You'll be proud of me; I made something else for me. A whole new necklace, made entirely of buttons.

And I would also like to point out that it isn't entirely black, with it's many shades of grey and metal buttons. I'd have loved to have added more metal buttons but they're weighty, and if you have a go at something like this, you'll soon realise weighty isn't so good... heavy buttons swing around, and they also cause this necklace to twist.

The construction is based on a tutorial I found at Craftwerk, which outlines the method of stringing the buttons so that they overlay, front and back, creating a clever slotted construction, and a two sided necklace

What I'm showing here is actually the 2nd stringing as it were, because my first attempt (with the same buttons) failed for a couple of reasons, and I'll be sharing my modifications here with you, because I think they'd be handy tips.

You can see from the photo above and the photo below the two different sides of the necklace. I have a bit of a problem with things - anything, be it cushions or jewellery or just about any object - that have a plain back, as if the reverse of something has been forgotten about, is simply ignored or is just plain wrong. The reverse of something always ends up showing so why treat it unkindly? Anyhow, that's my bug-bear, and that's another reason why I love this necklace so. It's balanced.

So, my modifications to the original tutorial:

I didn't fancy having a necklace hang that low, I never do, really. They swing around and bash you or don't lay right; it's a funny level for necklaces to hang, I think. And then you notice that that area around your neck, that expanse of skin visible above the neckline, kinda ends up getting ignored. You'll invariably find me wearing a necklace that hangs just a little lower than choker level. Also, as hinted at above, buttons get heavy and this style of construction twists easy, so a shorter necklace helps prevent that. Which is a rather long way of saying I made it shorter than they suggested.

The first time I made it, I used some heavy duty thread, most likely a button thread, triple stranded, to string them all together. I then fashioned a fastening out of a toggle button and loop, to hold it altogether. I haven't had a great deal of luck with adjustable fastenings, like the method they show, unless it is on a longer necklace - somehow the adjustable ones don't like to sit where I like them to sit!

I found that the button thread, even tripled, wasn't strong enough. I mean, it didn't snap at all, but these buttons and this necklace needed something sturdier. So I found me some robust cotton cord, which just about passed through the smallest hole of my chosen buttons. 

Next I invested in some chunky toggle fasteners. I said before in my previous post that clasps aren't really my thing, so I spent quite a bit of time looking for something that would suit me, and function well, and these chunky toggle thingees are just the ticket. To fasten the chunky toggle thingees I also used some crimped sprung findings, to make a smoother and neater join between the toggle itself and the cotton cord, and that worked pretty well. It actually looks pretty pro when inspected closely.

When choosing buttons, scale them gradually in size - from finer through to the largest and then back to finer. Try and keep them balanced so they don't twist. And try to avoid too many metal buttons - wood & shell would be perfect - as weight can be an issue with how it wears. Also - try and thread them closely together, but don't overlap them too much, as it helps them stay in place much better.

And here it is in situ - looks cool, huh? 

Posted
AuthorWoolly Wormhead
CategoriesTechniques