Friday, October 30, 2009

Making Journals with Wooden Buttons

I've been making large leather journals with wooden buttons on the covers for a while now, and in the past I ordered the buttons from various woodworkers on Etsy. It was surprisingly hard to find someone who was interested in making buttons for me -- I guess making buttons isn't as exciting as doing other kinds of woodworking. :)

The buttons I purchased were great, but it seemed to me that it would be even better if I made the buttons myself. My dear old Dad has been doing woodworking since he retired, so I joined forces with him, and "Dean Simler and Daughter" has been busy cutting and sanding and polishing wooden buttons. The sawdust has really been flying in his little workshop!

Here are a couple of the finished buttons on journal/sketchbooks that are in my Etsy shop:

The button in the photo above is made from cherry wood. The buttons I make are very natural and rustic -- not too uniform in shape, so each one is slightly different. I sand them until they are very smooth, and then finish them with walnut oil and a coat of special beeswax polish.

This one has a bird's eye maple wood button:

The bird's eye maple was roasted in a kiln for 12 hours, which makes it darker in colour. It also brings out the natural sugars in the wood, so the button has a slightly smoky, maple sugar smell, which is very nice.


dinahmow said...

Your buttons are lovely! I like the off-centre look of wooden things and can spend ages fossicking for just the "right" twig!

moonbindery said...

I know what you mean--I grew up in the mountains, would spend hours wandering around looking for just the right twigs and other bits of wood.

I hadn't stopped to think about it before, but on some level I've always been fascinated with wood, so making these buttons has been really satisfying.

Sue B said...

oh I do love a big wood button and those are gorgeous! They look wonderful against the leather.

Waterrose said...

I love your journals....and now buttons too! Woo Hoo! I tried to get my DH to help me make buttons from our orange tree limbs...have no clue if it would even work.

acornmoon said...

I love the button, it looks edible.

moonbindery said...

Probably kind of hard on the teeth, though, acornmoon! :D

kanishk said...
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Reno said...

Someday I will buy one of your beautiful notebooks and write a story in them. But, first I need to think of a story that's worthy of such a lovely home ^^;

Billie said...


Great books and I love the wooden buttons.

Best wishes and Happy New Year

Billie :)