Button Art

Some interesting art has been made using buttons. Ran Hwang creates beautiful wall installations with them; Lisa Kokin makes pixilated compositions by stitching them together; Jane Perkins likes to transform found objects like buttons into something new; and Shishua Vang works them into her paintings. We’ll also be making some cool button art, filled with bright colours and interesting textures.

Materials

  • chicken wire
  • wire cutters
  • needle nose pliers
  • Plaster of Paris bandages
  • scissors
  • container with water
  • chopsticks (optional)
  • acrylic paint
  • paint brushes
  • buttons
  • glue gun

Instructions

1. Chicken wire provides a great base for making sculptures, however, preparing it is best left to adults or older children because of the sharp edges. Decide on the size you want, and cut a section using wire cutters, making sure to bend any pointy parts towards the back using pliers. To make the shape more interesting, bend it to create peaks and valleys. You may also want to weave objects through it like chopsticks, in order to add additional areas for the plaster bandage to rest on.

2. Plaster of Paris bandage rolls are available in art supply and medical supply stores. Cut the bandages into manageable strips and dip each one into water before laying it onto the wire base. Continue until it is completely covered, wrapping it around any sharp edges that might remain. Bumps and creases will make it more interesting once dry, so don’t worry about trying to make it smooth. Allow to dry overnight.

3. Sort the buttons to get an idea of what colours you have. Now paint the plaster base using acrylic paints in colours similar to the buttons. Allow to dry.

4. Once the paint has dried, use a glue gun to add buttons. If you’re dealing with young children, have them point to where they want each button so an adult can glue them on. Budding young artists can then sit back and admire their work.

The painting below provided inspiration for this project. The artist, Shishua Vang, embedded buttons in thick layers of paint, creating a beautiful button landscape.

His Promise by Shishua Vang

Closeup of His Promise by Shishua Vang, from the OCAD Grad Show 2012

48 Comments

Filed under buttons, plaster, sculpture

48 responses to “Button Art

  1. Just discovered your blog and it’s fantastic. Wonderful images and ideas. It helps, I guess, that I do something quite similar and declare you to be an inspiration.

    • What a lovely thing to say. Thanks so much Paula! Blogging is obviously very satisfying, but deep down I do hope that some of the ideas I post actually get made, or at least provide some kind of inspiration to create. So hearing you say that feels amazing!

  2. You are so talented! I love your blog and its design. You see, I am not arty at all, but I couldn’t help warming up to all you fantastic idea!

    • Thank you so much! I’m loving the stories on your blog. My family has a connection to both France and England, so I’m really enjoying your wonderful observations, frustrations and humour.

  3. I love buttons in any shape or form. I once bought half a pick-up truck load from a sewing factory going out of business. I think you are very inspirational! Came over from Sweet Sharing Monday.

    Distressed Donna Down Home

  4. I love the buttons and all the fun colors! So fun!

  5. Just came over from Blackberry Vine. Your are very talented!

  6. I love this! It is so colorful…and I love color! :-) Found you from Terrific Tuesdays.

  7. Excellent project. I have so many buttons because my grandmother many years ago worked at a button shop. What a great use for them. Thanks for linking up to TheStuffofSuccess – I am also following you back.
    Thanks
    Athena

  8. this looks awesome. Any time I see super cool arty stuff the link brings me back here to you

  9. What a beautiful rainbow of buttons! So pretty!

  10. Wow! This is amazing!

    I would love for you to link this to my Flaunt It Friday link party! Also, follow my new blog Blissful Bucket List! :)

    http://www.blissfulbucketlist.com/

  11. That is so pretty! I love how colorful it is. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Please come by my new blog hop. I would be honored if you would link up this project!

  12. such a funky and cool idea, although I wouldnt know where to find all those buttons, lol

    • Thanks Nicki. Seems I lucked out. Years ago, I went to a sale at a textile museum and got a bag of them for next to nothing. More recently, I picked up a bag at Zellers for a few dollars, so it really didn’t end up costing too much. Now, what to do with the rest of them…

  13. Wow! When I first saw the artwork, I would never have guessed that you used materials as simple as chicken wire and plaster of paris bandages!

  14. I love it! I’m pinning it to my “button love” board on Pinterest :)

    Shasta @InTheOldRoad

  15. This is simply gorgeous! :D

  16. So colourful. Love it!

  17. zoechaos

    WOW eye poppingly amazing had to Pin It hope that’s OK. XOXO Zoe

  18. Thanks for linking with me at Wow Us Wednesday!

  19. This is absolutely beautiful! The colors are so vibrant! Truly beautiful!

    Thanks for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer… From Dream To Reality!

  20. amy

    WOW! that is so crazy-cool! Love it! Thanks for sharing at Shine on Fridays this week!

  21. Love this art! I love all the vibrant colors. Thanks so much for stopping by Creative Thursday last week. I couldn’t do these parties without you. Can’t wait to see what you link up this week. Have a great week.
    Michelle

  22. Thank you for participating in Show Your Stuff Blog Hop, You are invited to come back:

    http://juliejewels1.blogspot.com/2012/06/show-your-stuff-29-mini-cherry.html

  23. What a wonderful idea!! I love all the button artwork. Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

  24. Pingback: Lovely Crafty Weekend #78

  25. Wow, this is so creative and unique! The colors are amazing!

  26. Who doesn’t love some buttons? I know I do.

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