About the Artist

Anita Smull the Owner and Crafter behind Dustystars, the premiere button jewelry website, answers questions about her craft; making button jewelry


How long have you been interested in crafts like button jewelry making?

As a kid I was always cutting up and gluing paper. I began sewing and making clothes as a teenager.  In college I majored in Fabric Design.  I have always loved making things! 


Question: What or who was responsible for sparking your interest in button jewelry?

Response: I started making button jewelry because I loved looking at my own vintage button collection.  I saw some beautifully made jewelry crafted out of buttons in shops and that inspired me to play around.


Question: Where do you find the buttons for making jewelry?

Response: Originally, I found bags of buttons in dusty corners of antique and resale shops. (In fact that's where the name Dustystars came from). I started buying buttons on Ebay about 10 years ago and still find some there. The last couple of years I have acquired some "button jewelry making friends" on the internet, whom I buy from. In addition, I frequent the large shows sponsored by The National Button Society.


Question: What types of buttons are best for jewelry making? What is your favorite?

Response: Any button can be made into jewelry! At this time, I am working mostly with mother of pearl, steel and steel head, pierced metals and enamels are also some of my favorites to use for jewelry making. I particularly adore mother of pearl, they make beautiful jewelry pieces of any kind.


Question: What is one word of advice you would give to someone who would like to begin making button jewelry?

Response: Find some buttons that you love and play with them. People can email me with a photo and I would be very happy to make suggestions! Buttons come in all different shapes and sizes and materials. The jewelry making possibilities are endless really.


Question: Tell me something unique about the button jewelry you make.

Response: I use only the highestquality sterling silver, crystal and other beading when making jewelry. I buy most of my supplies from Lonnies Inc in Phoenix and highly recommend them. You can find them on the web also. I have decided, for my own craft of jewelry making, to make every effort in preserving the button in its original state. On occasion, I will bend the back loop (shank) out of the way (as long it is not a precious metal), but I no longer use glue on any of my pieces. Some of my past work included glued buttons to make rings and I will create something by special request; my current jewelry making process preserves the button in its most original form.


Question: What is the most you have ever paid for a button? Did you make a jewelry piece with it?

Response: Ha! That's a great question! I frequently find buttons that I would love to buy in the $100-$200 range that would make beautiful jewelry pieces, and they are calling out to me! Right now, the most I have spent is $75.00 for my logo button with the dragon shown below. I have yet to make it into jewelry. I guess I am still waiting for the perfect idea to come to me.