What you'll need:
- One or two blank cards
- Coordinating decorative paper
- Glue stick
- Assortment of shank buttons
- A pipe cleaner stem that matches your card
- X-Acto knife
- Self-healing cutting board
- Wire cutters
- Craft glue (optional)
- Assorted ribbon or rickrack (optional)
. . . And a note on the cardstock: Because buttons can be heavy, you need to use a very heavyweight cardstock for this project. I like 80-lb. stock or heavier. If you have blank cards that are lighter weight, just glue two of them together using a glue stick.
Place an assortment of buttons on the card and move them around until you have a configuration you like. Set the buttons aside in this configuration, or take a digital picture so you don't forget the arrangement.
Decorate the card as you like by gluing on decorative papers using a glue stick. You can have the buttons be the decorative main event, or they can be part of a design, as in my flower card above. The buttons provide a lot of visual complexity, so I tend to keep my card designs simple.
Now it's time to make some tiny holes in the card, so the shanks of those buttons can pass through. I'm using a low-fi approach here by cutting them with an X-Acto knife. Depending on the design of your card, you may be able to use a standard hole punch or an eyelet punch instead.
Anyway, make a small hole where you want the center of each button to be. (And when I cut them with the X-Acto, I cut rectangular holes because it's easier than cutting round ones.)
Test each button as you make a hole for it—every button is made a little differently, and the shanks are different sizes. You may need to adjust some of those holes a little with the X-Acto knife. The hole should be just large enough that the entire shank can pass through it, and you can see through the hole in the shank.
Once you know all the button shanks will fit the holes in the card, then it's time to attach them. Poke the shank of a button through a hole. Then, on the back of the card, feed a piece of pipe cleaner through the hole in the button shank so that it pokes about 1/4 inch through.
Trim the other end of the pipe cleaner to about 1/4 inch beyond the shank with wire cutters. (A tip: I find it much easier to feed the long piece of pipe cleaner through the button and then trim it short. It's fairly fiddly to work with precut pieces of pipe cleaner.)
Repeat this process with the remaining buttons.
If you like, you can also embellish the card by gluing on some ribbon or rickrack.