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Netted button necklace

Large vintage buttons are put in the spotlight as centerpieces for bead-embellished pendants

I see vintage buttons as small works of art. My design preserves each button’s collectibility by leaving its surface unaltered. A netted bezel encases the button without tape or other adhesives. I anchored the layers of embellishments into a right-angle weave band that circles the button.


Necklace 25–32 in. (64–81cm) with embellished vintage button and bail

  • vintage button 1 1⁄2–2 in. (3.8–5cm)
  • 29 3mm fringe drops for straight fringe
  • 2–8mm embellishment beads (hex-cut, triangle, cylinder, fire-polished, stone, or crystal beads) for necklace
  • 2–4mm embellishment beads (hex-cut, triangle, drop, cylinder, fire-polished, stone, or crystal beads) for button
  • Japanese seed beads
  • 3–4g size 11/0 in each of 2 or 3 colors: A, B, C for button embellishment
  • 5–10g size 11/0 in each of 2 or 3 colors: A, B, C for necklace
  • 1–3g size 15/0
  • Fireline 6 lb. test; or Nymo B conditioned with beeswax or
  • Thread Heaven
  • beading needles, #12

EDITOR’S NOTE: Large vintage buttons may be difficult to find. If you find smaller vintage buttons, it is possible to expand their size by stitching them into 1 1⁄2–2-in. (3.8–5cm) mother-of-pearl donuts by netting the entire back of the donut. You can also use large porcelain or shell pendants in place of a button.


Embellished button
Netted button necklace Figure 1
Figure 1
Netted button necklace Figure 2
Figure 2


Netted button necklace Photo A
Photo A

1. On 2 yd. (1.8m) of Nymo, leave an 18-in. (46cm) tail, and pick up 12 color A 11/0 seed beads (FIGURE 1, a–b). Sew back through the first nine beads to form a ring (b–c).

2. Pick up nine As (c–d). Working in right-angle weave, sew through the last three beads you went through, and continue through the first six beads just added (d–e). Continuing in right-angle weave (e–f), sew a band that is the length of the button’s circumference, minus the width of three As.

3. To join the band into a circle, pick up three As, sew through the end As of the first ring (FIGURE 2, a–b), pick up three As, and sew through the end As of the last ring (b–c). Insert the button to check the fit (PHOTO A). Remove the button before stitching the netting. Sew back through the As added in this step (c–d).

Netted button necklace Figure 3
Figure 3
Netted button necklace Figure 4
Figure 4
4. Pick up three color B 11/0 seed beads. Sew through the next three As (FIGURE 3, a–b). Repeat (b–c) around the circle. Step up to row 2 by sewing through the first two Bs added in this step (FIGURE 4, a–b). Add thread as needed.
Netted button necklace Figure 5
Figure 5
Netted button necklace Figure 6
Figure 6
Netted button necklace Photo B
Photo B

5. Pick up two As, and sew through the center B added in the previous row (b–c). Repeat (c–d) around the circle. Depending on the size of the button, it may be necessary to adjust the number of As in a net to properly decrease the bezel’s circumference. It may also be necessary to add one or two more rounds to snug up the netting (FIGURE 5 and 6, and PHOTO B). Secure the thread with a few half-hitch knots, and trim.

6. Thread a needle on the tail, and sew through the band to exit an 11/0 as shown in FIGURE 3, point a on the back side of the band. Insert the button into the beadwork. Repeat steps 4 and 5 to bezel or enclose the back of the button.

Netted button necklace Figure 7
Figure 7
Netted button necklace Figure 8
Photo 8
Netted button necklace Photo C
Photo C

7. Embellish the edge of the button as desired, using the following techniques:

Pick up the desired beads, cross diagonally over the square and sew through the three beads of the next cross bar (FIGURE 7, a–b).

Sew through the edge 11/0s, placing an accent bead in the openings between the bead groups (c–d).• Sew through the diagonal embellishments to add beads on top of the cross bars (FIGURE 8, a–b). Using a variety of beads, repeat around the circle (PHOTO C).

For complete project instructions, click here to download & print this PDF
FIND MORE: necklaces , netting , buttons

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