First, I try to decide what size buttons I want or need. Then, of course the hunt for the right branch gets underway.
Maybe I'll find the perfect branch in this stack of wood ...Yep, found it! The branch for these buttons was blown out of the tree by tropical storm Beryl, a recent visitor to our area.
Using my band saw the branch is sliced into eight little pieces. Man-o-man, they look rough and that bark doesn't look very sturdy. Hmmm...
The bark had to go and two of the slices did not pass my stress test. I tried to break each piece to make sure it was strong enough to be a button. These strong little guys will work :) (They feel a bit naked)
The Dremel tool smoothed out the saw marks and the sander took care of the fine-tuning. It's tricky holding onto these little suckers while doing this.
These buttons were so tiny, I used pliers to hold them in place while drilling two holes. I want to keep my fingers for another project.
All surfaces were sanded several times until they were super-smooth. The edges were rounded a tad to soften them up. I included a pencil to help you see the size of these tinies.
I applied wax and set them out to dry. Any extra wax will easily be buffed away.
Finished branch buttons!
These are the tiniest I've ever made, but little beauties.
Complicated? You decide.
Find more buttons at Hendywood on Etsy.
Shop Hendywood for unique handmade jewelry.
I love to work with old, gnarly wood that I can reclaim or salvage. This piece was a pine plank taken from a very old house during a remodeling project. The wood was over 100 years old and, well, didn't look that pretty as you can see.
Oh, but the ugly was only skin deep. The beauty within was amazing.
After attaching the block of wood to my lathe and giving it a whirl (not to mention using a few cutting tools) an interesting little form began to emerge. The aroma of pine was strong and the sticky sap meant many stops to clean my tools.
At the halfway point, the newly formed block was flipped over and
reattached to the lathe. More ugly...
A little more turning and cutting - it finally started to look like a bowl.
Not only was the grain beautiful in this old wood, but look closely and you can see the nail holes. Sweet!
Done. A beautiful little bowl from reclaimed antique pine wood that was once destined for the trash heap. One's trash, another's treasure.