Vintage Button Hairpins

I’ve been collecting vintage buttons for the past few years. They’re scattered around the house in jars and vases and add a nice pop of color wherever they are. When I get a truly special pair, I like to turn them into hairpins. I’ve given out a few sets, like the ones below, as gifts. They couldn’t be easier to make and the recipient always enjoys getting something a little more personal that’s tailored to her.

Vintage Button Hairpins by

Vintage Button Hairpins by

Once you find the buttons, these hairpins are fairly easy to make. Here’s how:

Vintage Button Hairpins

  • vintage buttons
  • needle-nose pliers
  • sharp scissors
  • fine sand paper (optional)
  • felt
  • super strong glue (such as E-6000)
  • toothpicks
  • bobby pins with pads
  • feathers (optional)

1. Select your buttons. The ones with flat backs are easiest to use, but if your button has a shank (a loop for thread on the back) you can still make it work. If there is a shank, try to remove it using needle-nose pliers and/or sharp scissors. If the back is rough after this, you may want to smooth it out with a bit of sand paper.

2. Once you have a flat back, cut out a piece of felt that will cover almost the entire back of the button. Use the glue to secure the felt on the back, use a toothpick to remove any excess glue that has oozed out of the sides and set aside to dry. Repeat with the remaining button.

3. Glue the bobby pins to the felt pads and let dry overnight.

4. If adding feathers (as shown in the slideshow below), cut two pieces of felt for each button and glue the feathers between them before affixing the bobby pins.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

SWWU Tip 1: Look for vintage buttons in antique stores, on websites like Etsy and eBay or check in with your mom, grandma or another older relative (you might be surprised what you find).

SWWU Tip 2: Feel free to skip the felt backing if your button has a perfectly smooth surface. You should be able to glue the bobby pin directly to the back.

Full disclosure: This is not something WE whipped up, this post is something I’ve done on my own. From time to time, we’ll each showcase some of our personal projects on here. We hope you enjoy!

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5 thoughts on “Vintage Button Hairpins

    • Thanks so much. I was able to pick up most of my buttons at antique stores. Just ask at the counter and they usually have a basket full of them sitting around somewhere. You can also find a few sellers on Etsy and eBay—just search for “vintage buttons.” Good luck!

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