Our Handprint Button Tree

Posted On 06 Mar 2013
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Preschool Button Tree Art Project
If there’s one thing we have a lot of in our crafting stash, it’s buttons. I can never resist a colorful collection of buttons at the store and am one of those people who believes you never know when you’ll need a button. Does your play dough monster need a tongue? Pink button to the rescue. Does your play kitchen need imaginary cookies? Buttons! Want to practice color sorting or counting? Buttons! And then of course there are traditional uses for them, like buttons on a cozy winter cowl.

But last week we used buttons for something altogether new: we made a button tree.

Preschool Button Tree Art Project
To start, we got out one of our canvases (these are great for painting projects) and I made a simple “tree trunk” with brown Crayola washable paint. Then the munchkin painted one of his hands with the same paint and we pressed it onto the canvas, right above the top of the trunk. We did this twice, making sure his fingers were pressed firmly into the canvas. The finger impressions became the branches of the tree and – first part of this project complete – we took a snack break.

Preschool Button Tree Art Project
Within about 20 minutes the tree was dry enough for us to begin the next stage: adding the buttons! I poured a bunch of buttons onto a paper plate, then gave the munchkin clear  glue and showed him how we were going to make leaves with the buttons. He started off by turning over each button and carefully putting glue on it before attaching it to the canvas. (Great fine motor practice.)

Preschool Button Tree Art Project
But pretty soon he decided pouring the glue directly onto the canvas and then putting buttons on top was more fun. If I’d had some green glitter around we would have sprinkled it over all the errant bits of glue at the end of this project. There were quite a few swirly glue blobs on the canvas when the munchkin was done.

Preschool Button Tree Art Project
And that’s pretty much it! Super easy right? Maybe I’m biased but I think the end results are lovely enough for gift-giving or simply decorating around the home, which is always an added bonus. :)

You could make other pretty projects using the same concept too. For instance, just this morning I saw a lovely button flower vase on Pinterest. And for older kids check out this tree that is made entirely of buttons! Love it.

What do you like to do with buttons?

About the Author
I'm a work-at-home mom and entertainment director for my son, a.k.a. The Munchkin. When we aren't doing art, singing songs or making something tasty in the kitchen we enjoy listening to podcasts and exploring the outdoors. I'm also slightly obsessed with coffee and love to knit. :)
  1. Seanna Lea

    I have a box of buttons, but I don’t really do anything with them. I intend to use the fancier ones for decorative centers for chokers, but that hasn’t happened yet.

    • Ari

      One day you’ll have a button and need it. At least, that’s what I tell myself about our collection. :)

  2. Naomi

    What a neat idea! Definitely going to try this one – the kids can make one and I will too.

    • Ari

      Sounds like a fun time!