M monogram

I’ve been collecting bits and pieces of beautiful things for several months now in preparation for making a new batch of “button stacks” to use (and sell) as shoe embellishments. You may have seen button stacks at craft and bead shows, where some artisans sell them as brooches, pendants, and the like, and they are usually rather pricey. At their most basic, they consist of two to four buttons stacked on top of each other.  Here’s an example of a three-button stack.

Emb Sample Button Stack 72 dpi The bottom two buttons are vintage, the top is a new button of inlaid mother of pearl. The trick when using vintage buttons to make embellishments for shoes is that you need to find TWO of each kind since you need one stack for each shoe.

Now, the real fun begins when you start adding things to your stacks that aren’t buttons. Then you get some really interesting results!

Here are some examples of my beyond-button stacks and the things I use in them.

Emb Row 2 72 dpi

 From left to right, you’re looking at:

  • A faux granite button topped by a batiked-bone button and a pink stick pearl.
  • A wood button with two stick pearls glued on top.
  • A vintage button with coral donut topped by a cast white bronze button with a shank.
  • A vintage white and black button with cameo glued on top.

Here’s are some more beyond-button stacks that use beads and pendants instead of buttons.

Emb Row 1 72 dpi

 From left to right, you’re looking at:

  •  A triangular pendant made of resin (from Natural Touch Beads) with a pendant of carved wooden fish glued on top.
  • Another resin pendant with (from top to bottom) a freshwater pearl, a cast white-bronze button with its shank snipped off and a stick pearl, all glued to the surface of the pendant.
  • A carved coral bead topped with a turquoise cabochon and a brass stamping. (A cabochon has a domed front and a flat back, making it perfect for gluing on top of a button. This one came from Fire Mountain Gems.)
  • A vintage button with a oxidized brass concho and a stick pearl on top.

When I’m using stick pearls (or other delicate items) on my stacks, I don’t sew through them with the thread I use to attach the embellishments to the shoes. They are not sturdy enough. Instead, I glue them onto the top of the stack and run the thread up and down through the lower levels of buttons, conchos or whatever.

I’ve purchased some yummy-colored resin donuts from Natural Touch Beads for my new collection of button stacks and I’ll post some photos when they’re done.

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