March 09, 2020

256 Comments




 

 


How To Make Your Own Doll Sized Buttons

Make Your Own Buttons

Welcome to the wonderful world of baking buttons! In this tutorial, we will teach you to make your own one-of-a-kind tiny doll size buttons using shrink paper such as Shrinky Dinks®. 

Be sure to read to the end and enter our giveaway for a chance to win the Button Making Bundle!

This tutorial was created by Chris Saunders of Love U Bunches and first appeared in the All Buttoned Up Pattern.

You only need a few supplies and a little bit of time to make unique-to-you designer buttons!

Let's talk about the supplies you will need:

Make Your Own Buttons Supplies

  • Shrinky Dinks® paper or Grafix® film (or shrink paper/film by another manufacturer). Paper (or film) comes in clear, frosted, opaque, and ink jet printer compatible. Quality and shrink results vary from brand to brand, especially the ink jet products. Please read product reviews before purchasing. Buy Shrinky Dinks® Paper Now
  • Scissors or punches. Punches are nice to have and they guarantee a round shape for your button. They also come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
  • 1/4" hole punch. You will need a regular hole punch to punch the buttonholes. 
  • Permanent markers. You do not want the color to fade or wash off. I used ultra fine permanent markers for outlines on small designs. If you are coloring in large areas, you will want a permanent marker with a wider tip.
  • Sealant. For pieces that will be handled often. Designer note: I did not use sealant on any of my projects; however, it is a nice option to seal in the color. 
  • Parchment paper or heavy brown paper wrapping paper to place the buttons on for baking.
  • Cookie sheet. The buttons must be on a cookie sheet. Baking in a pan with high sides (i.e., cake pan) will result in uneven heating and ill-shaped buttons.
  • Small ceramic or glass bowl (or cup). It must have a flat bottom. Sometimes the buttons do not bake completely flat. You will use the bottom of the bowl to flatten them out.
  • Oven (or toaster oven), cookie sheet, oven mitt. Shrink paper "bakes" at a relatively low temperature, but your hands will still need protection from the heat.
  • Timer (optional). Follow the directions on the shrink paper packaging. Your buttons will be in the oven from one to three minutes.

Note: The following steps describe how to make round buttons that will end up being approximately 5/8" wide. They are a good size for the All Buttoned Up sundress; 3/4" buttons also look nice! You can use the same steps for any shape or size you desire! It's all up to YOU!

*****Please read through all of the directions before you start*****

Step 1: Practice

Make Your Own Buttons Swatch

When working with shrink paper, what you see before baking is not necessarily what you get! Some colors get brighter when they shrink and some get darker. Take a moment and bake a color swatch. A thin, light layer of marker is best. If the ink is too thick, it will chip.

Step 2: Trace template onto shrink paper

Make Your Own Buttons With Shrink Paper

Note: Templates can be downloaded from the All Buttoned Up Dress Pattern. Templates are a helpful tool to make your button making process go smoothly, but you can also make your own buttons just fine by carefully drawing the shapes you want based on the measurements given below. 

Unless you want the traced outlines to show, use a pencil for tracing. Erase lines before baking.

Option A: For opaque paper

Cut out the 1.5" circle template, or create your own guide by measuring a 1.5" circle. Punch out the buttonholes and place the template on the shrink paper. Trace around it. Be sure to mark the buttonholes.

Option B: For clear or frosted paper

Place the clear/frosted paper over the button shape on the template page and trace the shape, or draw your own shape onto the paper. Mark the buttonhole locations.

Step 3: Get creative!

Make Your Own Buttons

Using permanent markers, design and color your buttons. Remember, the buttons will shrink approximately 50%. Consider shrinkage as you design. Very detailed designs may lose their impact after they shrink.

If you are using frosted/sanded paper, draw on the rough side of the paper.

If you are using shiny/smooth paper, allow ink to dry before adding a second color ink.

Wet ink will smear.

Step 4: Cut out button

Make Your Own Baked Buttons

Cut or punch out your button and the button holes.

Don't forget the buttonholes! You cannot punch buttonholes after baking!

Step 5: Prepare for "baking"

Preheat oven to temperature recommended on the package. For my oven, I set the temperature at 300 degrees and baked for 3 minutes.

Place a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and place the buttons on top of the paper. The colored side should be up.

