|Button Collection above my bench|
Tools and Supplies:
Goggles and Face Shield (Safety first!)
Metal (I usually go with 20 gauge or heavier)
A 1" x 3" piece will yield 12, 1/2" square buttons or 6, 1" X 1/2" buttons
Texturing tools: hammers, stamps, etch bath (whatever you use to mark up the metal)
Bench Block or anvil
Pencil or Sharpie
Drill press or Flex shaft (whatever you use to drill holes)
Jewelers Saw or a Shear if you have one
Step One: Create some texture on the sheet metal using hammers, stamps and a bench block
*Annealing first is helpful but not necessary
For these buttons I used a variety of hammers and stamps. This would be the time to etch!
For a great tutorial on Green Electro Etching check out this tutorial by Inbar Baraket.
Step Two: Using a ruler and pencil map out the desired shapes including hole placement.
I went with squares, rectangles, and triangles with varying numbers of holes.
Step Three: Using a center punch and chasing hammer create a starting point for each hole.
|Steps 1- 3|
Step Four: Drill out the Holes using a drill press or flex shaft (Face Shield!).
Step Five: Cut out the shapes using a jewelers saw or shear (wear goggles or other eye protection).
Step Six: Filing and Sanding: Round out the edges and corners using files and sand paper.
When sanding I usually start with 350 grit and work down to 600 (using a flex shaft and a split mandrel
really speeds this up, sanding sticks are also great).
|Row 1: Cut out, Row 2: Filed, Row 3: Sanded|
Step Seven: patina and wax!
I went with Midas Black for this group (Please make sure to read the directions and wear eye protection!)
A cloth, Sand paper, or scotch bright can be used to relieve the patina (I went with 1200 grit sand paper)
*If you are going for super shiny buttons you would probably want to buff the little guys before waxing.
|Row 1: dark patina, Row 2: patina relieved, Row 3: Waxed|
This collection of buttons is going into the goodie bags for the I Heart Indie (fashion) event at Origin Design Studios of Eureka, CA from 6-9 on May 5th. If you are in town be one of the first 30 people to arrive and one of these little guys will be all yours!