Those pesky buttons! (Antiqued button tree tutorial)

After a few bad morning-sick weeks, I have finally been back to painting! Here is something that I finished today! I’ve done a similar one before, and you can check out that post here. It includes all the details on how to create this nifty crackled effect with your paint- but for this post I thought I’d share a quick tutorial on how to deal with something that can be quite obnoxious for the avid buttoner. Yes, I am talking about nub buttons. You know- the ones with the nubs:

They’re always such awesome buttons, but gluing them to a canvas can be a huge pain! I’ve tried using mounds of glue, or trying to surgically remove the nubs, (so much button blood!) but those options just didn’t cut it. Well thankfully I stumbled upon this post, which happens to be written by the person who claims to have invented the button tree!!! Pretty nifty! I was definitely inspired by one of her branches I saw last year on Pinterest, but haven’t been able to find the original source until recently!  Check out her stuff!

And now let me share the trick to fastening these filagrees onto their rightful places!

Get stabby. Use an exacto knife to cut a small hole into the canvas where you want to put your button. Worry not, young button! I have a perfect little place for you to rest your nub!

Slather that nub in a small mound of hot glue. This is risky business. Be prepared to endure some war wounds, and then display them proud. I wont tell you the strangest place I’ve gotten a hot glue scar. my inner thigh.


Place the button into the slot and apply enough pressure to have the button sit flush against the canvas. Make sure you support the canvas around the button- if you push too hard without supporting it, you might dent and misshape your canvas.


Now repeat the process with all your nubbed and non-nubbed buttons! Look at this fabulous assortment! Does this make anyone else unnaturally excited???

I wanted to use a lot of nub buttons in this particular piece because I was going for the antique theme and a huge portion of my nubbed collection happen to be real antique buttons! I couldn’t have them go to waste- they needed to be on display!

When all is said and done, the back of your canvas should look something like this. Not too pretty, but it’s hidden, so simmer down.

Here is the final product! What a special tree!!! I hope the recipient (who shall remain anonymous for a while) likes it!

And here is a close up, cuz it deserves one:

Well, I hope this post was helpful and/or inspiring and/or entertaining!

Happy button-nubbing and seal-clu… nothing.



About Busted Button

Where Creativity and A.D.D. meet…on a blind date…under a bridge…and make a baby.
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11 Responses to Those pesky buttons! (Antiqued button tree tutorial)

  1. Sophie K says:

    I Loooove this! Your stuff really rocks I always look forward to new posts of art and crafty stuff. And you make-a me laugh. All the way from the UK, That’s quite a feat! We’re quite repressed you know. (pssst. I’m Nicolette’s friend)

  2. bethbutcher says:

    Just discovered your blog (via pintrest!) and I love it. I’ve been enjoying reading old blog posts, your stuff is so beautiful! I’m impressed that you are blogging. I’m suffering from morning sickness too and couldn’t face looking at or making anything for ages, let alone blog about it! Hope the sickness clears up soon.

    • thank you so much beth! im so glad you like it!!!! oh and that is sooo lame that you are going thru the sickness too! gah! i have definitely slowed down on my crafty endeavors- hoping that will pick up soon when im feeling better! congrats on your baby and i hope you feel better asap!!! ❤

  3. Patch says:

    Ooooooo, it makes me excited too lol! Plus a beautiful and cunning solution. I just inherited a very large tin of vintage buttons last weekend… Some of them are wartime ones… Who knows about the rest?? My problem is that so many are black/dark. Shall have to think up so monochrome designs for them.

  4. Jodi says:

    My stats led me here so firstly thanks for the mention, secondly, I love your button tree – it’s gorgeous. Thirdly, I learned something new today – I didn’t know they were called ‘nub buttons’. Lastly, I can’t claim to have invented the button tree – that was my husband 😉 Nice to discover your blog!

    • Hi Jodi!!!! I actually feel honored that you came to take a look over here 🙂 Well you and your hubby are awesomely creative- thank you so much for sharing all your stuff- it is so inspiring 🙂 ❤

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