Step 6: "Bake" your buttons

Make Your Own Buttons In The Oven

Put the cookie sheet with the buttons on it in the oven for the time recommended on the packaging. Place it on the middle rack. Time will vary based on your oven.

Check progress every minute or so. Use your oven mitt and remove the cookie tray from the oven at the recommended elapsed time or when they are flat. You may see them curl and jump around a bit. This is normal!

If your buttons are not completely flat when you remove them, use a small ceramic/glass bowl to flatten them out.

Reminder: The buttons will be hot when you remove them from the oven! They cool off quickly, but be careful not to burn yourself.

Step 7: Attach buttons

Make Your Own Buttons For Doll Clothes

Sew your buttons onto your dolly garment and make something that is truly unique!

Shrink infoIn general, your buttons will shrink anywhere from 30% to 50%.

Make Your Own Buttons With Shrink PaperMake Your Own Buttons With Shrink Paper

 Shop Our Pattern Collection for Sewing With Buttons

Doll Clothes Sewing Patterns With Buttons

Now that you have learned to make your own buttons, unleash your creativity with our collection of patterns that feature buttons

ENTER TO WIN the Button Making Bundle 

To enter this week's contest, simply click the link below and then enter through the giveaway widget at the bottom of the blog post, there are many things you can do to earn multiple entry points!

The Button Making Bundle Includes:

  • Shrinky Dinks® 10 Clear Sheets
  • Shrinky Dinks® 6 Printed Patterns Sheets (stripes, polka dots, and more)
  • 24 Fine Point Sharpie® Permanent Markers in "Electro Pop" Colors
  • 1.5" Round Craft Punch

Contest Details: You enter through the entry form that is embedded on this page and appears just below this paragraph, if you don't see it, be sure to visit the page from your desktop or an alternate browser such as Google Chrome. It may not appear on all mobile devices. The complete rules and entry details appear on the entry form. This is not a comment contest - in other words, leaving a comment on the bottom of this page is not an official entry method. The only required entry method is to leave a comment under this post and then confirm that you did it in the contest widget. One person will receive the Button Making Bundle. You can enter once, or gain multiple entries by completing the other entry methods and increase your chances of winning. Please review all Terms and Conditions on the giveaway page before entering. While we wish we could run this contest everywhere, for legal reasons it is only open to eligible residents of the U.S. and Canada, not including Rhode Island. This contest is exclusively endorsed by Liberty Jane Clothing and Pixie Faire. Not endorsed by or affiliated with Shrinky Dinks®. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

We'd love to hear from you. Leave a comment and tell us - what kind of buttons would you like to make! Commenting below and confirming your entry in the widget above gives you one entry method, the other methods are listed in the widget above, be sure to enter in as many ways as you can to receive the maximum amount of entries to win one Button Making Bundle!

Thanks, everyone!

The Pixie Faire Team


100 Comments

Deb H
Deb H

March 18, 2020

What a clever idea. It is hard to find the right size buttons to use on doll clothes. I can’t wait to try this.

Joanne Spence
Joanne Spence

March 16, 2020

I think the best buttons are the type that match the fabrics. Ooohhhh … or metallics ….. I’m like a magpie that way 🤗

Ruth
Ruth

March 15, 2020

I don’t know what kind of buttons I’d like to make but it sure looks like fun!

Rose
Rose

March 15, 2020

This is such a cute and clever idea. Reminds me when I was a girl scout leader and we made necklaces from foam meat trays and shrank them in the oven. It would be so cute to match the design in the fabric.

Chris
Chris

March 14, 2020

What a great idea! I have shrinky dink supplies but did not think of making buttons ‘of all kinds’! Wooden buttons are especially hard to find in doll sizes.

Linda Kuhrt
Linda Kuhrt

March 14, 2020

Over the years I’ve searched for cute tiny buttons — it never occurred to me that I could make them this way! This is a great idea!

Cathy
Cathy

March 14, 2020

Wow! This really ups the wow factor for decorative buttons! Thanks for sharing this brilliant idea.

Sandy
Sandy

March 14, 2020

I would love to make dog and cat buttons and also holiday buttons.

Jo
Jo

March 14, 2020

Butterflies

Kathy W
Kathy W

March 14, 2020

I love the idea of making buttons to match or contrast or highlight the fabric. This is exciting!

