I used to love going through my grandmother’s button stash as a child. Beyond the fact that they were shiny and colourful and felt wonderful to run my fingers through, she was happy to let me use them to create pictures and patterns for hours on end.

If you don’t happen to have lots of buttons lying around, though, you can still make this by cutting out circles and other shapes of card from cardboard packets waiting for recycling, or even newspapers and magazines awaiting the same fate, or by scrunching coloured tissue paper. The best bit of this is that you don’t have to stick everything down. Once you have your picture base, you can rearrange the buttons as many times as you like, and just take a picture of each stunning version you can print out later on.

Don’t forget to post pictures of your makes on social media with the hashtag #kettlewellscarecrow. We’d love to see how you get on!

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Beautiful buttons, waiting to be used
Yield: 1

Make your own button tree

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 30 minutes
Drying Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: Cheap

While it's not always easy for small - or sometimes even big - hands to make the perfect picture they would like, there are some great ways to overcome that by using other things you have to hand. I used to love going through my grandmother's button tin as a child, and could spend hours arranging and rearranging them into different patterns and pictures.


  • Old buttons from your stash (ask an adult first), or coloured card cut into small circles
  • Black or brown paint or coloured pen
  • White paper/card
  • PVA glue (if using)


  • Paintbrush
  • Scissors, if you want to cut coloured card circles out


  1. Paint or draw a tree shape onto your card. Leave to dry. A tree trunk and branches painted in brown on a piece of paper
  2. Using your buttons (or circles of coloured card, if you don’t have any buttons to hand), stick them to the branches of your tree. Layer them if you wish. A beautiful tree, made of buttons stuck to a painted trunk and branches on paper
  3. If you do not stick the buttons down, you can redo your pattern multiple times or take turns with a family member. Why not ask an adult to take a photo of each design you create, so you'll never run out of buttons?


We've taken the example of a tree here, but you could have fun creating different backgrounds: maybe an underwater coral reef, a flower garden, or a friendly octopus with lots of button suckers along its arms?