Easy doll-scale buttons

At about 6mm (1/4") these shank buttons are the perfect tiny scale for dolls and they're so easy to make!

Here is how I made mine.

Supplies

  • Shanks these buttons use 6mm brass shanks available in silver and gold. I have these in my etsy shop. Need a smaller scale? Check out the tip at the end of this article.
  • Apoxie sculpt
  • Strong glue like E6000 (tips here)
  • Small findings like cabochons, bead caps, flat beads and more
  • Sculpting tools I used needles and an inexpensive ball stylus set like these

Tip: tiny shanks are hard to hold. The best way I found to work with them is to thread them onto the narrow tip of a tapered tool like this ball stylus. Then use your finger to hold the piece secure. You could also use a pair or rubber-tipped pliers to hold the shank steady. But this threaded tool method is what worked best for me.

These buttons were made with Apoxie Sculpt. Mix a very small amount of the two parts (very small, like tiny blueberries). Pinch off a tiny bit and roll it into a ball with your fingertips. Apply it to the top of the shank--make sure to push firmly around the edges to secure it. Then it is time for embellishing! Use little tools to make patterns and texture, or press beads and filigree into the tops. Allow the Apoxie Sculpt to set (a few hours or overnight), then use acrylic paints and a dry brush to color each button.

Painted buttons all finished! The antique crochet button pictured here for scale is 1" in diameter (2.5 cm).

Painted buttons all finished! The antique crochet button pictured here for scale is 1" in diameter (2.5 cm).

Left to right--some of the findings I used. These were purchased from Fire Mountain Gems.

Left to right--some of the findings I used. These were purchased from Fire Mountain Gems.


These glass knob-style buttons were made using clear glass cabs (6mm), a very thin cured polymer clay disc and E6000 glue. I used the glue in layers--first I glued the polymer disc to the shank and then after it set, I added glue to the top of the disc and laid the clear glass into place. 

Here are more buttons made with a simple layer of glue and cabochon-style findings:

Here they all are, ready for sewing onto costumes! It took about 3 hours to make all these buttons.

Here they all are, ready for sewing onto costumes! It took about 3 hours to make all these buttons.

Need tinier buttons? Like really tiny? You can use shank buttons like these to make micro-scale buttons for your dolls. Just glue or apoxie the shapes right on to the top of the plastic shank to give them a whole new look. These shank buttons are from Zipper that doll