A collector of buttons plain and fancy, Ione M. Wiedeman of Minot, North
Dakota, first made a button doll for her granddaughter, Brandy, then
made her first, smaller "button buddy" as a pendant. After helping
fourth and fifth graders make them for their moms, she took some to the
National Button Convention. Today, you might spot one anywhere.
2 1/2" to 3 1/2", depending on thickness of buttons.
36 to 40 sew-through buttons and 7 shank buttons (bows and
other shaped buttons are good for tummies or hats); 1 yd fishing line
(nylon monofilament) size 10; small (6 mm) split ring for fishing lures
or a jewelry ring; 1 yd 1/8"-wide ribbon.
1. Head: Slip the ring onto the line and slide it to the middle.
Following Diagram 1, select a small button for hat top, a larger one for
brim and 2 or 3 smaller ones for head. String one end of the fishing
line down through one hole of each button. Slip the other end down
through the opposite hole (use the diagonally opposite hole if there are 4).
2. Arms: Select 4 to 6 buttons for each arm, using a shank button for
hands if you like. Slip one end of the line through one hole on each
button, then back through the opposite row of holes. Repeat with the
other line and buttons.
3. Body: Using 1 large shank button for tummy and one for back, slip the
lines through the tummy button from opposite directions (Diagram 2).
Take lines over the shoulders and slip them through the back button in
the same way. Then bring lines to the front between the 2 lines under
the head. Add a small flat button below the tummy and tie a single knot
to keep the top together.
4. Skirt or pants: String 3 or 4 gradually larger buttons to make a
skirt (Diagram 3) or a few of one size for pants.
5. Legs: Working as for arms, string 6 or 7 buttons on each line. Then
thread lines up through the body to the tummy.
6. Around the threads between back and tummy, tie a fisherman's knot on
one side (wrap the line three times rather than the usual one for a
single knot). Turn the doll over and knot; repeat once more. Then cut
7. Slip ribbon through the ring and knot ends together at desired length
for necklace or hanging.
Button Buddies Pattern