Nancy
Nancy

March 14, 2020

I would like to make Steampunk, sci-fi and fantasy buttons.

Bev
Bev

March 13, 2020

I would enjoy making buttons that resemble living things such as little flowers and leaves on a vine, animal shaped buttons and beautiful butterflies.

Heather
Heather

March 13, 2020

I would love to make all kinds of unique buttons for one of a kind outfits! :)

Marsha
Marsha

March 13, 2020

I would like to make shape buttons. Hearts, stars, flowers, animals, etc.

LizT
LizT

March 13, 2020

Great idea! I would make tiny buttons to match the fabric and also tiny replicas of the vintage buttons I like to collect.

Heidi
Heidi

March 13, 2020

Shrinky dinks. So much fun. You can print on it as well if you are not talented Infinite possibilities

Natalie
Natalie

March 13, 2020

Actually, I have been making buttons from this pattern for a couple of years now. Unicorns, cats, initials, even copying the pattern on the fabric I’m using have all worked out very well.

Sara
Sara

March 13, 2020

I would like to make cat button

Sherril
Sherril

March 13, 2020

It’s hard to find doll-sized buttons. This way they could be personalized.

Rabbit
Rabbit

March 13, 2020

I think butterfly buttons would be fun. I also like the idea of matching something from the fabric print.

Debbie Eldridge
Debbie Eldridge

March 13, 2020

I would make something that coordinates and is original to the outfit.

Debbie Eldridge
Debbie Eldridge

March 13, 2020

Wow! This opens a whole new world for button ideas.

Lisa
Lisa

March 13, 2020

Great idea. I can’t wait.

Shirley
Shirley

March 13, 2020

This would be great. Sometimes it is hard to find buttons to match what you make.

Patti Schwartz
Patti Schwartz

March 13, 2020

I would like to make flower and butterfly buttons. I also think some square and triangle buttons would be cute.

pat p
pat p

March 13, 2020

How cool is that!? I can never find the right buttons…especially when it comes to button size. The last outfit I made I used faux pearls. (It looked pretty nice, too)

Robin
Robin

March 13, 2020

I’d love to make buttons to match some of the fabrics I’ve been wanting to use for doll clothes…flowers, ducks, stars!

Piroska
Piroska

March 13, 2020

I’d love to make some animal ones, and some fruit and veggies. How adorable!

Judy
Judy

March 13, 2020

This would open up a whole new design area for my outfits. I can rarely find what I am looking for in the right size!

Mary
Mary

March 13, 2020

I would love to make all kinds of designs!

Thresea
Thresea

March 13, 2020

Fun!

Nanette
Nanette

March 13, 2020

I would love to try simple flowers. The possibilities are endless really.

Marichu
Marichu

March 13, 2020

This looks like fun!

Sara
Sara

March 13, 2020

Did this a couple years ago when I was making lots of doll clothes. Can do custom doll belt buckles the same way. Time to do some more!

MerryBeth
MerryBeth

March 13, 2020

Christmas buttons, Easter buttons,

Pam H
Pam H

March 13, 2020

So glad this is available. Some outfits are very hard to pick buttons out for. Love the website to get ideas. Thank you

Connie M
Connie M

March 13, 2020

I love the scottie button

Debbie W
Debbie W

March 13, 2020

WOW! Would love to make buttons with any shape or size to match the clothes I would sew! What an awesome opportunity and endless ideas you could do. Thanks!

Bonny
Bonny

March 13, 2020

This is such a great idea! I want to make insect buttons to match fabric for my grand-daughter who is fascinated by bugs.

Ruth
Ruth

March 13, 2020

I would make buttons that match whatever fabric I am working with!

Rita C.
Rita C.

March 13, 2020

I want to make ADORABLE buttons! Thanks for the inspiration!

Debra
Debra

March 13, 2020

I think my first choice would be animal faces, just because I think they would be SO cute! But the possibilities are endless – why didn’t I think of this?? Thanks for the opportunity and the great idea!

Lori
Lori

March 13, 2020

I would create buttons to match outfits. My nieces would love to make buttons.

Patricia
Patricia

March 13, 2020

I will be making buttons to go with my doll clothes but I will also be making buttons to use on fidget aprons for our local Hospice House.

Jennifer
Jennifer

March 13, 2020

What a fun way to add a personal touch to an outfit.

