Build a beautiful button tree

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What is a button tree you ask? Great question — I didn’t know either until my mom pulled up a picture and showed me a fun, funky piece of art that caught my eye immediately.

A button tree is a tree made of buttons. It may sound simple, but the best part about these trees is you can make them your own, so you’ll never see two that are the same. Give it a try, and you’ll surprise yourself with how many buttons you have laying around.

What you’ll need

  • Hot glue
  • Glue stick
  • Buttons (all shapes, sizes and backing work)
  • Frame with cardstock or scrapbook paper (a canvas would also work)
  • Acrylic paint and brushes
  • Pencil

What to do

  1. For our purposes, my mom and I used old frames and scrapbook paper laying around the house. Mount the scrapbook paper onto the backing of the frame or a piece of cardboard cut to size. Use a glue stick and insert it into the frame as if it were the picture. Remove the glass, you won’t need it. 
  2. Collect and sort your buttons. We found it most helpful to sort by color.
  3. Once you have your frame, put back together and, with the scrapbook paper facing outward, sketch the shape of your tree lightly where you want it to be positioned.
  4. Take your acrylic paint and fill in your tree’s trunk or create an outline as a guide and fill it in with buttons later if you prefer.
  5. Now you’re ready for hot glue. Add a small dot of glue to the back of each of your buttons and add it to your trunk. You can plan it out or fly by the seat of your pants; both options have beautiful results. Be careful not to burn yourself, as the glue sometimes seeps through holes.
  6. Watch your tree come to life. Mix and match buttons of varied sizes, shapes and colors to give your tree a dynamic look or keep it monochromatic for a simple feel. It really is that simple!

Add family photos to create a family button tree if you create a larger piece, or you can add it to your art collection for a fun, eye-catching piece. Wherever this fanciful tree ends up in your house, it’s sure to brighten your day.


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Ami Iceman-Haueter

Ami Iceman-Haueter

Ami Iceman-Hauter is the Brand Manager at M3 Group in downtown Lansing. Iceman is a graduate of Michigan State University with a bachelors degree in creative advertising.

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