That was the theme for this month's Wonder and Whimsy challenge. I have so many of them, after all... I figured it was about time that I actually started using them! :)
Now, I need to be honest with you: this month, I went into over-achieving mode. I have six necklaces to share for this reveal.
However--and again, just being honest--I should also note that I'm not completely happy with some of them. They all look lovely, but the buttons are so much lighter than I am accustomed to, and I didn't quite get the weight quite right on a few of them. Lesson learned! I'm still proud of what I accomplished and learned... and am still tweaking the ones that don't quite work. And who knows? There might be a Part 2 to this challenge at some later time!
Okay! Now that that's out of the way, it's time to share the pretties. Without further ado, here is what I made!
For this first necklace, I thought it would be fun to use the buttons like disc beads. I used a handful of vintage beads from the button jar pictured above, which I cleaned off and strung on waxed linen. I added spacer beads and chain for extra interest.
Now, I was hoping that the black linen would make some of the darker buttons pop. Looking at it now, I think I should have gone for a lighter brown instead. The overall effect isn't bad--just something to keep in mind for next time. After all, I have quite a few more of those buttons, so I have lots of room to keep playing around... and I certainly haven't exhausted the possibilities of using buttons as discs!
For this next necklace, I decided to embrace the complete button-ness of the buttons. Instead of using them like flat disc beads, I laid them button-side-up and wire-wrapped them as links. I then combined them with a random assortment of wood, Czech glass, vintage acrylic, agate coins, and ceramic. (Woo, I was able to be asymmetric!)
This necklace can be worn with the toggle clasp in the back, or on the side. I'm still playing around with the weight on this one (the ceramic bead is being particularly problematic), but I love the combination of browns and tans... and I really like the way that the buttons look, wire-wrapped the way that they are.
After having success with the wire-wrapped links in the previous necklace, I decided to take it one step further: wire-wrapping the button as a pendant. I picked a nice-size button and some coordinating beads, and this what I came up with:
Now, this is one of the necklaces where the weight works out nicely. The button is light, but so are the other components. The coordinating beads are mostly wood, with small bits of Czech glass and shell added in, which means that the necklace itself is well-balanced. I love the combination of browns and golds--and, due to its light weight, it's perfect for summer.
...You may now start to notice a theme. Heh. I started to get addicted to wire-wrapping button pendants, so I moved on to this one.
I'm honestly not sure about the material or age of the button, but it has a beautiful mother-of-pearl sheen to it. And so, I paired it with mother-of-pearl barrel beads, goldtone metal, and glass. Because of the dangle, the weight of this necklace is perfect--it is definitely one of my favorites. And, what can I say--I'm a sucker for an elegant white-and-gold necklace. :)
And here we have another wire-wrapped button pendant! (I told you that you might start to notice a theme.) This particular button is a steampunk-themed button that I picked up on clearance at a fabric store. I wire-wrapped it, added a tassel, and then hung it on a silver-beaded chain that I salvaged from an older project I never finished.
...This is actually one of my least favorites of the necklaces I made for this challenge. While I really like the way that it looks, it just doesn't hang right. Gah! The pendant isn't heavy enough to match the rest of the beads, the beaded chain is slightly wonky, the tassel isn't the right weight or length. This is actually the 5th draft of this necklace. Ah well--I'm sure I'll get it perfect one of these days. Until then--at least it looks nice! :)
All right... while the previous necklace was one of my least favorites of this reveal, this next one is my definite favorite. Hands down.
Granted, it had a bit of an advantage going in... You see, it all started with the above button--a beautiful artisan-made dichroic glass button I picked up about 10 years ago. At the time, my beading skills weren't where they are today, and the design I made with it was not the best. (You'll notice the glue residue--I cringe now, but at the time I didn't know any better.) So, I freed the button from its previous home, and got to work:
That's right. I brought out the wire-weaving... and made this:
...Which I then turned in to this:
I'm so excited that the wire-weaving hides the glue residue that I couldn't get off the front! And I'm also excited that I found beads to match the button so perfectly. For the rest of the necklace, I used glass: iridescent glass, regular glass, matte glass.
And, since it is all glass, the weight and balance problems that have plagued my other button creations are completely non-issues. It hangs exactly where it's supposed to, and is not so light that it keeps shifting, or so heavy that it feels like a brick around your neck.
In short, I'm over the moon with how this one turned out!
...Here, have another picture:
So, there you go! Those are the necklaces that I made for this reveal. Thanks so much for stopping by today to see what I made--and for journeying with me through my trials and tribulations of button-use. Hah! I definitely see myself adding more buttons into my designs in the future... especially if they're beautiful dichroic glass! :)
Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! Stay creative!