Monday, November 22, 2010
Here's a quick project that wasn't nearly as quick as I initially hoped: dime buttons!
If you haven't already, you'll need to reference my penny buttons post to follow this tutorial; it's essentially the same process, with the key difference of aging the dimes so the detail show through.
See how nicely the detail "pops" on the far right? I did a lot of experimenting to find a finish that was easy to apply and would withstand machine washing. More on that in a second, though.
First, make your dime buttons using your trusty doming block, epoxy paste, and O rings:
You could stop here, of course, but from a distance they'd just look like plain silver buttons. Where's the fun in that?
So instead, get out your trusty Sharpie.
After much messing about with paints and glazes, I finally determined that a simple coating with a Sharpie marker was the best base coat to age the dimes. So:
2) Let it dry for a few seconds, until just barely tacky. (If you start to rub before the ink dries, your finish will have more contrast, and more areas of solid silver showing through.)
3) Using a paper towel or cloth, rub off the peaks of the dime until you like the way it looks. I wrapped the paper towel around my index finger and used a twist & rub technique, but play around with it and find whatever works for you. This will also take a few minutes of rubbing, so don't panic if it seems to be taking a while to get through the ink.
4) To seal the finish, spray your finished buttons with a high quality lacquer clear coat. (Check the spray-paint aisle.) I used a high gloss, but a flat sheen would look great, too.
The finished products:
A few more beauty shots, since these were kind of a pain to photograph well:
Initially I planned to attach these to a black and gray military-style shrug, but the buttons are a bit too dark; they don't show up all that well. So instead I'm hunting through my closet for something brighter. This finish looks *amazing* against blue, yellow, or dark orange. Actually, it'd probably look good on anything other than black, gray, or brown, so I have a lot of options.
Oh, and these are bigger than your average shirt buttons, so keep that in mind if you decide to replace the buttons on something you own. The lacquer finish will withstand soap, water, and scrubbing, but I haven't tested the epoxy putty in the dryer yet, so no promises there. You may want to air dry, just to be safe.
Hope you enjoyed! And as always, please send pictures if you try this yourself!
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