Wednesday, January 16, 2013

DIY Button Flowers: Winter Bouquet

Sylvan asleep, the dishes washed, dinner started and I sit down to sew a few buttons onto a cute cardigan Ivory was handed down from a friend.  She impatient, waiting for a friend to arrive and share dinner with us, utters those three words that parents dread: " I am bored." I pour a rainbow of buttons into a cake pan: "Can you find five buttons that are the same and match your red and grey and black sweater?".  Much too soon she gathers a little cluster of grey buttons and stacks of large, medium and small buttons are marching across the table.  Mom: "I am bored."  I stare at the table for a moment, set down the needle and thread, put aside my hopes of quickly fixing this silly cardigan and instead dig through my craft supplies to find that roll of floral wire I know is hiding somewhere in one of my drawers. Success.
For an hour she is concentrating, silently stringing her stacks of buttons onto the wires - small, medium and large.  She hands the threaded buttons to me and I twist wire strands together.

Sylvan joins us.  He sort buttons from pan to jar into bag into pan and jar.  Lines of buttons run from dining room to living room and back again.  He totes them around in a bright pink purse.
Ivory threads and I twist and soon there is a bright winter bouquet in the center of the table waiting for Adam to come home from work and our dinner guest to arrive.
I move the cardigan, the thread, needle and five little gray buttons aside and instead crawl around on the floor with Sylvan and Ivory gathering up the evidence of an afternoon well spent and then turn on the stove to cook dinner.
Ivory gathers the wire stems into her hands: "Wedding flowers, just what I needed."

 The flowers are bright and fun and cheery and maybe they were what we all needed on a white and cold winter day.

How to make your own Winter Bouquet:

What you need:
an assortment of buttons, all colors and sizes
floral wire
diagonal pliers (dikes) 

What you do:
  • Cut pieces of wire twice the length of the final flower stem (I did this). Ours were about twelve inches. 
  • Fold the wire in half (I had Ivory do this). 
  • Stack buttons (large, medium and then small)  on the table (Ivory did this).
  • Thread the buttons onto the folded wire.  You do this by putting both ends through two separate button holes at the same time and sliding the button into position at the fold in the wire. Do the small button first, then the medium and finally the largest button.  (Ivory did this part too.  If the buttons had four holes sometimes she would thread through two next to each other rather than on the diagonal and the result was three buttons slightly off center from each other - The result of which is much more fun and whimsical than the centered stacking I would have done.)
  • Twist the two strands of wire together below the buttons to make a single stem (I did this).  Take care not to twist too much under the buttons, the floral wire will break if it is twisted too tight. 
  • Repeat the whole process again and again until your kid tires of the activity or the desired number of flours is reached.  
  • HAVE FUN!!  

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