Blueberry Buttons

in Crafts,Recycling & Nature Crafts

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Yep, literally.

It may be carrying frugal behavior to a bizarre extreme, but I saved the prunings from my blueberry bushes.  I wanted them because they make great gee haw whimmy diddles, but I got to thinking that I could also use them for other things.

Like these:

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I don’t have a garment in mind for them yet, but I was thinking something wooly and knitted.  They have a great feel–smooth and hard as glass, but warm.

Best part? Saying “blueberry buttons.”

If you want some yourself, just take a hard, finely grained tree branch, saw off the size you want, drill the preferred number of holes, and sand them smooth (I bet you can get them smoother than I did–got tired). I dipped them in a mixture of melted beeswax with a touch of olive oil, fished them out and polished them with a soft cloth.

I also tried cedar and japanese maple with good results. Two of the buttons in the second picture are cedar.

Too weird?



{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

1 rowena___. October 8, 2009

THIS IS AWESOME.

2 Regina October 8, 2009

Those look fantastic! I think they would be so pretty in a big glass vase too! Weird? Absolutely not…and certainly no stranger then me collecting HUNDREDS of acorns with my toddler and grinding them up into flour and roasting them with honey! Our oak tree had a mast year and you couldn’t walk into my yard without getting pelted with “oak nuts.” We played with them for a while and then cooked ‘em up. I linked to a recipe here:
http://rcherill.blogspot.com/2009/09/excitement-in-living-room.html

3 Michelle October 8, 2009

These are fabulous! And beautiful! Not weird at all…so creative!!

4 Vonnie October 8, 2009

What a cool way to recycle. they’re pretty, too!

5 Simple Mama October 8, 2009

Beautiful! I would use them on a knitted doll sweater. Or a knitted mama sweater. :)

6 LisaPie October 8, 2009

When I look at clothes, the first thing I check out is fabric content. But the second thing is buttons! I love a good button. None of those plastic-y cheap crappy things, blecch!

Those are some awesome and fabulicious buttons you made there. How ever did you drill such tiny holes? Do I need a special tool to do that? I am wondering if my crape myrtle branches might make pretty buttons.

I am giving this project 5 stars *****!! Thanks ever so much.

7 Tanya Walton October 8, 2009

These are superb…I think they need to go on a cream/Ivory (lol…every pun intended!!) chunky aran (I think I spelt that wrong but I hope you know what I mean) knit cardigan!!

8 Maureen October 8, 2009

Too weird…heck no! TOO COOL!

I just saw a knitted headband on Organic Sister (http://theorganicsister.com/2009/10/knitting-success/ ) that these would be perfect for!!! Thanks SO much for the idea.

9 Laura October 8, 2009

These are so classy! Very creative and ingenious – thanks for sharing! Wish I had some branches to make into buttons…

10 Frugal Kiwi October 8, 2009

Have you seen the hand knitted coffee cup holders that are popping up these days? Your buttons would be perfect for something like that too.

11 Amy October 8, 2009

Amazing! I am such a tightwad it kills me to pay much for buttons but at the same time I really hate those cheapy plastic ones, I think I know where I’m getting my buttons from now on. We burn wood for heat so I will have the hubby gather a few branches for me, he will think I’m crazy but it won’t be the first time lol.

12 Kat October 8, 2009

They’re mesmerizing! If I could only reach through my computer screen and touch them…
Just trimmed some branches from the box elder and from the sumac. I’ll have to take a look and see what I can do with those.

13 Emily October 8, 2009

Not weird…gorgeous! I just finished knitting a sweater. Now I wish I lived somewhere with more trees!

14 Annie Pazoo October 8, 2009

Definitely NOT weird. Beautiful!

15 Jin6655321 October 8, 2009

It’s one of those things you look at and go, “Doh! Why didn’t I think of that?!” It’s so simple yet so ingenious!

16 Beegirl October 8, 2009

Fabulous!!! I can’t wait to try this… BEAUTIFUL..

17 James October 8, 2009

As a carver of spoons, I’ve found that using a piece of old brown paper bag works fantastically well for polishing wood. After sanding (and wet sanding) with 600 grit sandpaper. The brown bag is just abrasive enough to make the surfaces feel like glass. I love that warm feeling of the wood.

18 Jenn @ Beautiful Calling October 8, 2009

I think it sounds and looks pretty neat!

