Have a Button and Some Wire? You (Yes, You!) Can Make a Vintage-Style Necklace


If you're into vintage style, chances are you have a jar or two of pretty old buttons. At least a few of those buttons may be carved mother of pearl — they are so pretty and so, so popular. Now, with just a little wire and a few jewelry-making tools, you can transform those buttons into wire-wrapped pendants. Learn how to make wire-wrapped pendants in this course!

The basic wire-wrapping technique I'm about to show you also works for lampwork discs and other flat components, so there's a whole world of jewelry ready to discover.

Let's button up and go!

DIY Button Pendants

Level: Easy

What You Need

  • 5-inch piece of 18-gauge wire (I use dead-soft sterling silver in the photos below)
  • Ruler
  • Sharpie marker
  • Button or lampwork disc of your choice (I use a 24mm button)
  • Chain-nose pliers
  • Round-nose pliers
  • Flush cutters

Get Wrapping

1. Mark Your Wire

With a Sharpie, mark the wire at 1¼ inches from the end. Thread the wire through the button's center and slide it right on top of the mark.

2. Bend the Wire

Bend both sides of the wire up, pressing them snug against the button to hold it in place.

Bend the wires so they cross over the top of the button. Be sure to leave a small amount of space between the button and wires so the button can move freely.

Then, bend the long wire up with the tip of the chain-nose pliers. Bend the short wire forward to a 90-degree angle, as shown above.

3. Twist

Grasp the short wire with the chain-nose pliers and wrap around the longer wire twice. Trim the excess wire.

4. Make a Loop

Bend the long wire back 90 degrees. Place the middle of the round-nose pliers at the bend and make a wrapped loop that's large enough for a necklace chain.

5. Finishing Touches

Wrap the tail wire over the top of the previous wraps, keeping the wraps parallel and neat. Trim the wire on the back side of the button and press the wire down. Make sure that the wire on the top of the button is in a straight line with the loop, creating a precise and finished look.

Now you are ready to slip the pendant onto a chain or leather cord — pretty!

Once you get the hang of this wire-wrapping technique, experiment with your materials. Vary the type of wire; twisted wire or oxidized wire will give you a more rustic look. Try different kinds of metal buttons, like brass or copper. Get creative and have fun!

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Have a Button and Some Wire? You (Yes, You!) Can Make a Vintage-Style Necklace