featuring guest authors; crafting tips and projects; recipes from food editor and sleuthing sidekick Cloris McWerther; and decorating, travel, fashion, health, beauty, and finance tips from the rest of the American Woman editors.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Flower pots are not just for flowers and plants. I use them all the time for various craft projects, some for my own column and some for executing many of the ideas thought up by our decorating editor Jeanie Sims. If you don’t know by now, Jeanie is also our “green” editor. She spends much of her off-time hunting around for castaways to repurpose. The other day she came into the office with an armload of old clay pots and a huge bag of buttons, both about to be tossed by a neighbor getting ready to move to a retirement community.

Jeanie’s idea? Use the pots as storage containers.  My idea? Let’s use the buttons to decorate the clay pots. Thus was born Button Pots. This is such an incredibly simple craft that even a young child can do it and wind up with professional looking results.

A word of caution, though, especially if you’re going to have children help with this project: purchase a non-toxic, non-flammable, water-soluble glue. Some glues made for gluing glass, plastic, and metal emit fumes that can cause really nasty side effects. These are the glues that kids sniff to get high. Craft stores carry safer glues. Make sure you buy the safe kind. -- AP

Materials: terra cotta pots in various sizes; clear acrylic sealer; tile cement or glue for plastic/metal/glass; assorted buttons without shanks; felt; marking pen.

1.  Make sure pot is clean (scrub well in soapy water, rinse, allow to dry.)

2.  Coat the inside and outside of the pot with clear acrylic sealer.

3.  Place the dry pot on a scrap of felt. Trace around base of pot to draw circle. Cut out the circle inside traced line so that circle will fit over pot base without sticking out beyond the bottom edge.

4.  Glue felt to bottom of pot.

5.  Glue buttons randomly around pot.

These pots can be used in just about every room of your house because clay pots come in a myriad of sizes. Some suggested uses -- storing magazines cooking utensils, bathroom or kitchen towels, office supplies, or sewing supplies; as gift basket containers; to store cosmetics, manicure supplies, combs and brushes. We  used the sample in the photo as a napkin holder.

How would you use a button pot? Let’s hear from you! Remember, if you post a comment this week, you're entered in the drawing to win a book from our Book Club Friday guest author. -- AP


Candy said...

This is a great summer or anytime craft. I will be using it for my toddler class at the library (using the safe glue of course). They will be able to use them for their colors, small cars, any small toys, etc. Thank you for giving me another easy craft for small children.

Janet said...

Oh my, I've been on vacation and what good things I missed. That chocolate ice cream sounds delicious especially since I have started a new weight loss program (again). It will have to wait a few weeks but bet I taste it before the summer is over.

I love the button pots. We have glued the tiny ones together to make "pot people", christmas bells and various other things. I am eager to try the button pot though. I have lots of things I need to store somewhere.

Kttycat said...

I'd probably make one to use as a pen holder on my desk. Pens seem to end up everywhere until I need one to write with and then I can't find them!