Florence
Florence

March 13, 2020

I loved the tutorial about button making. I’m continually impressed by how creative people are! I love flowers I would make flower buttons. I can hardly wait to try it out! Thank You!

Barb
Barb

March 13, 2020

What a awesome thought, I can just imagine the types of buttons I could make. I can hardly wait to get started. Thank you for the great inspirations.

Karen Hawkins
Karen Hawkins

March 13, 2020

I’ll be making animal shapes and flowers! What fun!

Tammy
Tammy

March 13, 2020

What a clever way to make buttons! I would love to make specialty shapes, animals and flowers especially.

Dawn Bonnevie
Dawn Bonnevie

March 13, 2020

Am I am a button collector! Perfect!

Robyn
Robyn

March 13, 2020

These are so cute. I like the cat face.

Robin
Robin

March 13, 2020

Ummm I love the geometric shapes idea!

katy
katy

March 13, 2020

I love this idea! To be able to make a button to coordinate with fabric….OMG, I can’t wait to try this!

Linda
Linda

March 13, 2020

I am sure my granddaughter can help me with ideas.

Katherine E Ackerman
Katherine E Ackerman

March 13, 2020

Would be great to make buttons that would go with the career looks. Maybe nurse capa for nurse outfit. Or apple for doctor.

Gail Beam
Gail Beam

March 13, 2020

I would love to make all kinds of shapes, animals, or objects that fit the outfits that I make.

Ginger
Ginger

March 13, 2020

Cats! I love cats so I would make cat buttons.

Maria
Maria

March 13, 2020

I want to make zoo animals at least ln my dreamsI remember. I remember using the material making things with my kids some time ago

Judith Martinez
Judith Martinez

March 12, 2020

I think contrasting buttons would be fun.

Anne C-E
Anne C-E

March 12, 2020

This being primary season I’d opt for school officer campaign buttons.

Joanne
Joanne

March 12, 2020

I love using buttons on my doll clothes! This will be fun!

Karen Carroll
Karen Carroll

March 12, 2020

How cute!

Patti
Patti

March 12, 2020

I will be making all kinds of buttons. What a great idea, and I have all kinds of ideas of what to make. I want to do dogs and horses and plants and I could go on and on. Just thinking of the material that I have on hand not to mention what is out there. What a great idea to make your own buttons. I am so happy to have seen this and can’t wait to get started.

CoraVee Caswell
CoraVee Caswell

March 12, 2020

Something to do with cats, maybe the face, maybe a body shape.

Sieglinde
Sieglinde

March 12, 2020

How clever! I would so love to learn to make these for the dolls!

Annlee
Annlee

March 11, 2020

I would love to make different buttons that would be suited for an outfit that I could not find to purchase.

Rose
Rose

March 11, 2020

This would be so much fun creating unique buttons!
I would no longer be limited to what is available in stores.
Thank you for all the ideas!

Nina J.
Nina J.

March 11, 2020

What a clever idea!!!

Ellen
Ellen

March 11, 2020

I forgot about Shrinky Dinks! My kids and I played with them years ago making charms and Christmas ornaments. It would be fun to make holiday inspired buttons to match special outfits. Thanks for this opportunity

sheila
sheila

March 11, 2020

I would match the outfits I make.

Carol
Carol

March 11, 2020

I would like to make colorful matching buttons to go with a specific outfit

Kami
Kami

March 11, 2020

This button making is a really neat idea!

Ann M
Ann M

March 11, 2020

What a great idea! I would like to make flower buttons.

Judith Elizabeth Culbreth
Judith Elizabeth Culbreth

March 11, 2020

I’d like to make faux brass buttons for coats and jackets

Judith Elizabeth Culbreth
Judith Elizabeth Culbreth

March 11, 2020

I’d like to make faux brass buttons for coats and jackets

Kimberly C
Kimberly C

March 11, 2020

I would like to make unique shapes like rubber duckies or other little animals!

Karena Reid
Karena Reid

March 11, 2020

What a fun way to make cute buttons to compliment the Wellie Wisher Doll Clothes I make. Would love to have the kit, Thank you.

Patti Brinnon
Patti Brinnon

March 11, 2020

This sounds neat! I would probably make buttons exactly the way I want for every project!

Emily H.
Emily H.

