Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Project: Button Bowl

I cannot even begin to tell you the hilarity that ensued with this project. Some smart-ass with buttons and an idea made this lovely bowl below, and worse, made me think I could make one too. Basically, you glue buttons to a blown up balloon and when the glue has dried, you pop the balloon, leaving this nice accent piece behind.

First, I went out to buy buttons. I should have known right from the get-go because I couldn't find them anywhere. I finally found normal, round buttons at a fabric store, but they cost me a whopping $5.00 for a pack of about 50 buttons. I bought 3 packs with the intention of making 2 bowls.

Now the fun part - I blew up my balloon and drew a nice shape on it to go by. I made the executive decision that the best thing to glue the buttons to the balloon was puzzle glue since it dried clear and is meant for gluing together tiny pieces anyway. Seemed to make sense.

After applying a nice, thin coat of puzzle glue to the balloon, I began painstakingly arranging my buttons on the balloon, being mindful of size, style, color, and placement. What a good job I did! I placed my completed balloon on a cup to dry upright and headed to bed.

The next morning, I awoke to this:

Yikes. My buttons had slid down the side of the balloon overnight. Nice.

In a desperate attempt to salvage the Christmas project I was trying to make for my mom, I put new buttons on the edges and trapped them with a nice, thick coat of glue all over. Surely, as they dry overnight, I'll have a lovely button bowl by morning.

Next day....
"Alright!," I said to my skeptical husband, "I'm going to pop it!" POP!
The sound that the balloon made as it popped and half a pint of puzzle glue crinkled and contracted in panic, was absolutely awful. There are no words to accurately describe the HORRIBLE noise, which lasted a good 30 seconds.

Are you ready to see my button balloon bowl?

Here it is after I removed the balloon:

Bwaaaaaahahahahahahaaa!!! No need to ask for a rating, this was a serious Craft Implosion!!!

In short, I do not recommend this project for anything but laughs!


  1. Oh dear lord. Thank you for a being a guinea pig and trying this before the rest of us wasted our time with it! I'd love to see photos of a button bowl success story...

  2. Oh my gosh I am so enjoying your site! I literally laughed out loud. I tried to make a similar bowl, using coiled up strips of magazine. Pretty much the same results. Also I tried to make my own paper mache mixture for it using flour and water. Not good. Very lumpy.

  3. I just made one and you have to put a thin layer of glue on and let it get tacky then adhere the buttons to avoid the sliding. After the glue everyone is leaving out the mod podge step. You are supposed to put a layer of mod podge over the balloon and allow it to dry. Then pop the balloon. The longer the mod podge is allowed to dry the better. I also strengthened mine by adding a coat of Mod Podge acrylic spray. Happy Pinning!

  4. I just made one and you have to put a thin layer of glue on and let it get tacky then adhere the buttons to avoid the sliding. After the glue everyone is leaving out the mod podge step. You are supposed to put a layer of mod podge over the balloon and allow it to dry. Then pop the balloon. The longer the mod podge is allowed to dry the better. I also strengthened mine by adding a coat of Mod Podge acrylic spray. Happy Pinning!

  5. I have been trying this all I&^@#$%^&* weekend! For a crafting group for people with disabilities. I am not having much luck. The glue, the mod podge, they are all squishy, too bendable and generally nothing like I thought they were going to be. argh. The only good thing about my attempts is that my older son pointed out that mod podge is not called modge podge like I have been saying for ages.

  6. Must, must, must follow you!
    Thanks for being "Snopes for pins".

  7. we know your pain we are so glad we are not the only ones who have tried this and failed, needless to say were giving up!!

  8. Thanks to you all for the belly laughs!!!!

  9. This tickled me! I just attempted to completed the step of adding the buttons... womp, womp, womp!!

  10. I actually made 5 of these for each member of the family this christmas and I had no problem at all. The key is to put a layer of (i used mod podge) over the balloon and then let that try COMPLETELY. Then you need to put ANOTHER layer all over the balloon, place the buttons and then put a THIRD layer ontop of it all. And be Very very very generous. This is NOT something I would recommend for a day, or even an overnight craft. This took atleast 4 days from start to finish. You need to be VERY patient when letting it dry, or else you'll get what happened to you. Also, don't POP the balloon, cut the tip off and then let the air out very slowly.

    anyway, this totally works. I let the balloons dry upsidedown by hanging them off of something by a string. The thing is, they still smnell like glue and I've been airing them out for a week and a bit now. I hope they're scent free by christmas!!!!

  11. Tip for mod lodge method: you can use a blow dryer set on medium heat to help speed up the drying process. Still takes a fair amount of time, but significantly reduces waiting times. Just make sure you have a firm hold of your balloon before drying, I lost a couple mid process to to falling on the floor, wasn't worth the effort to try to remove the dog hairs. Good luck!

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  70. what you did wrong is you need all small buttons they stick best and you need to do a layer of glue on the balloon let dry than add a second and attatch the buttons to that layer