Posted on 25 Comments

Beginner Button Class – Polka Dot Focal Buttons

[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!


All five lessons, plus other useful tips included in one PDF.


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Posted on 25 Comments

25 thoughts on “Beginner Button Class – Polka Dot Focal Buttons

  1. RT @lclarke522: New blog post: Beginner Button Class – Polka Dot Focal Buttons

  2. These are sooooo cute! I think I’m going to have to attempt some – since I am having trouble finding the “right” buttons for many of my knitting projects! I’m sure my husband will be THRILLED to have yet another “project” around the house. :o)

    1. My husband gets thrilled about much the same thing 🙂
      Glad you like the buttons – if you make some, I’d love to see them!

  3. thanks for these lessons Lisa. I have completed lesson one and two but haven’t got around to the third one yet. I’m hoping to do so tomorrow and I’ll try to do these at the same time. I’ll take photos once they are all complete.

    Sorry you’ve been unwell, I hope you’re making a recovery now and your family are taking care of you. x

    1. Oh, good! I can’t wait to see how they came out 🙂 And, thank you, I am feeling much better now.

  4. Que bonitos! Voy a practicar esta técnica.

    Una pregunta: Hasta que temperatura de lavado resisten (sin dañar) los botones de pasta polimerica?


    1. If you go have a look at the first lesson, it should answer your questions about baking 🙂

  5. […] of my buttons are made similarly to the Polka Dot Focal Buttons, in that they begin with a slab, a pattern is placed on top of the slab, and I use a 1.25-inch […]

  6. adorei ests botões ,tenho muito botões velhos, do tempo de mamãe rsrsrs,onde encontro botões diferentes eu compro.bjs

  7. Thanks for showing us how to make these buttons – I love ’em. 🙂

  8. Very pretty buttons. I’ll come back here.

    1. Thank you.

  9. you dont have to cook them??? what clay do you prefer

    1. Oh, you definitely have to bake them. I prefer Premo. If you check back to the first class in the series, it will give you all of the basic information including choosing a clay and how to bake. Hope this helps!

  10. Thanks Lisa. I make all my own buttons to go with the things I knit! I love your designs!! What colors did you use? They are so wonderful together!!!

    1. Thank you! I mixed those colors myself, and it was a while ago so I don’t remember specifically how I did it anymore. I wish I could be more helpful!

  11. These are AWESOME!
    It had never come to my mind to make buttons with polymer clay!

    Oh God! Can’t wait to try it!!


    1. I’m so glad you like them! I would love to see them, if you make some!

  12. Can these buttons go thru the washing machine?

    1. Yes, they can, as long as they use one of the stronger clays (like Premo – avoid Sculpey III and Fimo Soft) and as long as they have been baked properly.

  13. […] have a polka dot button tutorial that you could follow if you wanted to make these. The only differences are in the size of the […]

  14. […] Tutorial by Anna […]

  15. […] hollow doughnut shape (just use your favourite method to decorate a sheet of clay). Here’s a polka-dot tutorial (it’s similar to what I did except I made some dents in my background sheet of clay […]

  16. […] for it….my buttons are handmade! I used Sculpey’s Premo Clay and followed this helpful tutorial. I gather that a lot of knitters make their own buttons, but it was very much […]

  17. […] for it….my buttons are handmade! I used Sculpey’s Premo Clay and followed this helpful tutorial. I gather that a lot of knitters make their own buttons, but it was very much a […]

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