Beginner Button Class – Polka Dot Focal Buttons | Polka Dot Cottage

Beginner Button Class – Polka Dot Focal Buttons

Posted March 1st, 2011 by

[Sorry I’m late with this lesson – the stomach bug got me. Let’s hope I’ve manage to be coherent with this through the last remnants of my fever!]

I hope you enjoyed making the Assymetrical Stripe Buttons last week. Be sure to go back and check the comments and galleries on the previous lessons, because often there are questions asked and answered – you might find the extra information helpful.

For this fourth lesson, we will be making large beveled-edge polka dot buttons. We’ll be making six of them, two in each background color.

If you need a refresher on Conditioning or Baking your clay, you can find these instructions, as well as a Supplies + Tools list in Lesson One.

Additional Tools

  • 1.25-inch round cutter. You can use the smaller cutter from the previous lesson for this, if you don’t want to buy another cutter. The technique is the same, you will just end up with smaller [and more] buttons.
  • brayer or acrylic rod.
  • sheet of plastic wrap like Saranwrap or deli wrap.


Just like we did with the striped buttons, we are going to start this set by flattening out a slab of clay. This time, though, we are using an entire 1/4 piece so that we may have enough space to cut out two large buttons.

Condition and roll out your base color until it’s between 1/8-inch and 1/4-inch thick. The slab should be large enough to cut out two buttons with your large circle cutter.

Pinch of tiny pieces of clay in your two accent colors, and roll them between your fingers into 1/8-inch balls.

Press the balls into the slab, flattening them as you do. Continue until you have a pleasing pattern.

Use the brayer to make sure the dots are firmly adhered to the base. It is not necessary to smooth out the joins between the two colors, but you can do so, if you like. Just be careful not to thin the base layer out too much.

Roll in multiple directions to avoid distorting the dots into ovals.

Place the sheet of plastic wrap over your slab, smoothing it down with your finger.

Cut your buttons, right through the plastic wrap, repositioning the wrap after each cut.

Do you see how nice and smooth the edges of these buttons are compared to the last set we made? The plastic wrap softens and bevels the cut edges.

Poke your holes, and you’re good to go!

Your turn

Go have some fun with polka dots! If you have any questions, you may leave them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them. Once your buttons are done, I hope you will blog about them, or post them to flickr, and leave your link below so we can all see how you did!

Next week

Buttons made from leftover scrap clay!


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