A super easy way to update an old piece of clothing is to change the buttons. It is only a detail but it can make so much difference! Make your buttons disappear against their background or add a nice little hint of colour. I use it quite often to change the look of a thrifted item. But sometimes it can be difficult to find the perfect button you are looking for.. Well, you can make them yourself!
What do you need? Just polymer clay. I found that most common brands such as Fimo and Cernit will work just fine, the buttons are strong enough and have no problems being washed at 40 degrees in the washing machine.
There are quite a few tutorials online on how to work with polymer clay, you can keep it simple or make them as detailled as you want. How about a marble look button?..
Most clays already come in a nice array of colours, but they can be mixed easily. Just don't try to mix very big pieces at once since it can take some time for the clay to soften from the warmth of your hands. Just add little bits of clay at a time, it will also make it easier when you want to create a specific shade. Keep in mind most clays get a little bit darker after baking!
Shape your buttons any way you like, just remember the size they have to have to fit through the button hole. Use a sharp object like a toothpick to make the holes to sew them on your clothes. You can also just make an indentation where they should be and use a tiny drill or pointy scissors to make the holes after baking. I tend to do the last. Use latex gloves if you want to avoid finger prints while shaping them.
I made neon pink triangle buttons to brighten up a blouse for Ivy, and made eighties style buttons for my grey woolen winter coat in the shades of one of my favorite little planters. You never know where your inspiration might come from!
For Sid I thrifted a cool graphic shirt and a hand knitted vest at the same time, and found it nice to be able to combine the two. So, the granny-style glass buttons went off and contrasting triangular yellow ones went on. A big difference!
Needless to say, he loves it! (pants and shoes are also thrifted)