on Wednesday, I thought I'd show step-by-step how to do it.
Using this pattern, a miniature pumpkin takes me just under an hour to make. And the button stem took just a few minutes once I pulled all the materials together (wire, wire cutters, needle nose pliers, and a bunch of old buttons that I had previously cleaned and sorted by color).
Select enough buttons to make a stem as long as you want it. You'll want graduated sizes, and I like to use a variety of complimentary colors and materials (I used wood, plastic and even metal buttons). Once you've picked out your buttons, stack them from largest to smallest.
Cut your wire about twice as long as you think you'll need:
"Fold" the wire in half (make this a soft fold, or a curve - as opposed to a sharp fold). Trim one side of the wire shorter (it took me several fiddly attempts before this little idea occurred to me. Do it. It will make it easier to thread buttons onto the wire):
Starting with the smallest button, thread it onto the longest wire end first, then pull the button down, slipping it onto the shorter end of the wire (through the opposite button hole), all the way to the "fold" of the wire. Pull the wire tight:
Don't try to thread more than one button at a time. If you thread more than one at a time, you won't be able to see the button holes and you'll likely thread the buttons on crooked. You always want to thread the buttons onto the wire through opposite button holes (this is important to pay attention to if your buttons have 4 holes). Your stack of buttons should look like this:
To make pushing the wire through the pumpkin easier, cut both ends of the wire on the diagonal, making a point:
Decide which side of the pumpkin you want to be the top and push both ends of the wire into the center of the top all the way through the bottom.
The wire ends will not likely come through the same place on the bottom. Not to worry. While you want them to be close to the center (and close together), it's fine (maybe better) if they don't both come through the center hole.
From the bottom, pull tight and twist the wires together by hand (this doesn't have to be perfect - just tighten and twist the wires together as best as you can by hand, making sure the buttons are snugged together on the other side of the pumpkin). You'll want an inch or so of twist. Trim the excess wire off.
Now, with a needle-nose plier twist the hand-twisted wire into a small circle and push the sharp edges of the wire up into the pumpkin:
And that's it! Do this over and over again, with a variety of yarns and buttons, and soon you'll have a heap of pumpkins!
Just a few more and I'll be ready for Thanksgiving!