Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Steampunk Clay Button Tutorial

Okay, here goes my first tutorial...hope you enjoy!

I was making a Steampunk jacket and corset and they both needed buttons.  After searching the stores and my stash, I decided I would try making them from polymer clay.  It was scary at first and, to be honest, my first design didn't work out. After playing around for a bit, I found that less is more.  So, here is how I did it...

I started with polymer clay in brown, bronze, gold and antique gold.  I mixed them in the pasta machine until it was slightly blended...not a completely new color.
I also selected a circle cutter the size I wanted my buttons, a clay tool to make the holes in the button for the thread, a clock stamp, mica powders, and polymer glaze.
I put the clay through the machine on a 5 setting, then cut out the buttons.
I decided I wanted two-hole buttons.  So, I measured and punched.  In the end, I found eyeballing it was easier.
Next, I pushed the button onto a clock face stamp.
Little clock faces!

Now some bronze and gold mica powders.  These really do make a HUGE difference!  I baked them following manufacturer's directions.  When they were cool, I antiqued them using black acrylic paint.  I brushed it on and quickly wiped it off.  Then, I applied 3 coats of satin glaze.

Here they are on my finished garment!

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial.

*NOTE: I washed a sample button I sewed on a swatch of fabric.  It washed and dried beautifully!


  1. Cool! This makes me want to try my hand at some polymer clay too!!

  2. Those are wonderful! I wonder how they would dry-clean... I suppose you could always make them removable for washing purposes (like the kind on uniforms). I might just have to try making some for a few of my projects. Thanks!

    I see you are on Etsy too - cool stuff in your store! I'm in the process of getting my shop up and running (literally) in the next couple of weeks. It's a bit overwhelming. =)

    I love Steampunk too. Do you by chance follow Epbot.com ? Jen was the one who introduced me to Steampunk. =)

    (I found your site because of the email telling me I'm in your group for the 1912 Project.)

    ~ Brooke

    1. Thanks Brooke! I don't know about dry-cleaning...they are machine washable. I've thought about making them removable in such a case.

      Love Etsy! My store is barren right now but I'm working on getting it restocked. Let me know about your shop...I'd love to see it. I've never heard of Epbot.com ...I'll look it up!

      I haven't received that email yet. Yay! I've been waiting to get to know someone in my group! I'm so exctied. Do you have a blog?