Pin this on Pinterest

All buttoned up

Retro-style glass buttons embellish a band of matte metallic-finish seed and bugle beads

While looking through a collection of vintage buttons, I noticed these etched swirls. The deeply incised design, molded in clear glass, make perfect accents for a 1940s-look bracelet. The copper-colored seed and bugle beads mimic the look of brass and copper jewelry settings from the World War II era. And because I really like the buttons' molded design, I flipped them to show their backsides. 


bracelet 7 1/4 in. (18.4 cm)

  • 8 3/4 in. (1.9 cm) vintage 2-hole buttons
  • 3 g 6 mm bugle beads
  • 108 3 mm bicone crystals
  • 10 g 11/0 Japanese seed beads
  • Fireline 6 lb. test
  • beading needles, #12
Figure 1


1. On 3 yd. (2.7 m) of Fireline, pick up eight 11/0 seed beads, leaving a 1-yd. (.9 m) tail. Working in right-angle weave, sew back through all eight 11/0s and continue through the next two 11/0s. Snug up the 11/0s to form a ring.


2. Pick up six 11/0s, and continue in right-angle weave for a total of 10 stitches. Work four more rows of right-angle weave using seed beads.


3. To begin the next section using 6 mm bugle beads, pick up a bugle, two 11/0s, and a bugle. Continue working in right-angle weave for three rows.


4. Work alternating sections of five rows of seed beads and three rows of bugle beads, ending the band with a seed-bead section. Add thread as needed.


5. Work two rows of right-angle weave using bugle beads.


6. Sew through the beadwork to exit a corner end bugle. Pick up an 11/0, and sew through the next pair of 11/0s (FIGURE 1, a–b). Continue across the row, adding 11/0s between the pairs of 11/0s (b–c).


Photo A
Photo B

7. Determine the placement of the two buttons that will be used for the clasp. Sew through the beadwork to position your needle as determined. Pick up two 11/0s, one hole of a button, an 11/0, a 3 mm crystal, an 11/0, the other hole of the button, and two 11/0s. Skip the next two 11/0s on the base, and sew through the following two 11/0s (PHOTO A). Snug up the beads and button. Retrace the thread path to secure the button. Sew through the beadwork and attach a second button. Secure the Fireline with a few half-hitch knots. Do not trim the Fireline.


8. Thread a needle on the tail on the other end. Work one row of right-angle weave using bugle beads.


9. Repeat step 6.


10. Position your needle to line up with the buttons on the other end. Determine the placement of the base of the loop so the clasp will snug the two end sections together. Pick up enough 11/0s (approximately 30) to form a loop around the corresponding button (PHOTO B). Retrace the thread path through the loop. Sew through the beadwork and make a second loop. Secure the Fireline with a few half-hitch knots. Do not trim the Fireline.

Figure 2
Figure 3

11. Working with the tail, position the needle to exit an end bugle pointing toward the center of the bracelet. Pick up an 11/0 and sew through the next bugle or pair of 11/0s (FIGURE 2, a–b). Continue along the edge, adding 11/0s between the pairs of 11/0s or the bugles (b–c). Sew through the end row of 11/0s. Repeat to add 11/0s along the other edge. Secure the Fireline with a few half-hitch knots, and trim.


12. Using the other tail, sew through the beadwork to exit at FIGURE 3, point a. Sew through one 11/0 of the edge pair, pick up a crystal, and sew through one 11/0 of the opposite pair (a–b). Sew through a horizontal pair of 11/0s and one 11/0 of the next vertical pair (b–c). Continue adding crystals to every other opening (c–d). Repeat for each row, positioning the crystals in a checkerboard pattern.

Photo C

13. Determine the placement of the buttons on the bugle-bead sections. Sew through the beadwork and exit the appropriate bead. Sew through a hole on a button, and pick up an 11/0, a crystal, and an 11/0. Sew through the other hole on the button and into the beadwork (PHOTO C). Depending on the shape of your button, you may need to place an 11/0 on each side of the button holes on the underside of the button to help secure it to the beadwork. Retrace the thread path to reinforce the connection. Repeat to attach a second button to the bugle-bead section.


14. Continue adding crystals to the seed-bead grids and buttons to the bugle-bead sections. When completed, secure the Fireline with a few half-hitch knots, and trim. 

You may choose to attach your buttons to the seed-bead grid and embellish the bugle-bead sections. Your buttons may vary in size, so adjust the width of the band as needed.

Do you beading?

Then you’ll want to subscribe to Bead&Button magazine! You’ll get exclusive projects, gorgeous design inspirations, helpful advice about new products, and much more!

Want to leave a comment?

Only registered members of are allowed to leave comments. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.
Get awesome news, tips, & free stuff!