Got a lot of old buttons laying around the house? I sure did. So I decided to make a fantastic button bowl using a balloon and glue- I know it sounds crazy but stick with me here! Turn those piles, bags, drawers (I had a lot of buttons too, no judgement) full of old buttons into something beautiful and functional.
These bowls are easy to make and the supplies are very cheap. Button bowls would be a fun craft to make with your kids on a rainy day, or as a one-of-a-kind gift for that someone who has it all.
What you will need:
flat buttons of desired colors and sizes (I have found that smaller buttons tend to stick better)
white glue- Elmer’s white glue works well, or Tacky glue, anything that dries clear
large paint brush
cup or can to balance balloon on while it dries (see photos)
1. Blow up a balloon to the desired size you want your bowl to be and place it knot side down into a cup, can or jar that you don’t mind getting a little glue on
2. Cover half of the balloon with glue using a paintbrush (or your finger, works for me). You might have to alternate holding the balloon by the knot for a few minutes then setting it knot-side-down in your jar in order for the glue to have an even coat and not drip off.
3. Let the glue dry completely forming a layer of rubber-like protection between the balloon and your layer of buttons
4. After this first layer is completely dry, apply a second coat of glue using your brush (or finger) starting at the top of the balloon and working your way down toward the knot. Attach buttons to this layer as close together as you can fit them.
5. Continue adding the second layer of glue and attaching buttons until your half a balloon is covered with beautiful buttons.
6. Once all the desired buttons are attached turn your button covered balloon upside down in your cup so that the knot is in the air and the buttons are balanced on the lip of the cup- this is to keep your buttons from sliding down the balloon while they dry.
7. Let the layer of glue and buttons dry completely- usually requires about 4 or 5 hours.
8. Once the second layer of glue and buttons is completely dry, coat the buttons over again with a third layer of glue.
9. Allow this third layer of glue to dry completely- I usually let it sit overnight- and if desired you can apply a fourth layer of glue to strengthen your bowl even more.
10. When your bowl is entirely dry use a scissor and cut the knot on the balloon to slowly let the air out. Sometimes glue will drip down, just peel it back and use the scissor to snip any unwanted glue bits away from the button edge.
11. Admire your hard work and patience!
These bowls are a lot of fun to make and each one comes out unique! It is important to note that these bowls are NOT WATER RESISTANT, unless you choose to use a water resistant form of glue. They are for decorative purposes only and should not be used for food (unless, of course, the food is decorative as well).
Here are a few other button bowls I have made using this technique: