Monday, July 18, 2011

Button Suncatcher Jolly Roger

There few things in my life right now that are as enticing as buttons, and what I can create with them.  Have you ever scooped up a hand full of these wonderful little things and really looked at them? At first glance they are as utilitarian as a knife and fork: singular in purpose, though not in form.  The color pallet of the button is far greater than my imagination, as is the designof their being.  Is it glass, plastic, or metal? Perhaps bone, china, or shell.  They can be simple geometric shapes, wild and crazy objects, swirling and dipping globes, or flat hard-etched fasteners.  Jem encrusted or glitter dusted, the button has managed to capture my creative attention and I am all the better for it.
Anita came across this fun craft magazine that had tons of fun and inexpensive ideas, but there was a catch....the whole thing was in French.  Being the industrious women that we are we plugged a few of the more colorful ideas into an online translator and Bob's your uncle we have crafts.  The button one that caught my eye in the magazine is one we will be doing at an up coming Craft Club.  But the basic idea really got me thinking about buttons and what could be done with them.
I came up with a sun catchercraft mostly due to the fact that I am running out of wall space in my craft room.  I have two nice windows that sure look like they needed some craft love so the brainstorming began.  I am all about anything pirate right will learn that I swing from pirate to ninja throughout the year and it's pirate season right now, thank you Capt Barbossa!  So I wanted to do a large Jolly Roger sun catcher.  I measured my window and set to work on finding the perfect picture frame.  I am also all about the up-cycling of old into new again, therefore, a nice used picture frame was the only way to go.  It took me several thrift stores worth of picking while I was on a trip to my Mom's house in the great state of NC before I found the perfect one.  This bad boy was a wonderful 16 inches square, had a great wooden frame, and he only cost me a buck!  So add in the cost of the $.99 black spray paint and you have the deal of a craft lifetime.  I got to painting it while still in NC because I so did not want to wait, I was way too excited for patience.

The frame was done and I was happy.  I discarded the mat and picture, suffice it to say it was a lovely eighty's mauve and teal item that had lived a long and happy life.  I kept the glass, cleaned it up and glued it to the back of the frame. 
The Jolly Roger is your stereotypical pirate flag with the white skull and crossed swords on a black background.  So we went in search of buttons; to 14 different thrift, resale, and antique stores we trod and still not enough buttons.  Until you are in need of hundreds of black buttons you never notice how hard it is to come up with a really great purchase of the things.  I was able to find enough white ones so I started there.  We blew up the Jolly Roger big enough so that I could cut out the skull and crossed swords separate from each other.  I taped them onto the back of the glass as reference and then started gluing the white buttons on top of the glass with regular old tacky type glue.  It worked really well, so well in fact that it actually looked like what it was supposed to, insert sigh of relief here. 
It took me a month and a half of stalking buttons to get enough black ones to finish the black flag part of my button creation, but I finally got it done.  I am so proud of this every time someone comes in my house that hasn't seen it I direct their attention to it, whether they think pirates are cool or not.

I love this art more and more every time I look at it.  I have purchased some more really awesome frames and I plan on making new designs as gifts for those that are crafty in my life.  I have noticed that I am still coveting buttons and have sorted them all out so I know which colors I need to buy to keep the collection up.  I am surprised to have found a craft that is so fun that had never entered my thought process before.  Buttons on glass, yep, never occurred to me, who knew.
I hope your summer crafting is everything you hoped it would be.

Keeping it fastened up,
Kelly, the pirate ninja


  1. Hey Ninja Pirate,
    So for the first paragraph or so I was reading Jolly Rancher, and I'm trying to figure out what Jolly Ranchers and Capt. Barbosa have to do with one another. DUH! JOLLY ROGER;

  2. they sell big jars of buttons, watch the bid pricing though it can get pretty high, also check the shipping price before you buy, it can double the price

  3. WOW KELLY! This is AMAZING! I don't think I'd have the patience though LOL ;)

  4. Hi, Kelly! You've got so much creativity here and I'm admiring them all. Can you please share your creative posts at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop? Hope to see you there :)

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