March 11, 2020

When I make a outfit I have a whole look planned out for it but I’m rarely able to find buttons that will work with my plan. I would probably end up making rather plain buttons but at least they wouldn’t be a compromise because I couldn’t find the “right” ones in the store.

Grannie Frannie
Grannie Frannie

March 11, 2020

Oh, how much fun! The sky is the limit … oodles of inspiration all around. Thanks for the idea and giving someone the opportunity to win a kit.

Pamela W
Pamela W

March 11, 2020

Very cute! This will be fun and I had missed it in the pattern before – good highlight!

Christie
Christie

March 11, 2020

I already love making Shrinky Dinks jewelry but I’ve never made buttons before! I really want to make some kawaii cat, unicorn, ice cream, and rainbow buttons. Little autumn leaves would be great too. Okay, now I can’t stop thinking of ideas!

Glenda
Glenda

March 11, 2020

I would love to make something unique and different to match the clothes for my sweet dolls! Buttons would be the thing, absolutely!

Bee
Bee

March 11, 2020

I’ll be making some bee buttons.

Tanya Walker
Tanya Walker

March 11, 2020

I used to do a lot of shrinks dinks years and years ago. Made like Christmas charms for a necklace I wore during the holidays. So will try it again on a smaller scale. I love the idea of making totally different buttons to coordinate with clothing, but matching jewelry and closures and accents on purses and shoes for my dolls. Thank you for sharing!!!!

trudy
trudy

March 11, 2020

I love the idea! I really like the idea of buttons that contrast with the material I’m using. Although I see my granddaughter wanting cat buttons!

Judy B
Judy B

March 11, 2020

Oh what a wonderful idea. I have used Shrinky dinks to make ornaments & jewelry charms but never thought of buttons. I would like to make some star ones with red, white and blue. You can also cut the shrinky dink material on your Cricut machine.

Michelle
Michelle

March 11, 2020

How cute! I would like to make buttons to go on some of my Sew Powerful purses. Thank you for the tutorial.

Judy Hayes
Judy Hayes

March 11, 2020

This is a great idea! I’ve made buttons from shrink plastic before but not for doll clothes. I think it would be fun to make a unique button to add to a Sew Powerful purse! It could even have words of inspiration! I would use a bigger button on a purse.
I use a metal cutting die and die cut machine to cut circles or other shapes for my buttons. It makes it so easy and perfect circles or shapes. Rubber stamps and permanent die can be used on shrink plastic. So many ways to create one of a kind buttins!

Laura
Laura

March 11, 2020

I’d like to create buttons in shapes and colors that coordinate/contrast with the fabric I’m using and make the outfit really pop. All I can usually find are the small white ones that may be functional but don’t add much of a design interest.

Janice
Janice

March 11, 2020

This looks fun to do as well as practical for those projects where you know what kind of button you want and you can’t find it anywhere!

J.J. Goody
J.J. Goody

March 11, 2020

I get buttons at estate sales. They usually sell a box of craft supplies instead of being able to buy just what you want out of the box. So there is often a hodgepodge of buttons scattered throughout. Sometimes there are enough matching ones for a project. Sometimes not (although there are some interesting old buttons that still have the thread from whatever old garment from which they were saved). But it would be nice to make what I need. And it would be fun to even make buttons with kids.

Carol
Carol

March 11, 2020

I love this. I can make my own buttons instead of searching the stores for what I need.

Cathy
Cathy

March 11, 2020

What fun to make buttons that match fabrics you are using.

Donna
Donna

March 11, 2020

I would love to this with my granddaughter, so what ever she dreams up will be fine!

Donna Deters
Donna Deters

March 11, 2020

That would be fun to make.

Gaile
Gaile

March 11, 2020

What a great idea it would be nice to be able to make buttons to match the dresses for my dolls then I’d have them at my fingertips.

Rebecca
Rebecca

March 11, 2020

I love this idea! The possibilities are endless, but I’d love to try making several different options to go with projects in working on. Thanks for sharing your talents!

Beth
Beth

March 11, 2020

What a nifty idea! It’s sometimes so hard to find appropriate sized and matching buttons for doll outfits. This would guarantee to have just the right one. Thanks for the contest.

Colleen J
Colleen J

March 11, 2020

This is such a fun and creative idea! I can’t wait to make some with my daughters! Thank you for continuing to share wonderful ideas and patterns with us!

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