What Is a Button Bracelet?

S. McNesby

A button bracelet is a button-adorned piece of jewelry designed to be worn on the wrist. The buttons used can be antique or contemporary, and any combination of colors can be used. Button bracelet styles vary, from elaborate charm-bracelet styles to simple elastic bands with buttons sewn on top. Handmade and mass-produced versions of button bracelets are available to consumers; it is also possible to make a button bracelet at home with a few simple supplies.

It is possible to make a button bracelet at home with a few simple supplies.
It is possible to make a button bracelet at home with a few simple supplies.

Buttons are made in two basic styles: shank and holed, either of which can be used on a button bracelet. Shank buttons feature a wire loop attached at the back of a solid button, can be plastic, metal, or fabric covered, and are often found on fine clothing,jackets, and formal wear. Holed buttons have two or four holes in the center and are designed to be attached to a garment by sewing through the holes. Dress shirts, polo-style shirts, and cuffs often feature holed buttons.

Charm-style button bracelets feature shank or holed buttons attached to a bracelet chain using jump rings. The buttons can be made from metal to match the chain, but novelty plastic or glass buttons can be used as well. Once the jump ring is attached to the button, the piece is attached to the bracelet. Depending on the look desired, a charm button bracelet can feature anywhere from a dozen to a hundred individual buttons. Button charms are removable and can be replaced as desired.

Independent artisans create button bracelets in a variety of styles. By handcrafting the items one at a time, an artist is able to make each button bracelet unique. Handcrafted button bracelets can be made using specific color ranges or materials; they can also be inspired by particular people, films, or books. The button bracelet has found a place in the eco-crafting movement, since buttons can be reclaimed from outdated clothing and accessories and incorporated into new, upcycled pieces.

Beginning sewers and kids can practice their sewing skills and make a button bracelet at the same time. Folding a piece of elastic into a wrist-sized loop and securing it with a few stitches will yield a button bracelet base. Buttons of all shapes and sizes can then be sewn onto the elastic loop until it is covered entirely. The larger the individual buttons, the fewer needed to cover the bracelet entirely. Buttons of any color or type can be used for this project.

Wire or strong thread can be used to string buttons into a bracelet shape. The buttons used can be shank style or hole style, and the thread or wire should be passed through the holes. The buttons can be strung like beads, and different looks can be created by using different sizes, shapes and colors of buttons. The clasp of choice for this type of bracelet is often a button with a loop closure.

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