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Monday, July 19, 2010

Retro Button Necklace Tutorial

Somewhat recently I was at my mother-in-laws house browsing magazines. I was looking through O Magazine and saw this necklace from Lenora Dame featured. I about fell off the couch when I saw how much it cost. Look at the picture and take a guess at the price.

Did you guess $70?!? If yes, then you were correct. I couldn't believe how expensive it was! I knew that I could make my own for much, much less! Doesn't my necklace look just as good? : )

Here is the how-to:

Variety of buttons
Tiger-tail wire
2 crimp beads
2 Jump rings
Chain or ribbon

Gather your buttons. I used a variety of vintage buttons given to me by my grandma.

Cut a piece of wire the desired length of the button portion of your necklace, plus about 4 inches.

Put on a crimp bead, then a jump ring, then loop the wire back through the crimp bead. Pull it tight and squish the bead with jewelry pliers.

I decided to start with two wooden beads. They help with the retro look.

String the buttons along the wire until there is only about 2 inches of wire left. Be sure to end with the beads!

Add a crimp bead and jump ring to the wire. Just like before, loop the wire back through the crimp bead. Pull it tight, thread the extra wire down through the wooden beads, and smash the crimp bead.

Hint: If you use beads on the end that have really big openings you will have a hard time keeping the crimp bead from slipping in to the hole. Add another bead with a small hole on the end before you put on the crimp beads.

Add a chain (or ribbon) to the jump rings and a clasp at the back. That's it!

Click HERE to purchase this necklace from Yellow Blackbird!

I also made a necklace using gold chain and beads more like the Lenora Dame necklace.

Click HERE to purchase this gold necklace from Yellow Blackbird!

If you like shirt refashion projects be sure to become a follower. I have FIVE refashion projects coming up this week and next!

In addition to my favorite linky parties on the sidebar, this post will be linked up to:

TODAY'S CREATIVE BLOG (Sorry, I can't get the button to work)


The Girl Creative


Ashlee @ I'm Topsy Turvy said...

Cute! Much cheaper than in O. I'd love it if you'd link up to my topsy turvy link party tomorrow!

Laura said...

What a fabulous idea. I found your blog through "Making the World Cuter" and I just love it!!

Ashley @ Little Miss Momma said...

Ooooo, this is just the cutest necklace ever! I kinda have a thing for buttons! I bookmarked this for a future feature on my blog!


Jennifer Juniper said...

Really cute - it looks just the same :)

Allison said...

Love this I am SO doing this one! Great tutorial!

Chic Creations said...

Love, love this necklace. I so want to make one. Thanks for sharing. karie @karieschiccreations

Patricia said...

I love it--love that it is made from buttons; love that it will go with everything in a person's closet; love that you took something too expensive and made it with things you already had. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

adorable! but how do you attach the chain to the jump rings?

Bromeliad said...

Love this. I featured it this week at my DIY Fashion column.

Chic Creations said...

Love, love this necklace. I must try to make one. Thanks for sharing.

Toni said...

Ok I'm totally doing this! I love necklaces and I have about 2 tons of buttons. I'm off to get some chain and I can't wait to get started! Thank you sooo much for sharing

Rhonda said...

That is so awesome and I am definitely making this! I think I"ll use ribbon just because that's what I have readily available. YIPPEE!!

Jenn Erickson said...

Excellent tutorial! I do a lot of crafts, but am new to beading and jewelry making. I have a friend of a friend who makes some stunning button necklaces and have been wanting to try my hand at it. My step-mom recently gave me her mothers collection of vintage buttons, so now that I have your wonderful tutorial I really have no excuses!

New follower from Tater Tots and Jello. Have a great weekend! Jenn

Bec said...

Such an easy and stylish project!!! I have lots of old buttons that could go toward this.

Amy said...

So cute. Love buttons I have been collecting them since I was about 6. Have millions in jars! I will definitely be making this. Sweet job.

Katie @ Left Hand Reviews said...

I absolutely love this idea! Your necklace turned out so pretty! Thank you for sharing!

T @ The Happy Clipper said...

This is very cute! I'm posting a link on my blog right now :)

Anonymous said...

Hi! I like your design! I think it's simple but cute. I am a crafter myself and I would love to feature your designs at

Hope this is okay with you?


Aubree said...


That will be great! Thanks!


The Beading Gem said...

You've inspired me to make one for myself! Thanks for sharing. I will link in a future blog post so others can come visit! Pearl

HJC Editor said...

Hi Aubree!

We have featured your designs at
Take a look. Do let your readers know that you have been featured ya! Thanks!


c.w.frosting said...

Love your version w/ different size buttons! A co-worker of mine made this necklace after seeing it on Oprah, so I made one too (but never got around to blogging about it). If you want to see my version, it's in the photo @ the top of my blog.


Dana said...

I like your version better than the original!! Good work! I'll be following you....

Maggie said...

Hi Aubree,
I am contacting you here because I had some trouble finding your email. I just wanted to let you know that I'm launching a new site that's a collection of different jewelry projects,, and that I linked to this cute project:

I would like to know if I can link like this to you, including a photo, in the future. Or if you would be willing to allow me to post projects in full on the site - full credit will always be given to you, of course. It would be yet another source of traffic to your blog.

Please let me know, I would love to work with you further.
Maggie Kmiecik

AMINA said...

I am a handcrafted jewelry designer and came across this post via a friend. I made my own version of this necklace and on a post on facebook I mentioned your link here:
Thanks for the inspiration!

AMINA said...

Hi again,
I made a post on my blog with a link to your post at

Karisa said...

Wow! Yours looks even better than the $70 one! I just wanted to let you know that I've included this in our Button Crafts roundup on the FaveCrafts Blog:

It's really cute :) Please let me know if you're ever interested in publishing your tutorials with FaveCrafts!

The Knitter's Nest said...

I loved your idea and wanted to share it on my own blog. I hope you don't mind. I did credit your blog and provide a link for my readers. Thanks for sharing your great idea for using old buttons!

Stephanie from Buttermilk Hill

Kara Antrim said...

I love all things involving a miss mash of buttons. This is a fantastic idea! Thanks!

The Wishful Tinker said...

Thanks for a great idea and a great tutorial. I've featured this project in my DIY button ideas list at

jess said...

Very cute! Thanks for sharing...


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