* button earrings

Posted on December 29th, 2008 by amy. Filed under Jewelry.

At home, I finally had enough free time to fashion a few pairs of earrings from some shank buttons I had collected. The most difficult part is removing the shank! The stars were plastic, and Dad ground them down for me using a bench grinder.

The little flowers turned out to be metal, and they are slightly curved, so after I cut off the shank using a Dremel cutoff wheel it was still too much shank, so Dad used a round grinding stone on his drill press, and we ground off the shank. In the process, we managed to mar the buttons a bit (we were holding them with pliers), so I ground out the scratches on the Dremel and then used Crocus Cloth to give them an all-over treatment.  I had never used this metal polishing cloth before, but it was flexible enough to fit into the small corners of the piece. The cloth gave them a matte finish that looks a bit like sterling. It turned out that underneath the surface, the metal was reddish, which I really like- it brings out the detail. We used straight wire cutters to modify the earring backs so they wouldn’t show through (and I smoothed them out with the Dremel). It’s fun to be home with Dad’s amazing tool collection for something like this.

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