how my message will look inside. (Reminder: keep the cardboard under your burlap for support and keep the project on a flat surface). You can go pretty and mix up the lettering or stick to the basics. Either way have fun! Play around with them until you get the look you want.
After all of your buttons have been laid down on the burlap you can either glue them down or hand stitch each button (my personal preference). Hand sewing is super relaxing to me and I really love the way the thread looks in the buttons. It’s another mix of texture and will keep the buttons super secure especially if it’s something you want to pass down to generations.
▪ If you are planning on stitching in each button: Place a tiny drop of glue on the back of the button, just enough to hold it secure so you can sew the buttons without them falling off the burlap. Do not cover the button holes with the glue. It will make it hard to push the needle and thread through.
▪ If you do not want to hand stitch the buttons (the buttons will stay intact without the thread): Place enough glue on the back of each button to hold it secure the the burlap.
This part can be a little tricky. Try to go slow and only pick up one button at a time without disturbing the remaining buttons. Sometimes it works better to use a toothpick to pick up each button, dab on the glue with a toothpick and place back down.
Once all of your buttons have been glued, allow the glue to dry so you can either stitch them down or move to the next step.
Size and cut your cardboard to fit into whichever frame you chose before moving on.
The photo doesn’t show the glued/stitched buttons, but after your buttons have been glued or stitched onto the burlap, you are going to glue down the finished burlap message to your cardboard. Make sure you know where you want your message to be centered. then glue down the burlap to the cardboard and let dry. Once the glue has dried you can trim the excess burlap and slide the burlap/cardboard into your frame. If you have the original backing to the frame, slide this in as well.
A lot of times with vintage frames the backs are ruined but you can fill in the excess space with layers of additional cardboard, chipboard or similar material. I like the back to be just as pretty (definitely not necessary though), so like to use pieces of wallpaper or pretty papers that I have leftover. I wanted this one to hang on the wall so created a small hook on top, but you can purchase the hooks as well and just secure to the back.
And there you have it! A personalized keepsake for your home or to pass on to someone special! It’s a fun project that doesn’t take too much time or money, but the outcome is so so pretty!
So hoping this has inspired you to pull out some of those buttons you’ve been storing up and create one of your own! And hooping you don’t already to stop over at Hometalk for more creative ideas! I’d love to hear back from you if you create one of your own and would be even happier to see your finished keepsake!