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Upcycling: Button Art Canvases

Green decorating expert Danny Seo creates recycled crafts in his book Upcycling. Here, he makes art canvases with button art.

Fri, 22 Jul 2011|

Hi. I'm Danny Seo, author of the book Upcycling. And today, I'm gonna show you how to transform a collection extra buttons. Something maybe you have in your juncture at home or great big jar that we found at a flea market or thrift store. It is something less fashionable and it is something more artistic, the silhouette artwork pieces. This milkshake and the hamburger and french fries behind me, they might look familiar to you readers of Every Day with Rachael Ray. They were featured in an Upcycling story I did for them and they've also been projects that have gotten the most questions about through e-mail. So, what you wanna start with is a pre-stretched canvass and you can find a great selection of canvasses at any Michael's store. This is a nice style I like for this project but you can go really, really extra big or a super sized silhouette project, or you can go really, really extra small for a very intricate smaller size one. I find the size of the canvass is usually dictated by the number of buttons that you have, so if you have a lot of buttons, great big artwork, not a lot, much smaller one. I painted it with several coats of this great acrylic craft paint. I chose this wonderful deep purple color right here. You really can choose whatever color you want for your artwork but one thing you wanna keep in mind is to choose a color that's gonna contrast really well with the button. So, if you've got a collection of green buttons, you may not wanna paint the canvass green. Now, this is almost sort of-- this is like a little bit tacky, it's dry but it's not completely dry and that's important because you're gonna take a wooden skewer and actually scratch into it what your silhouette is gonna be. So, I think because this purple color kinda reminds me of a starry night sky, I'm gonna put in stars. And what you see is just a very slight scratch in the canvass, doesn't hurt the canvass at all and it gives you a guide line where to put the buttons. The next step is really, really simple because I'm doing all these white silhouettes, I'll stick with white buttons. You just take your buttons, put a little white craft a little behind it and then you fill the entire inside with the buttons. And you wanna mix and match whatever shapes and sizes that you want. Obviously, the more detailed design is, the smaller the buttons will be more helpful and easy. Once you've filled in all of your buttons right here, you wanna make sure that it dries completely overnight, 24 hours if you can. Craft glue is a great adhesive but it's not a super fast drying one but once it's dry, these buttons will definitely be stuck on your canvass. So, take your collection of buttons right now, get a pre-stretched canvass, paint it a wonderful color and make yourself some button silhouette artwork.