I recently completed the Cardigan Bay Jacket by Carol Fellers (Love her designs BTW) and needed some sizable buttons to complete the jacket. I purchased some 1 in. buttons from a local store just the fill the bill until I found some GREAT buttons. However, the 1 in. were just too small. So Devon and I journeyed to another store to look for toggle buttons. There was a small selection of toggles but they were all weird asymetrical shapes and the cost was sky high: $3.50 for 1 button and I needed 8). So I purchased a 3/4 in. square dowel, 36 in. long and planned to make my own. Here's how I made my own toggle buttons.
1) Measure and cut your dowel into eight 2.5 in. long pieces. I used a hand saw and miter board. Don't saw on your picnic table, I set up on the grass.
3) Using a small drill bit (try a 5/32 or smaller) and drill 2 holes near the center and equally spaced. You can measure and mark the holes but I just used my eye. I didn't want perfection and like things that are a little off. Again becareful where you drill, I used the grass as my foundation
4) Lightly sand your holes. You can now paint, stain or varnish your buttons or leave them as is like mine. I had intended to stain them a dark cherry but found that after I had sanded I really liked the light wood tone.
5) Sew on your buttons and check out your fast, easy and fun new buttons. My dowel cost $2, I made 8 buttons and I have 16 in. left over for more buttons versus $28 for 8 store bought buttons. Throw in a pint of stain or paint for $10 and you still save $16.
Feel free to sell any button creations from this tutorial, just give me a link back. Enjoy!