[D.I.Y. Tutorial] Faux Billy Buttons for your home!

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Hey folks – I hope you’re having a lovely week so far! Mine’s been pretty busy since last week, with lots of exciting projects on, which thankfully vary in style and content (from sign-painting to wedding stationery to branding jobs) which definitely keeps me challenged and the creative juices going! Who’d have thought, that I’d finally be able to say…I LOVE what I do!! :)

Well, to add to the varied bunch of creative projects this week, I’ve got a fun little DIY for you, creating your very own faux Billy Buttons (aka Craspedia). The idea for this came from…well, not having any at home when you badly want them and not having great florists near me that sell them. I’ve been a huge fan of them for its sheer minimal appeal and vibrant pop of colour. You’ll probably see many of these bad boys bracing many lifestyle and design blogs and magazines. They really are the best and great to have both fresh and dried. So, when you’re frustrated with not having any at hand……you go make yourself some….obviously! ;)

Unlike the cute felt ones I’ve seen out there, these are made out of sugar. Yep, SUGAR and lots of styrofoam balls!

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What you’ll need:

  1. Sugar (preferably white granulated sugar)
  2. Styrofoam balls (1/1.5 inches in width) which you can get off eBay or Amazon
  3. a little dish to mix the glue and water (and another one for the sugar!)
  4. yellow spray paint
  5. PVA glue
  6. wooden skewers or anything to prop the styrofoam balls during production
  7. paintbrush

(I forgot to include the following in the supplies image)

  • large sheet of plastic or lots of newspaper to lay down on your working surface
  • steel wire (anything between 0.6mm to 1.0mm in thickness)
  • florist tape
  • wire cutters
  • vase of your choice

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What you need to do:

Start by inserting the skewers into the styrofoam balls (some come with holes in them, if not just puncture it ever so gently) This will make things easier for you when it comes to applying the glue and paint without getting your hands messy! Once they’re all set to go, take the PVA glue and squeeze some out into the dish and add a touch of water to it to thin it down a little – this is just to make it easier to cover the surfaces without any thick clumps. Pour out some sugar in a separate little bowl/dish.

Take each styrofoam ball at a time and cover it thoroughly with the glue using a brush and quickly twirl it around in the sugar. Make sure you get the sugar all over and avoid any bald spots! Place them aside in a jar until it dries completely. This should take 10-15minutes. In the meantime, lay out plenty of sheets of newspaper or large sheet of plastic sheet (even bin liners) across the worktop/work surface for the spray-painting stage.

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When all the sugar-coated styrofoam balls are dry, take them one at a time and gently apply your yellow spray paint onto them, giving them a nice even cover. Hold the spray paint can at least 10cm away from the ball when spraying. Again, set them aside to dry. You’ll find that the pray-paint acts as an additional adhesive coat to hold all the sugar together. Don’t worry if you have a few dropping off during this course of the stage, which is why it’s always good to get plenty on early on.

Once they’ve all been spray painted, the next step is to create its stems out of wire. Now, you can use the wooden skewers as the stems (obviously, replace them with new clean ones!) but I do prefer the wire ones as they’re more malleable should you need more flexibility in the way you arrange them later.

MbM_DIY-TUTORIAL_BILLY-BUTTON-03So yea, get some of your steel wire (if you have thin ones then just double it up a couple of times to make it to the right thickness you need) and cut them down to your preferred lengths. I’d suggest about 20cm and if they need to be shorter at any time (because you change vases) or want to have a slight play in height, you can just bend the ends. Now, cover the wire completely in florist tape and then replace the skewers with these. You can add a touch of glue to the ends before you insert it in just to give it more support when they’re dried. Do be gentle when you handle the sugar-coated styrofoam balls at this stage to avoid knocking any sugar off.

Place the into your vase….et, voila! You’ve got yourself some funky DIY Billy Buttons for the home and for all those cool styling shots you want to photograph :) I’m pretty certain they’ll be making an appearance in my Styling the Seasons posts over the next couple of months or on some of my social media images :)

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I’ve got say, I’m pretty please with them even if they may look like cheese ball crisps in these photos (the lighting was shocking at the time and I tried in vain to edit it). Why don’t you have a go and let me know how you get on? Go style that surface at home with these amazing, DIY, sugar-coated Billy Buttons! You’ll be surprised at how effective they look with springtime right around the corner!!! :D

Enjoy the rest of your week folks and really hope you liked this xxx
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[Image credit: ©MadebyMolu]

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