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Button It Up: 80 Amazing Vintage Button Projects for Necklaces, Bracelets, Embellishments, Housewares, and More Paperback – March 3, 2009

4 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Susan Beal has some clever ideas about what to do with those buttons you've been saving all these years. Or the vintage ones you find yourself admiring at thrift shops, estate sales or in your grandmother's button box. Get crafty. And she shows you how in her new book -"Button It Up: 80 Amazing Vintage Button Projects for Necklaces, Bracelets, Embellishments, Housewares and More" (Taunton Press, $21.95). Among the projects: button hair clips, button wine glass charms, button wreaths, button-embellished T-shirts -and so much more. --Buffalo News

About the Author

A jewelry designer and writer, Susan Beal blogs at westcoastcrafty.com. Susan is the author of many craft books, including Bead Simple, Button It Up, and Hand-stitched Home. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her family. 
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press (March 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600850731
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600850738
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.6 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #394,177 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm Susan and my husband Andrew and I live in Portland, Oregon with our kids Pearl + Everett. I'm a freelance writer and I love to make things!

I'm the author of Sewing for all Seasons, Bead Simple, Button It Up, Modern Log Cabin Quilting, and World of Geekcraft. I'm also a contributing editor at Stitch Magazine and the historian for the Portland Modern Quilt Guild.

I co-wrote Super Crafty with the ladies of the Portland Super Crafty collective, and I've contributed how-to projects to Get Crafty: Hip Home Ec, Tease, Making Stuff, The Crafter Culture, Applique Your Way, and Vintage Craft Workshop.

In my spare time, I love to sew dresses from vintage patterns, embroider, make quilts, read, and drink coffee. And one of these days I swear I'm going to learn to crochet...

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If you're familiar with Susan Beal's jewelry-making book, Bead Simple Bead Simple: Essential Techniques for Making Jewelry Just the Way You Want It (a well put together and highly approachable book, if you're interested in jewelry making), you'll appreciate that Button it Up follows a similar format-lots of great "recipes" (that's how I think of them) for making unique projects, this time using buttons. This is definitely one of the strengths of the book-it gives you all the tools you need to unleash your own creativity-not simply replicate a project from the book. Also like Bead Simple, Button it Up is really enhanced by the presence of some talented guest designers that bring their own flair to some unique button projects.

Love buttons, but aren't familiar with jewelry making techniques? No fear here-the introduction to Button it Up covers all the basic skills. Materials such as wire, chain, glues and findings are all discussed in a very straightforward manner, so you can feel very confident flipping to a project you want to try out and knowing that the resources you need to be successful in your project are right there in the book. As someone who hasn't messed around with jewelry making since I was a teenager, I'm very grateful that this instructional section is so thorough.

But it's not all jewelry-there's something fabulous for any maker who loves vintage buttons. There are chapters devoted to both "Housewares" and "Accessories, Embellishments and Gifts.
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Format: Paperback
Here's my review, excerpted from my blog Average Jane Crafter:

I've admited before that I don't have much of a button collection. It's expanded a bit since the CRAFT Release Party back in June, when I ended up with the remains of the picked over buttons we'd provided for the craft project (Which, incidentally, was from Susan's previous book, Bead Simple) but I'm still a few rounds shy of a respectible collection.

That may need to change ... quickly. I've become enamoured with the projects in Button It Up enough that I'm starting to get the button itch in a big way.

Oooooh! So pretty!
Let's talk astehtics. Like Bead Simple, Button It Up is simply and beautifully designed. Pictures are gorgeous, illustrated instructions are easy to follow, and it's a book that's as much fun to flip through an ogle as it is to sit down and work from. If you're someone who's easy to swoon at the sight of colorful vintage button goodness, grab a paper towel 'cause you're going to be sent to drooling the minute you lay eyes on this book.

But what about the details?
Button It Up isn't just beautiful, it's incredibly informative as well. The introduction chapter is a "Vintage Button Primer" and gives a rich history of these fascinating fasteners. (sorry, couldn't resist) Here are a couple of my favorite quotes from this chapter:

"Buttons became tiny canvases to display exquisite art or artistry, tell a story, or reflect on an event or an exciting new trend in politics, literature, fashion or society."
(from the section on The First Golden Age)

"In the 1860s, young women in the United States collected buttons on a string... The superstition was that when a woman's string numbered 999 or 1,000 buttons, her true love would appear.
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Format: Paperback
Featuring full color photography of every project, Button It Up: 800 Amazing Vintage Button Projects for Necklaces, Bracelets, Embellishments, Housewares & More is a craft guidebook that lives up to its title. Each page or two-page spread features a different button project, explained with meticulous step-by-step how-to instructions and accompanied by a list of inexpensive required materials. From vintage button cafe curtains to a button bath set, a layered pendant, button magnets, button holiday decorations and more, Button It Up is a creative guide to turning one's old buttons into creative and colorful creations, suitable for use at home or as gifts. Highly recommended especially for hobbyists.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wow! Susan Beal's new book really showcases her love of color and charming accents. Two chapters present introductory material, two chapters of awesome jewelry projects, and two chapters of home decor, fashion, accessories, gifts, etc. The jewelry projects involve varied techniques, but all are designed so that the focus is on whatever buttons you choose. The home items are varied as well. The spiky button choker and button dangle earrings are two of my favorite jewelry pieces. Like Susan's other book, this one features projects from other designers. I particularly love the Button Collage by Alicia Paulson, the Woodland Fairies by Nancy Flynn, the evening bag by Nicole Vasbinder, and the cards by Kayte Terry.

The "Look Inside" feature will show the terrific design of the book, but unfortunately not much of the projects or the attention to detail (I'm thinking now of how the buttons for one bracelet are sewn together, then glued, with the stitching as a little extra accent). Susan's blog ([...]) lets you look at the project layout which will help you decide on if this book is for you. This book will make us all into button collectors!
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