How to Make a Button Necklace

Steampunk button necklace designed by Emily Joy Etheredge for Cosplay by McCall's

Steampunk button necklace designed by Emily Joy Etheredge for Cosplay by McCall’s using La Mode® buttons.

There’s something especially satisfying about making your own costume accessories. It’s a great finishing touch for a handmade outfit, and for the perfectionist, it gives you a ton of control over the finished look. If you’re more of a beginner crafter, it’s also a great way to experiment and try out new materials and techniques without using up a lot of materials or time. This necklace is a fun way to use up some of the embellishment bits and pieces you might have collected, and super easy to customize to match your outfit. Click through for the pattern and full tutorial!


Supplies for button necklace project

This project was inspired by a collection of antique gold buttons from Blumenthal Lansing® – La Mode®, available on our website here. It was created by Emily Joy Etheredge, a freelance designer for Cosplay by McCall’s. Feel free to customize the design by changing up the fabric and thread colors, and choosing buttons and other embellishments to coordinate with the rest of your look.

Gather Your Supplies

The pattern for this project is free here. Choose three large feature buttons, which can be all different or symmetrically matched, and an assortment of smaller buttons that match or coordinate in color and style. In addition to these you will need:

  • Scraps of Faux Leather (in two colors)
  • Scraps of Cotton Twill
  • Faux Leather Cord
  • Sewing thread
  • Heavy decorative thread for edges
  • Fray Check
  • E6000 Glue
  • Assorted Beads
  • Decorative Chains

You will also need the following tools. You can sew the whole thing by hand, or use a sewing machine to speed up the gathering stitches

  • Needle
  • Scissors
  • Hole Punch
  • Iron
Pattern pieces cut from faux leather and twill fabrics
Assemble the Necklace

Begin by cutting your pattern pieces out of the faux leather and twill. Fray check the edges of the twill circles to make them easier to handle.

The twill circles will be used to display your large focus buttons, a bit like specimens in a museum. Before the circles are attached, the raw edges will be tucked underneath to conceal them and add a little dimension.

Twill circles gathered around edges and pressed flat to conceal raw edges

Sew a loose gathering stich around the edges of each twill circle. Pull up the gathering threads, drawing the raw edges together on the underside of each circle, and iron flat.

Sew buttons to the twill circles and tack the circles to the necklace base

Select a large statement button and sew it to the center of each twill circle. Glue the twill circles onto the necklace front base, and tack in place around the edges using a running stitch.

Detail piece placed to frame the buttons and embellished with beads around each opening

Glue the necklace detail piece on top of the necklace front base, arranged so the openings frame each button. Sew a length of beads around the edges of the twill circles using a couching stitch. Sew on additional buttons and charms so that most of the detail piece is covered.

Back side of necklace

Flip the necklace over and glue on the base back to cover the stitching. Sew a decorative blanket stitch around the edges of the necklace, then punch holes into the tabs at the bottom of the necklace and at each end. Attach decorative chains to the lower openings, and add small buttons or charms so that they peep through the punch holes. Thread leather cord through the holes at each end.


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