For this Pathfinder Vest, I knew that I wanted to use hand made buttons. Fortunately, my awesome husband said he would make some for me. He took pictures throughout the process, so that I could share the tutorial here.
- Find a branch, ours is a Mesquite branch.
- Use a miter saw to cut the branch into slices (ours are about 3mm thick). If you want a rustic look that includes the bark, like in the buttons we used for this vest, skip to step 6. If you would like your buttons to be more round and close to the same size, continue with the rest of the steps.
- Mark your slices with circles.
- Cut close to the line with a scroll saw or a coping saw (this is not necessary, but it makes it so you don’t have to sand as much).
- Use a belt sander with 80 grit sandpaper to smooth the edges and get the button as round as possible.
- Drill out the button holes with a drill press or regular drill.
- Sand again using a DA sander with 220 grit sandpaper
- Oil or stain your buttons to bring out the grain. We used olive oil which gave a nice natural color.
For the outer fabric of the vest, I used an off white corduroy fabric. The lining is a cotton fabric with little pink flowers on it. I used the lining fabric for the rouleau loops, and I love the look of the tiny flowers next to the large wood buttons.
Recommendations: Make your own buttons. Upcycle your fabrics when possible, like I did with my military upcycle vest.
Fabric: Corduroy from Jo-Ann fabrics, handmade wood buttons
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