Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Simple Beaded Shank Button ~ a Free Pattern with Tutorial

Back in March, when I was working on the Ruth Collar for Interweave Crochet Fall 2014, I couldn't find a shank button to coordinate with the beaded edging. So I messed about with a few extra beads and came up with my own:

Original prototype

Final version as used on the Ruth Collar (I ran short
on the cinnamon-coloured beads, so had to substitute
the clear brown ones. But I like the two-tone effect.)

If you'd like to try your hand at these beaded buttons, here's how.

For each button, you'll need:
(8) size 6° or E beads (for contrasting centers, choose 6 of one colour and 2 of another)
(14) size 15° beads
Beading needle
About 18" waxed beading thread, Fireline, or product of your choice for stringing

Finished button size: 7/16" (11mm)

Step 1: String (1 small bead, 1 large bead) 6 times.
Step 2: Leaving a 4"-6" tail, pass the needle a second time through all 6 beads (in the same direction as the first pass), and draw them into a circle.
Step 3: Pass the needle through the next small bead and the next large bead, then pull firmly on both thread ends to snug up the beads.
Photo 4: Your beads should now look like this, with the shorter thread tail coming out of a small bead, and the longer working thread (with the needle at the end) coming out of a large bead.

Step 5: Thread a small bead, a large bead, and a small bead. Pass the needle through the opposite side of the large bead directly across from the bead the working thread came from. (It may help to think of them as 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock. The working thread came from the 12 o'clock bead, and you want to pass it through the opposite side of the 6 o'clock bead.)
Photo 6: Your button should now look like this.
Step 7: String a small bead, and pass the needle back up through the center bead.
Step 8: String another small bead, and pass needle back through the original large bead. Tug firmly on both thread ends to snug up the beads.

Your button should now look like this, with the working thread back where it started:

Turn the button over, and repeat Steps 5-8 on the other side.

Note: For extra stability, you may (if you like) pass the needle again through all the beads added in Steps 5-8, on both sides of the button. Your working thread should end up in the same place. This step is optional.

When the second side is complete, pass the needle and the working thread all the way around and through the outer ring of beads, ending in the place where the tail comes out:

Tug firmly on both threads and tie with a surgeon's knot.

Weave in thread ends one at a time by taking each thread back around/through the outer beads for at least one full circle. (If you're a bit paranoid about knots, as I am, you can knot them again at this point, then weave in the ends.)

Cut thread ends close to beads.

And there's your beaded button - ready to adorn a crochet collar or any other project:

The large center bead on either side can be used as a shank:

Several of these buttons worked in a row could also make a very pretty beaded bracelet or earrings.

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You may do whatever you like with the buttons you make from this pattern, but you may not sell the pattern or re-post it. (Links are always welcome.)

Thanks for viewing, and happy beading!

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  1. Wow! The explanation is a lot more understandable than I expected it to be! So many ideas now... =)

  2. YOU are a great teacher. I won't try it soon,, but maybe someday

  3. Wow, Sue! I can't imagine making one of these buttons let alone writing a post about it! I think I'll send a link to my sister Barb who is into knots and beads and macrame. I don't have the patience, but I can certainly appreciate the craftsmanship!

  4. As a beader, I loved this tutorial. I've done all kinds of peyote stitch projects. Thanks for the idea and sharing!! I have like 8 million beads in my collection! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  5. You are absolutely amazing..but I have always known that. Oh, forgive me, I just lost this comment...late here, more going on and hope that this comes through. I so love your walks, rides and the beauty that you share with us.
    Sending love, E. xoxo

  6. You are a multi-talented crafting maniac! This is a great tutorial, just like your crochet tutorials.

  7. Lovely! Bit over my head I think (well, I'd have to try it to see I suppose), but I followed the Surgeon's Knot link and found knotty happiness :-D. Knots I can deal with!

  8. Have I told you how brilliant you are lately?
    Hugs and Happy Halloween,

  9. What a cool idea! I often can't find buttons I like or that match whatever I'm making, so I, too, end up making my buttons. Either fabric-covered or crocheted. I like the crocheted ones better than anything I can buy at the store, so I don't know why I keep looking for store-bought!


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