Thursday, August 18, 2011

button trees: a tutorial

I wanted to create something unique to decorate my classroom walls and when I came across button trees on pinterest I knew this was it! I had a tin full of buttons at school that I've been collecting over the years and I ordered a few button sets off of etsy to enhance my collection for this project. I needed this project to be cheap (school budget), but look nice! I waited for the canvas panels to go on sale and alas...this past weekend I found a pack of 5 from Michaels for $20...Plus I had a coupon (bonus!).

What you'll need:

4 white canvas panels
2-3 shades of brown acrylic paint (I used true brown, bronze, and light brown)
a variety of buttons (green, red, orange, yellow, brown and white/clear)
Elmer's glue
cardboard/thick paper for tree template (I used this for inspiration)

What do do:

1. First you will need to draw and cut out your tree template. I used a picture found on google for inspiration and free handed it on a piece of cardboard.

2. Trace tree template on each of the 4 canvas panels.

3. Paint tree. I painted 2 trees a darker color brown and used the bronze to add texture (these will be the fall/winter trees). The other 2 trees I painted a lighter brown and used the light brown to add texture (these will be the spring/summer trees). Allow trees to fully dry before moving on.

4. Sort buttons into colors. I placed all greens in a pile, all reds/browns/yellows/oranges in another pile, and all white/clear/silver in another pile.

5. Choose one tree and begin placing buttons on branches. (WAIT until you lay out all of the buttons on one tree before you start gluing- just in case you want to change them around!)

Seasons and button placements:
*NOTE: use a variety of shapes/sizes to make tree look more interesting

winter: white and clear buttons placed on bottom of canvas with small white buttons placed sporadically in the sky (to look like falling snow)

summer:  a lot of darker greens with small reds (as apples)

fall: sporadic red, brown, orange, and yellow buttons placed on tree with some placed in piles on the bottom of canvas

spring: a lot of lighter greens with colorful flower shaped buttons on the bottom of the canvas

6. Once all of your buttons are in place and your happy with the way it looks, glue each in it's place. Wipe off any excess glue.

7. Lay flat to dry.

8. Hang on wall and enjoy!

*If you make this project, please send me a link to your pictures! I'd love to see your creations!

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