19 Erin October 8, 2009

Okay, that is super cool!

20 Teresa October 8, 2009

Ditto what everyone else said: this is truly awesome! If only I could safely handle a saw… :}

21 Tammy H. October 8, 2009

Interesting and very cool.

22 Kate October 8, 2009

They are pretty. I’m thinking your blueberry bushes don’t look like MY blueberries bushes (which bear a striking resemblance to Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree….

23 L October 8, 2009

These would look great on ‘the simple baby bibs’ that I knit. I change colors and use a few rows of stockinette rows and a cool button. I have a dead blueberry bush that may have just found a good use for it besides just the compsot bin. thanks.

24 Yarntangler October 8, 2009

Those are wonderful! Bluberry wood is so pretty. Some of the most beautiful hand lathed fountain pens i ever saw were made of blueberry.

Good for you.

25 Nik October 9, 2009

That is one of the coolest things I have ever seen! Thanks for giving me the idea. You rock TL. Wish I knew how to knit, and I forgot how to crochet, ughhhh….. I need to learn more. I am going to fwd this to my husband, he will love it too. *hugs*

26 Kimberly Tidwell October 9, 2009

Not weird at all…I’m just jealous that I didn’t think of anything so creative!
Definitely wooly and knitted…as soon as I saw the first picture and I immediately thought-”perfect on a wool cardigan”. I want to be like you when I grow up (I’m almost 38 now)

27 Jen M. October 9, 2009

These are awesome! WTG! I hope you find a good use for them. :)

My boyfriend and I were lucky enough to be able to harvest some pawpaw this year. The seeds are large enough to make into buttons and beads, so that’s exactly what I’m going to do once they are dried out and I can clean them.

Not too weird at all.

28 sandi October 9, 2009

I absolutely loved this! it will look great on a nice yummy cozy woolly something!

29 Ariana October 9, 2009

Love love love!! Now for the sealing the button recipe….next post? (crosses fingers)

30 Share October 9, 2009

I love wooden buttons! Those are beautiful! they would look awesome on something Knitted & chunky! i had no idea Blueberry bushes had such good size brnaches that you could make buttons out of them!
Thanks for sharing!

31 Tomato Lady October 10, 2009

rowena–Thanks!
Michelle–You’re sweet!
Vonnie–Thank you!
LisaPie–I think the same things. I used a 1/16″ drill bit in a cordless drill. Thanks for your kind words!
Tanya Walton–True. I don’t know if I’m an aran-quality knitter, though. Someday?
Frugal Kiwi–Aha. Great idea!
Kat–Thank you. I wish I knew more about all the woods and could advise you. Slow-growing=strong is a good place to start.
Emily–Wish I could share. We have trees growing on trees here.
Annie Pazoo–Thanks for the vote!
Jin–Aw, shucks!
Beegirl–Oo! Take one of your beautiful pictures when you do!
Jenn–Thank you!
Erin–I appreciate it!
Teresa–It’s so easy. You can do it. A vise really helps, or a workmate type bench.
Tammy H.–Thank you!
Kate–Just wait, they will be monsters some day.
L–Perfect!
Yarntangler–Really! I’ve never seen anything made of blueberry before. Nice.
Nik–I bet if you started crocheting it would come back to you–muscle memory and all that. Hope you enjoy the button-making!
Jen M.–Paw paw seeds, neat! Love to see them.
sandi–Thanks! I’m feeling a yen for yarn. Chilly today!
Ariana–Thank you! The wax recipe really isn’t a recipe–nothing fancy, just an ounce or so of beeswax (or less), melted, plus a dash of olive oil, just enough to make the wax a little less hard but not mushy.
Share–Thanks! Yes, you really don’t need very big branches, depends on the size buttons, of course, but it will surprise you.

32 Leigh October 11, 2009

SO AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!

33 Handful October 15, 2009

Very pretty! My late husband and I did something similar out of antlers, just cut and drilled holes. Then we made our own leather shirts with fringe, bone beads, antler buttons, feathers and such. Wore them to some powwows. Beautiful and unique!

You are so creative!

34 Little Blue Mouse February 9, 2012

These are great! Did you dry the branches first or were they straight from the bush?

35 Tomato Lady February 9, 2012

Little Blue Mouse–Thank you! These were dried for several months. They’re just more stable that way, although blueberry wood is pretty useable right off the bush. You could probably make it work just fine.

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