When doing craft shows it is hard to know what product or theme will be popular in any given year. One year it’s snowmen for Christmas, the next year it’s penguins. One product that is successful for me is button covers. Button covers can be customized for any time of the year or personalized for friends or family. Do you have a friend that is a horse lover? Make her some button covers with horses on them. Or make flowers for that person with the green thumb. Know a farmer? Make a set of button covers that include a pig, cow, horse and sheep or any other animals they keep on their farm. The ideas are endless.
To make customized button covers, I use Shrinky Dink-type plastic sheets. Remember Shrinky Dinks? They came in prepackaged kits that kids colored or painted and then baked where they magically shrunk to one-third of their original size. I use an off-brand of Shrinky Dinks that I found in a local craft store to customize my button covers. (Google “shrink film” to find other, cheaper, brands of plastic sheets that shrink. They work just as well as the brand name.) The same craft store also had the button cover shells. You should be able to find both of these products at any big craft store. (See slideshow of customized button covers.)
To make a customized button cover from shrink film you will need:
Acrylic Paints & Brushes
Button Cover Shells
You may need to experiment with how big the pattern needs to be. It all depends on how big you want the finished button cover item to be. As I said before, the pattern will shrink down to one third of its original size, so try to use that as a basis for how big to make the original pattern. When I first started I made different sizes of the same pattern on one sheet until I stumbled on the perfect size I wanted for my button covers. I make 3-4 pieces of the same pattern or group to make a set of button covers. Patterns or clip art can be found online (make sure they are truly “free” clip arts, especially if you plan on reselling them) or there are clip art books available in any bookstore. Or, if you are truly artistic you can draw your own. Since the plastic sheets are clear you can print out an online pattern and then trace the pattern onto the plastic sheet with the Sharpie. Then paint the pattern. After the painted pattern has dried cut them out and bake according to the instructions. Once dry hot glue the finished product onto the button cover shell.
Some of the newer shrink films are able to be put through an Ink Jet Printer, so there would be no tracing or painting needed. Just print and bake. Another option, such as the ghosts and pumpkins seen in my slideshow (see slideshow of different button covers), is to use cupcake picks. I cut off the pick and glued the decoration onto the button cover. Pre-cut wooden pieces can be painted and used as button covers such as the wooden triangles I painted to look like candy corn. I also found a set of pre-painted wooden Pilgrims and Indians that I used to make a Thanksgiving button cover set.
Make button cover sets for Easter, 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and all the other holidays in between! The ideas are endless and even the kids will want to get in on this fun!