I love buttons–vintage, new, fabric, embroidered, knit, whateverrr. I just really like them all. The other night, my husband was busy, my kids were asleep and I didn’t FEEL like doing the dang dishes. SO, I grabbed a handful of buttons from my favorites jar and sat on my living room floor, sorting them into little groups. I wanted to make some bookmarks. Now, I want YOU to make some, too.
This tutorial uses some crochet materials, but I took a ton of photos, so if you’ve never crocheted a stitch in your life, I hope hope HOPE you at least take a look through and decide you might give it a try. There’s nothing past the basic chain except a slip-stitch at the end. If you DO know how to crochet, these photos might just be superfluous and you’ll be able to make one with your eyes closed.
I used size 10 crochet cotton I had leftover from doily-making and a size 7 steel crochet hook. Gather up a little bunch of buttons. I used five–four for one end and a slightly bigger button for the other end. Scissors and needle (this is an embroidery one, it has a larger eye for the crochet thread to fit through).
Thread your needle and start adding your buttons to the thread. In crochet, if you are going to include beads, or buttons in our case, you have to thread them on your string before you start crocheting. For buttons with holes (as opposed to the buttons with shanks), thread through the first hole from the back to front, then front to back through the next:
Now we get to start crocheting. Forget about that thread end for now (we’ll weave it in later) and pick up the other end that leads to your buttons and pick up the hook. Don’t be afraid!
With your hook under all the wraps, grab the working thread and bring it through. Now, you should have a loop on your hook! You’re ready for your first chain stitch. The chain is the foundation to crochet. You basically wrap the thread around your hook and pull a loop through the loop already on your hook. You do so for however many chains you need. THIS is a great instructional video for anyone who has no idea how to hold the thread, hook, etc. It’s really easy, so please do not be put off by it!
With the second button snug up against your hook, facing down, just make another chain right over it. Forget it’s there, even! With the buttons already threaded on your string, you don’t NEED to do any more.
Make some more chains until it’s time for your next button. The number of chains you make depends on how big your buttons are. I like to leave a little wiggle room, so with bigger buttons, I sometimes make up to 10 chains. Just eyeball it.
Scoot the next button up to your hook and chain it in. This one had a shank–a big one!– so I stuck my hook through it and grabbed another loop to chain it in even more. I did this a few times just because. It isn’t really necessary, but it’s an idea, if you feel your shanky buttons are too loose:
Now, all but one button have been crocheted together. If you’re using more than 5 buttons, keep going! Add all the buttons you want on this end. It’s time to make the part of the bookmark that will actually be IN your books. I made a chain of about 125 stitches. That sounds like a lot, but it’s only about as tall as your average book. I didn’t want any buttons INSIDE my books, of course, because that would defeat the purpose of a pretty bookmark on your shelf.
SO! 125-ish chain stitches later, you’re ready to attach your final button (if you’re adding more than one button to this end, crochet them in the way we did on the other side). Bring in real close and chain it! You could make an extra chain, cut your thread and call it a day, or do what I did and secure that baby in a little more.
Use your needle to weave in the ends and you are DONE!
What do you think?? Will you make one? I know it got a little lengthy, but I wanted you to be able to make it, even if you don’t crochet. If you have any questions, leave a comment or shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I can see so many variations of bookmarks. You could even crochet a loop after the last button and it can be a headband! So many possibilities.
If you do make one, please leave a link here–I’d be thrilled to see!