The Making of the Buttons

Yesterday I shared an image of some handmade wooden buttons, so today I thought I would show how they came to be.

I had actually dabbled with making wooden buttons about a year and a half ago, but as it had pretty much ended in disaster I put the project to the side and had pretty much forgotten about it. A few days ago my three year old came up to me a whacked me with a stick, and instead of the usual telling off I responded with “Hey, my button stick. Where did you find that?”. So with a whack of a stick I was back attempting making buttons.

stick and tools

The stick was a pruning from one of our many trees in our yard, probably elm or  crab apple, maybe apricot. In my previous attempt I had stripped off some of the bark which was handy. One of my biggest mistakes last time was the wood was too green, so time solved my first issue. I lined up a different saw this time (the other issue last time was the wrong saw) and EVENTUALLY a miter box, thanks to my dad. My husband had put mine “somewhere” …..we have “his & hers” tool issues in our home to the point that my parents bought me my own drill for Christmas (which is safely stowed …A.K.A. “hidden”…..under my desk).

slices of wood

From here I sliced the stick into small disks a bit thicker than a commercial button as I wanted a rustic looking button for embellishing some of my “Coffee Sweaters”.

sanding the button


Next was a bit of sanding.

drilling holesdrilling holes

Then drilling the holes with a rotary tool.

Hand Made ButtonsFinally……buttons!

It seems quite simple when I look at the steps but it sure didn’t go that quickly.

 wood buttons

They do look wonderful on the “Coffee Sweaters”.

Coffee Sweaters made of  naturally hand dyed and hand knit locally produce wool.

Coffee Sweaters made of naturally hand dyed and hand knit locally produce wool.

Another batch is off to a local store, Sunworks, in Red Deer, Alberta. You can find them on the counter in the Coconut Room.

Time to get knitting and dyeing again!

Art , photography, illustration and fibre wearables and useables
by Debra Hunter
Hunter Photographics & Studio H

other blogs at:

Buy Local, Sell Local, Source Local

It has been a very busy week. It seems that this week all my different creative worlds collided. This week saw the completion of the book illustrations for “Straw Hat, Rubber Boots and a Cat” by Katherine Weisse. The week also saw the completion of a photography job for Central Alberta Economic Partnership (C.A.E.P.). On top of all that one of my fibre projects found a new local home.

coffee sweater

coffee sweater

A little while ago I put up a post called “Busy, Busy, Busy”. The project I was working on were my “Coffee Sweaters”, little sleeves to keep your hands cool while drinking a cup of take out coffee. The “Coffee Sweaters” are made of 100% wool that I hand dye in micro batches with natural dyes. I then hand knit each little “Coffee Sweater” trying to make each one unique.

coffee sweaters

This week my “Coffee Sweaters” found a new home in an amazing shop called Sunworks, in Red Deer, Alberta. If you are ever in Red Deer it is definitely worth checking out this store, it has an amazing selection of housewares, books, cards, gifts, local art work, a café and a gallery. It is one of those places that you can easily spend an hour just looking at some very tempting things. I am a big believer in the “Buy Local” movement, but it is also great to “Sell Local”.

Sunworks, Red Deer, Alberta

Sunworks, Red Deer, Alberta

In keeping with the “local” theme, I had an exciting delivery arrive today, a shipment of yarn from Custom Woolen Mills (Carstairs, Alberta). What makes this shipment so exciting is that I can buy wool from a mill that is less than 100 miles from home. Wool milled in my own province, not Asia. This is exciting. I really like the option of being able to source my materials locally. I think there is a lot of value in that.


The last few days have been spent dyeing, dyeing, dyeing and knitting, knitting, knitting. I can hardly wait until I have knit up my stash of dyed yarns so that I can start dyeing and knitting my locally sourced wool yarn.

knitting in the round

I will be having updated “Coffee Sweaters” as I knit them posted on my other blog and on my website . The  “Coffee Sweaters” are available at Sunworks or you can purchase them from me directly. My sites will also have book purchase links for “Straw Hat, Rubber Boots and a Cat” in the very near future.