Friday, December 15, 2017

From Failed Button Necklace to Sparkly Holiday Wreath!

Happy Chanukah! Here's my newest accidental decor!
At 5 1/2" across, can be hung, or, even better, be used flat as a candle-surround. The central hole is about 2 1/2" across, which nicely accommodates a votive. 
The buttons and rhinestones sparkle beautifully in Chanukah candlelight!

But it didn't start out as room decor. A couple of weeks ago, I had some fancy parties coming up, and a blue-and-silver dress to wear, so I seized the opportunity to make experimental neckgear with some of my favorite buttons.

I started by crocheting an arc-shape base, using a linen yarn. The first row is at the top, and I doubled every other stitch or so to create a 2" wide crescent. I cut and lightly glued a crescent of blue felt to the back. Then, one by one, I stitched on blue, silver, and rhinestone buttons.

Not great, I know. When it was done, and I tried it on with my dress, it looked big and lumpy; it overwhelmed the dress's neckline, and it was just messy and wrong. What's more, the contrast between the necklace's heavy front, and the thin strings leading to the closure, looked really bad.
So I cut off the strings, sewed the two ends together, added a stiff interfacing donut to the back, and voila! 
The rhinestone butterfly - peeled off a bat mitzvah invitation - covers the join (thank you Karen!)
 And below is what I meant by a donut - a piece of stiff fusible interfacing covered with dupioni silk.
There are much more direct routes to making your own button wreath. Buy a wreath blank, or just cut and wrap a stiff interfacing donut, and sew on buttons, beads, whatever! If you don't happen to have your own failed necklace, the thrift shops are full of them. (While you're there, buy a vintage necktie to wrap the wreath form, for extra pizzazz!)

And just for the memories, here's the wreath I made for my Mom's assisted living apartment a couple of years ago, blogged here.  I'd never even considered a Chanukah wreath - which is usually not a thing - until this situation came up. There weren't many Jewish residents in this wonderful residence, and virtually every door had a festive Christmas wreath on it. I didn't want her to be the only one without - so I made a unilateral decision that Chanukah wreaths are kosher! 
The residence provided that hangar on top, which came as a hilarious surprise. This decoration, including that menorah that I was quite fond of, ultimately vanished (as things tend to do in dementia places), so now I have a replacement.

Wishing you and your family a happy, densely embellished, buttony holiday season!

(For button-based projects that worked out better as necklaces, see my next blog post, here.)


  1. Thank you and happy Chanukah to you and yours! Your creativity is always fabulously inspirational!

    1. Jeri, Happy Hanukah! This wreath is in your colors, except needs more blues and purples....the next one!

  2. What a wonderful idea! I love the Hanukkah wreath you made for your mum's door. A brilliant idea, and, indeed, a Hanukkah wreath can be a thing! Happy Hanukkah to you!

    1. Thank you, Toni, and Happy Holidays to you! I didn't believe in Chanukah wreaths until the dilemma with my Mom's door. Now I'm a believer!