Wooden buttons from fallen branches

Craft & Design Wearables
Wooden buttons from fallen branches

current_Volume_bug.jpgWhere there are trees, there are fallen branches, especially after a big windstorm. In MAKE Volume 24, crafter Kristin Roach explains how to turn tree tailings into wooden buttons that add a natural touch to any garment. The process is simple, but she gives tips from experience on what branches to look for (and avoid), how to dry the wood, and how to prevent splitting during drilling.

Instead of spending money on endangered-hardwood, sweatshop-labor buttons from around the world, why not wear a piece of a local, living tree that you love?

Check out MAKE Volume 24:

MAKE blasts into orbit and beyond with our DIY SPACE issue. Put your own satellite in orbit, launch a stratosphere balloon probe, and analyze galaxies for $20 with an easy spectrograph! We talk to the rocket mavericks reinventing the space industry, and renegade NASA hackers making smartphone robots and Lego satellites. This, plus a full payload of other cool DIY projects, from a helium-balloon camera that’s better than Google Earth, to an electromagnetic levitator that shoots aluminum rings, and much more. MAKE Volume 24, on sale now.


4 thoughts on “Wooden buttons from fallen branches

  1. Phlamingo says:

    Can anyone who has done this comment on the strength of the buttons? These look like they would snap very easily along the grain.

    I suppose they could be treated with a thin CA glue or polyurethane to strengthen them, but you are still placing stress along the weakest grain direction.

  2. MadRat says:

    I was at my doctor’s office yesterday and noticed all the buttons on her coat were Chinese button knots. Stylistically they’re different from tree branch buttons and they’re neither small nor flat. I had to wonder, why put knot buttons on a doctor’s coat?

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Paul Spinrad is a broad-spectrum enthusiast, writer, maker, and dad who lives in San Francisco. He hatches schemes at http://investian.com.

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