Vintage button monograms 1

Another hot trend that I have been admiring around the internet over the last few months, has been the creative and crafty use of buttons other than to hold your clothes together! For some examples, check out the gorgeous “Letterperfect” from Etsy.

I was particularly interested in using vintage buttons, as I inherited a vast collection from my mother’s sewing stash. Sooo many of them odd, mismatched, with small amounts of scratches or damage. And 3 tins alone of white ones! I mean, what else was there to do with them? Of course apart from display them beautifully in a glass jar…. Here or Here

So I decided to make a personalised cushion for our bed. Definitely not for sleeping on, the buttons are just a leeetle bit bumpy.

Start off in Photoshop and create a monogram, a single initial as big as you want to go. Make sure it has smooth and simple outlines, and it isn’t too thin – it’s hard to source buttons that are super small for large stretches of thin edges.

I cut a generous piece of fabric one inch larger all around than my finished cushion size – just ordinary cheap calico will do the trick. You need something with a bit of body to support the weight of all the buttons without sagging.

I stitched using perle cotton, No 8 I think. A couple of stitches for each button to anchor it but making sure not to pull the thread tightly across the back so as to cause any puckering. Smooth and easy does it as you go.

Lay your printout underneath it, wriggling until it is centred, then trace with any type of fabric marker. I used an air-erasable marker so that I wouldn’t have to try to launder the cushion cover to get the lines out. You may have to work fairly fast though – I found my maker fading within a couple of days, but that may have been helped by the heat in my hands holding it all the time. If it does fade, never fear. Just lay it down, using what you have already filled in to help position it and trace again.

Once it is all finished, give it a gentle iron around the buttons to get rid of all the creases from holding it, then sew it up like a normal cushion. Because of the weight, I made an envelope back with a couple of buttons to keep everything nice and neat. I hate saggy gappy cushion or pillow covers!

Next time I will show you the second cushion I made, which has how to put a personalised transfer onto the fabric, same as I did on my patchwork cushion. It’s a cool trick!Happy Crafting - Cassie.

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