Tuesday, 15 May 2012

DIY - Button Heart

             If you're like me, you've probably got a massive stash of buttons sitting in your cupboard, unused and collecting dust... True?... Well here's the perfect opportunity to use them!!

This gorgeous button heart is so simple to make and requires only a few items and your patience. It looks great in any colour theme too! Ive seen them done in reds for valentines day gifts, or white for communions.. The possibilities are really endless!

You Will Need:
*Buttons (any colour, size, shape- in fact the more jumbled the mix the better!)
*Corresponding coloured thread
*A piece of cotton fabric cut slightly bigger than the size of your frame
*Pencil (hb is best- the lighter the better)

*A piece of cardboard cut to the size of your frame
*A frame. (I removed the glass from mine because I used alot of bumpy 3D buttons and I like the textural effect of leaving the glass out. However if you only use flat buttons you could choose to keep the glass. It's up to you!)


Selecting your buttons
I prefered to select lots of different sizes, shapes, colours and textures of buttons for my 'Button Heart' but there are no rules and every heart you make will turn out differently. You can create quite an impact even using the exact same button for the whole project, Ive seen this done and it looks very effective. You will need differing amounts of buttons depending on the size of your frame and thus your heart.

Step 2.
Designing your heart
Using your 'soft' pencil, lightly draw a heart in the middle of your piece of fabric. (If you cant do it by sight, you may want to use a ruler to work out the middle.) The size and shape of your heart is entirely up to you. I chose to have a large, straight heart taking up the majority of my frame, however Ive seen others make a similar artwork to this with a small heart in the middle of a large frame or with an uneven shaped heart.

Step 3.
Borders of buttons
Thread your needle and begin sewing the buttons onto your fabric to form the edge of the heart. Because the buttons are for decorative purposes only, you don't need to attach them too firmly, I mostly went through each hole twice and that was enough to secure them. If your making a heart like mine, be sure you space out small and large buttons, different colours and textures so you dont have too much of a build up of the one style of button.
I also tried to be careful to make the edge of the heart appear smooth by lining up the button edge with the heart- you want the outside of the heart to be even, not the inside, that will be filled in later. Try not to pull the thread too tightly as this will 'pucker' the fabric.
Also if you have an embroidery frame, it would come in handy for this and the next few steps, however I didn't use one.

Step 3.
Filling in the heart
Working with the largest buttons first, position them within the heart and sew them in place. This is to make sure your heart wont look lopsided. Then starting at the bottom of your heart begin filling in the spaces, making sure you're mixing the colours, shapes and textures like before. Make sure you keep looking ahead to plan what buttons to leave for certain spaces. Space out your favourite buttons and fill in with smaller plain ones.

Step 4.
Finishing Up
Once you've completed your heart, iron the fabric around the edges to create a flawless finish.
Then, take your piece of cardboard and lay your heart on top. The cardboard acts as a backing card for the heart so it remains flat inside the frame.
Down 1 side, sew the fabric onto the cardboard using straight stitch and pulling the fabric slightly up and down as you sew to stretch it along the card. Then switch to the opposite side and do the same, this time pulling the fabric taut horizontally as well. Don't worry if it 'puckers' your heart.
Now sew the card and fabric together along the top and bottom as well, pulling tightly each way so your heart looks smooth and taut. Then trim any excess fabric off the edge.

Your heart is ready to frame!

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