DIY Button Bracelet

DIY Nautical Button Bracelet

DIY Nautical Button Bracelet

Right now I’m relaxing poolside while on vacation in Hawaii. My husband and I decided to leave the laptops at home, but we caved for the iPad. I guess neither of us could go cold turkey! So here I am working on my iPad and my tan.

Naturally, it feels like summer here in Hawaii. It’s been in the low 90s the past two weeks, reaching higher temps here every day than it ever did once all summer in Ohio. Back home, it seems like everyone is gearing up for the fall. Lately I’ve noticed that a lot of my friends have been busy pinning fall outfit ideas, facebooking pictures of kids heading back to school, and tweeting about everything pumpkin. Don’t get me wrong, I love the fall, but I feel so lucky to be here and allowing the summer to linger a little longer.

With that I bring you my last summer nautical-inspired craft. Here are instructions for an easy DIY button bracelet made with vintage nautical buttons. If you are one of the many ready for the start of fall, you can always make this tutorial using fall-colored buttons, such as deep red, rustic brown, and burnt orange colors. As for me, I’m not letting go of summer until September 22nd.

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Supplies needed:

  • Bracelet Blank. I purchased mine from Rings & Things.
  • Enough buttons to fit bracelet. I had a variety of vintage buttons stashed away, but you can always buy similar ones at fabric stores or find vintage buttons on eBay or Etsy. You may not need as many buttons as blanks on your bracelet, as many of the larger buttons take up more than one blank.
  • E-6000 Glue
  • Pliers
  • Nail file or jeweler file (optional). I bought my jewelers file from Rio Grande

Steps:

1. Pick out your buttons. I chose a variety of buttons that fit a nautical theme.

1. Pick out your buttons. I chose a variety of buttons that fit a nautical theme.

2. Lay your bracelet blank out on a flat surface.

2. Lay your bracelet blank out on a flat surface.

3. You may need to use pliers to remove any hoops or hooks on the backs of the buttons.

3. You may need to use pliers to remove any hoops or hooks on the backs of the buttons.

4. Determine your design. Decide where you want your buttons to sit on the bracelet blank. Some buttons make take up more than one blank.

4. Determine your design. Decide where you want your buttons to sit on the bracelet blank. Some buttons make take up more than one blank.

5. Use your file to scratch the surface of your bracelet blank.

5. Use your file to scratch the surface of your bracelet blank.

6. Scratching the surface is optional, but I've found that it gives it better grip for gluing.

6. Scratching the surface is optional, but I’ve found that it gives it better grip for gluing.

7. Now it's time to start gluing! Put a small drop of glue on the surface of your blank.

7. Now it’s time to start gluing! Put a small drop of glue on the surface of your blank.

8. One-by-one, glue each button on. I glued the larger buttons on first.

8. One-by-one, glue each button on. I glued the larger buttons on first.

9. Then I filled the bracelet in with the smaller buttons.

9. Then I filled the bracelet in with the smaller buttons.

10. Allow your bracelet to dry overnight and it'll be ready to be worn the next day.

10. Allow your bracelet to dry overnight and it’ll be ready to be worn the next day.

This is definitely a quick DIY that can easily be made and worn long before the leaves begin to change. Hope that you have time to enjoy the last of the summer and happy crafting!

DIY {Nautical + Vintage Necklaces}

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My love for nautical-inspired style has not only infiltrated my home this summer, but has also taken over my wardrobe. I recently had a lot of fun destashing my my vintage supplies and creating some one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry that are perfect for the summer.
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Thanks to a shared interest with my dad, I have an incredible and never-ending supply of vintage wares. You see, my dad is a retired chef turned antique collector who frequents auctions and estate sales.

I occasionally make it to these sales joining my dad at 4:45 am on his junk rummaging adventures. We get a number and sit outside a sale for hours, sipping coffee, gossiping about our “competition,” and boasting about what we hope to buy. It’s not the least bit glamorous, but I have been lucky enough to score some incredible items.

One thing I am always on the lookout for is unique vintage jewelry. I have found a lot of cool pieces throughout the years. Sometimes I am double blessed and find some nautical jewelry pieces as well. Unfortunately, much of the vintage jewelry I find is broken or not really all that wearable such as pins, brooches, and clip-on earrings. Although these pieces don’t always initially seem practical or even usable, I have found that they can be revamped into some more modern pieces.

Using some of the vintage brooches I’ve found throughout the years, I was able to easily make these cute necklaces. Restyling brooches into necklaces is so simple to do, I hesitate to even call it a tutorial.

Supplies needed:

  • Vintage brooches (or any brooch really)
  • Brooch converters – these come in many different metals to match your brooch. I purchased both vertical and horizontal brooch converters at Rings and Things
  • Necklace chains
  • Sandpaper or jeweler’s file (optional)
  • Jump rings (optional)
Supplies - Chain necklaces, brooches, brooch converters

Supplies – Chain necklaces (upper left side), brooches (nautical), brooch converters (horizontal one pictured here)

Seahorse Necklace

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This little seahorse was in bad shape when I found it, but to my surprise it really cleaned up into a beautiful piece. After a lot of polishing, I simply opened the back of the pin, attached a converter, and closed it back up. I also used sandpaper to gently smooth a tiny bit of the pin so it wouldn’t be too sharp.

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Then I added the seahorse to a double chain and that was it!

 

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Ship Necklace

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This brooch is by far my favorite from my nautical finds, but it had a few issues. To make a necklace, I again opened the back and added a converter, but I found that this one hung funny and opened up easily with the converter on. Not to mention that it had an exceptionally sharp point. So I ended up making a few changes. First, I kept the pin secure by tying it closed with a small piece of jewelry wire. Next, I used a jeweler’s file and sandpaper to soften that sharp point.

For ship brooch, I originally used a converter, but then saw that I could thread the necklace through.

I originally used a converter on this pin, but then decided it looked better if I thread the necklace through.

I tried the converter again, but found that it still was leaning to one side. I then decided to carefully thread a brass chain through and that seemed to do the trick.

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Anchor(ish) Necklace

I don’t always pass on broken vintage jewelry, especially since it’s usually reasonable¬†priced and often fixable. This piece was found in a bag of broken jewelry bits that was in need of some love. I thought it had an anchor vibe to it, so I decided to make it into a necklace. To do so, I just added a jump ring to the top and hung it on a chain necklace.

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Nautical Rope Necklace

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This vintage Trifari brooch really made my happy because my inner foodie sees it as the shape of a pretzel (one of my favorite foods). All that was needed for this summer necklace was the addition of a converter and a necklace chain.

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Ship Wheel Necklace

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This vintage ship wheel brooch hails from the 1960s and was one of the first pieces of my collection. Just like the necklace above, all I did was add a converter and a chain and it was full sails ahead.

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Hope that next time you see vintage brooches you won’t pass them up, especially if wearing them as a pin isn’t exactly your thing. They can easily be made into unique necklaces that will add a little fun to your outfits. If you’re searching for nautical pieces, you can find a plethora of nautical vintage brooches on both Etsy and Ebay.¬†It’s tempting to keep them all, but these necklaces also make great gifts for your nauti-loving friends.

Have fun restyling what you find!

Kat