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How to Make a Button-Embellished Top
Inspired by the original DIY'er, Martin Margiela, I've dipped into my overflowing stash of mismatched buttons to craft a fabulously avant-garde-style t-shirt. The shirt I used was actually one of my husband's that he discarded due to a couple tiny stains on the front. But that's what DIY's for! Cover up stains, patching, pilling, or a design you don't like...or add interest to an otherwsie boring piece. There's a ton of great art and photos out on the internet - or you can create your own image and use it as a template for button placement. I chose monochromatic buttons so that the image would appear "pixellated" when standing from afar - and though I chose to make an eye (in my own homage to Salvador Dali), you could make anything your heart desires.

Posted by carlyjcais from Portland, Oregon, United States • Published See carlyjcais's 60 projects »
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  • How to make a long sleeved t-shirt. Button Embellished Top - Step 1
    Step 1

    Pre-wash t-shirt if it hasn't been washed already. Place cardboard or t-shirt board inside t-shirt to flatten front.

  • Step 2

    (Optional) If you are using a piece of artwork as a template, slide it inside your tee, just on top of the board. Secure with tape.
    Decorate

  • How to make a long sleeved t-shirt. Button Embellished Top - Step 3
    Step 3

    Now's the time to channel your inner artiste! Place tee on a flat surface and start covering it with buttons. Start with the black outlines,

  • How to make a long sleeved t-shirt. Button Embellished Top - Step 4
    Step 4

    then place the brightest white buttons on the brightest white parts of the eye. (You'll probably spend a lot of time squinting at your picture.) Stand back every few minutes to see if you like the effect, and adjust your placement as necessary.

  • How to make a long sleeved t-shirt. Button Embellished Top - Step 5
    Step 5

    Make it Permanent

    When you're pleased with your button artwork, now you need to take each button off and affix it to the t-shirt. For the larger buttons add a daub of glue to its back; for the smaller dot glue onto the shirt itself. If you plan to go back and sew your buttons for more security - be careful you don't get any glue in the buttonholes. (If you are using shanked buttons, you'll have to hand-sew them on to the shirt.)

  • How to make a long sleeved t-shirt. Button Embellished Top - Step 6
    Step 6

    After you've glued all your buttons down, allow the glue to dry per the instructions.

  • How to make a long sleeved t-shirt. Button Embellished Top - Step 7
    Step 7

    (Optional) Remove board from tee, and proceed to sew all the buttons down to the front of your shirt. (Drop the sewing machine's feed dogs, and zigzag into 2 holes of each button - which should be secure to hold it on and allow you to machine-wash your shirt.)7. Wear and enjoy all the extra attention. (If you have chosen not to sew your buttons down, follow the washing instructions on the glue. Some glues are not fast when put in the wash, so be careful when choosing!)

  • How to make a long sleeved t-shirt. Button Embellished Top - Step 8
    Step 8

    Pair with black and white pieces to make your monochromatic look. Here's looking at you, kid!
    And check out my blog Chic Steals for more DIY tutorials and fun embellishing projects!

  • How to make a long sleeved t-shirt. Button Embellished Top - Step 9
    Step 9

    Thanks for reading - and if you have any questions, ask them in the Comments section below and I'll do my best to help you out!
    xoxox
    Carly J. Cais

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Comments

ficklephonebug ..
ficklephonebug .. · 60 projects
Very clever!
Reply
carlyjcais
carlyjcais · Portland, Oregon, US · 61 projects
Awww...
Maybe a necklace like on your profile piccy?;-)
Reply
PinkWeeds
PinkWeeds · Omaha, Nebraska, US · 207 projects
The only problem is, I can't think of anything I'd want to put on my t-shirt.
Reply
carlyjcais
carlyjcais · Portland, Oregon, US · 61 projects
Thanks sofia d.! :-D
xoxo
Carly
Reply
sofia d.
sofia d. · 8 projects
love love love it!!!
Reply
carlyjcais
carlyjcais · Portland, Oregon, US · 61 projects
Thanks PeeWee - have fun!Happy
xoxo
Carly
Reply
too-girlie
too-girlie · Verwood, England, GB · 1 project
WOWOWOWOWOWOW LOVE IT!!!!!!!!

Got to try it, right now hehehe
Reply
carlyjcais
carlyjcais · Portland, Oregon, US · 61 projects
Thanks leigh C.! No, I haven't washed it yet - but I have had success with this glue with handwashing lightly in cold water for another projects I did awhile back (though I didn't use nearly so many buttons!!) I'm a little scared to try it with this....I may go back and sew each button on when I'm feeling up to it.
Thanks for your comment!
xoox
Carly
Reply
Scissorfiend
Scissorfiend · Grand Rapids, Michigan, US · 1 project
Wow, that's REALLY neat! I was just wondering, have you washed it yet? If so, did the buttons stick? I have the same glue, but haven't found it to be so effective in the past.
Reply
carlyjcais
carlyjcais · Portland, Oregon, US · 61 projects
Awww, Arty KitKat & judthchen...you guys are so sweet!<3
And Celeste S. and Franisima c. - thanks for the props! :-D
xoxox
Carly
Reply
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