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Blank copper buttons?

Hi all,

Does anyone know where to get pre-formed blank copper buttons for
enameling or soldering stuff onto? I’ve looked through a lot of
online enameling supply places (Thompson, etc.) and have had no luck


I suggest

American Metalcraft
2074 George St.
Melrose Park, IL  60161-1515
(708) 345-1177
(800) 333-9133

Nice folks.

Usual disclaimer.

Elaine Luther
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay

For Blank copper pieces, try Jane Schlaiffer at Schlaiffer Enamels
in Los Angeles. You could also try All Craft in Brooklyn, NY or
Metalliferous in NY, NY (Metalliferous has a huge quantity of copper
pieces, shapes and sizes)

Jennifer Friedman
enamellist, jewelry artisan, instructor
Ventura, CA

Metalliferous has both flat and domed copper circles in a variety of
diameters and gauges. Their phone # is 212-944-0909.

Metalliferous @ Ganoksin

Help others make informed buying decisions with Metalliferous. We
welcome your opinions and experiences with their products, ordering,
customer service and and over all satisfaction.

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Joel Schwalb


   Does anyone know where to get pre-formed blank copper buttons
for enameling or soldering stuff onto?

Have your considered making your own? I found that I was a great and
inexpensive way to learn how to use a saw, drill, file, and solder
(more accurately, braze) when making military style buttons.

I had them tested with a local seamstress and learned that the
drycleaning process does a very good job of destroying enameled
buttons. I also found that the willingness-to-pay for the buttons
was so low that while making them was an effective way of learning
metalsmithing procedures on a small scale, it was not very good for
making money.


Okay, not hard to make, but very hard to keep the enameled buttons
from being destroyed during the cleaning (any cleaning) process.
What I have thought about is a method by which one would make the
buttons attach for use and then detach for cleaning the garment. In
pursuit, but not yet in practice, I have purchased basic tuxedo type
attachements until I come up with a better idea. Must be a better
idea out in Orchid land somewhere. Me, I am not terribly mechanically
minded. The problem is that you would need to make probably two
styles of buttons, one for sweaters and one style for actual shirt
fronts. And these would be quite expensive in labor and time. Soooo,
maybe just one at the top button? I have a few sets of Cloisonne
buttons made in Japan (lucky, I know!), which I have attached to
nothing. They are set in standard button back sets. Any ideas out

Have fun noodling this one over!

Eileen Schneegas, enamelist
Washington State
Snow Goose Designs

I have a shirt that has special buttons [they came with the shirt].
The buttons are attached to a cloth tape and are removeable. The
shirt has two button holes for each button, if that makes sense.


You might want to experiment with an S or hook shape attachment
similar to the type of clasp used on some chains that allows you to
remove the button.

Good Luck
Greg DeMark

I have seen in the past a “cotter pin” type of detachable button
device. The backing of the button contains a “nub” that fits through
a slit in the fabric and the cotter pin with a bit of a bend to fit
snugly into the nub affixes the button firmly.


Eileen: It used to be possible to find buttons with a metal loop on
the back which fit through a (bound) hole in the fabric, and had a
small, springy clip which was pushed onto the loop (under the
fabric) and which held it in place. It could easily pulled out and
the button removed when necessary.

^^^^ The top of the clip looked like this, the bottom was a
straight line (can’t get my computer to put them both together)

I don’t know whether anyone makes these anymore, but I imagine a
similar thing could be made out of a springy wire.

I believe I still have a few around, so if you would like a picture
e-mail me directly.


The little metal toothy clips you speak of come on many of the
institutional type uniforms, or used to. People who worked where
their clothes were laundered in big lots; nurses, waitresses;
housekeepers; had uniforms with removeable buttons (servers at Clubs
that had monogrammed buttons on uniforms-for instance). The laundry
removed the buttons because the clothing was mass washed and dried,
and many times production pressed by mangle irons (boy have I dated
myself :O). The clothing had small round holes in either side of the
opening, the button with loop on back was inserted on the outside of
the placket and the little toothy pin was inserted to hold it.

I’ll bet that if you find an old local laundry, they’ll have loads
left around maybe, or a costume house that has period uniforms for
stage plays etc.


the button with loop on back was inserted on the outside of the
placket and the little toothy pin was inserted to hold it. 

My mom used to have a bunch of brass buttons that were held onto
clothing with tiny cotter pins. She said they were from my uncle’s
WWII Navy uniform. I’ve seen the little button cotter pins for sale
in sewing supply stores. I did a quick web search on “sewing button
cotter pins” and got a lot of hits. The first one I came across that
had photos is: (never
shopped there, but they have pictures of the pins, for anyone who’s
interested in looking).

–Kathy Johnson
Feathered Gems Pet Motif Jewelry