Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Make Your Own: Button Bracelets

I can't take credit for this program idea. Our awesome teen person planned this one and then accidentally scheduled it for her off day. So, obviously, I stepped in; I love craft programs. I couldn't get any actual teens to participate-- our group today consisted of a bunch of surly 16 year old boys who were unswayed by my "make something pretty for your girl or your mom" speech, but I managed to recruit a bunch of kids from upstairs and we had a great time making bracelets and talking about best friends and farts. Seriously, these kids love farts. 

You probably know the drill, there are tutorials all over the internet for these bracelets, but they're fun and easy and the sheer variety of buttons that you can find means that you can make these for days and they're always new and exciting.

 The actual how-to is pretty simple. Cut a length of elastic cord and tie a knot in one end. Then string the buttons. The key to making the buttons sit on top of each other like they do in the examples is in the way you thread the buttons.

Thread the first button by bringing the elastic from the bottom of the button up through the top and then back down again. The second button will be the exact opposite: bring the elastic through the hole from the top and then thread it back up again.

By alternating up-down-up-down with the buttons you'll achieve the much desired super concentrated look. Make sure you cinch the buttons close together and continue on until you've reached the desired length.

And voila! Lots and lots of beautiful fashion statements.

After making bracelets for a while we got creative and started making necklaces and headbands and every other type of button accessories imaginable. I think I even saw a very uncomfortable looking button ring at one point.

I think this program worked best with our group of 8 to 12 year olds, rather than the intended teens. When we do our other big fashion program later this summer, we'll definitely target the teens more. The button bracelets also attracted more boys than I expected: three boys joined us to make bracelets. One made a second for his mom- blue and silver to match her ring- but they all made their first bracelets for themselves. Just goes to show you that you should never make assumptions about your audiences. The mom loved her bracelet, by the way, she showed up at the end and fawned over both her son and the craft. It's so cool to see parents engaged in their kids' lives.

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