Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Birthday Picnic DIY #2 - Cute as a (Personalized) Button

Yesterday we shared how to turn a sad, old beer or soda container into a fun + portable picnic caddy from our happy hour birthday picnic, and today we're making the caddy's "flair" for any of you fellow Office Space fans - personalized buttons!

I read once that one of the best ways to make a good impression on someone is to address the person to whom you are speaking by name, the reason being that we all have a natural attraction to the sound of our own names, some more than others (I'm looking at you, "The Donald"). Don't ask me where I read this or how accurate it is - this is coming from the girl who forgot to actually take the (decaf) coffee she paid for off the counter at the shop this morning.

That said, knowing that not all of my girlfriends knew each other, I thought it would be a nice touch to make darling, personalized buttons for each of my lovely gals.  Here's the how to:

What You'll Need (It looks like a lot of stuff but it's not, I promise):

- buttons (you'll be gluing right over the top of them, so don't worry if they're old and/or have seen better days)
- hot glue gun (I love glue guns so much that I would say, "please bury me with my trusty old glue gun", but I want to be cremated, so there goes that)
- paper scraps (I used leftover chevron paper from the caddies we made as well as a few circle and scalloped shaped paper scraps)
- I used my handy roll of hot pink artist's tape (which I also discovered they sell at Blick), but you could either skip this altogether if your paper's pattern isn't as busy as mine, or you could try using washi tape
- vinyl letters (the kind you peel off the sheet with an exacto knife)
- an exacto knife
- mod podge to keep the letters from moving
- if you have lovely handwriting, you can skip the letters, exacto and mod podge and simply write the names


You can of course do this 100 different ways, using whatever you've got laying around.  You may have noticed in the picture above that I pulled out some colored pom poms left over from the strands I made for the duckling's first birthday party, but once I started assembling them I decided I didn't need/want them.  Long story short, this is one of those "free to be you and me" projects, where there's really no wrong way to do it.   For those of you who like step-by-step directions, I've written everything out below because I like you.  And your hair looks really pretty today.  Is that a new blouse?

1. First cut a piece of paper for each button, being sure to leave enough margin for the button to be hidden by your paper.  Mine are approximately 4 inches long and 2 inches wide.  We'll call this "the base".

2. If you're using artist's or washi tape, place a strip down the middle, with a little hanging over the end to fold over the edge.

3. Time for the letters!  I love vinyl letters, and my handwriting is frightening, so I went the more "formal" route of using adhesive letters, but if you have pretty handwriting, then a. I'm really jealous of you right now and b. you can skip all the steps involved with the adhesive letters below and instead just make your friends jealous by writing out their names.

For the rest of us, peel your letters off the sheet using an exacto.

Starting at the end of the name, stick the letters in place.  You can probably also skip your daily sudoku, too, since spelling names backwards is harder than it sounds. 

Here are all my completed names.

Then, because I found that the letters liked to move around a bit, I applied a thin layer of Mod Podge to each one.

 4. Add your other elements with hot glue.  Whether it's rhinestones, glitter or a picture of The Donald, glue that bad boy on, then glue your base to the button.

Here's the button on the caddies...

Cute, no?  You could also whip up something similar to use as place cards at your next assigned seating dinner table. 

Tomorrow we'll share how we DIY'ed the cheery picnic blanket you see here.

Turtle-backed husband not included. 

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