View Full Version : 4 Hole Button Tutorial

01-20-2008, 11:25 AM
I have been making a bunch of 4 hole buttons lately with my new tool. I got together with Tracy (Bead _Bug), we made some buttons (and some bloopers) and took a bunch of pictures. Thanks so much for your help Tracy!
If they are new, rough them up a little bit so that the bead release holds better. It seems to work better if you air dry rather than flame dry them, the bead release tends to crack less.

I found 2 methods for starting the buttons that seem to work well.
Method 1:
Put 3 of the mandrels into the handle and thru the O-ring and balance a piece or murrini or slice of glass on them where you will be making the button. The O-ring goes on the handle side below the brass head. (Alot of times, murrini that has white in it will devit on you)
Slide the 4th mandrel in to the handle and O-ring, being careful not to scrape the bead release on the glass.
Put dots onto the murrini in the spaces between each of the mandrels.
Melt the dots in and start wrapping a disc around the glass already on the mandrel. Finish and decorate as desired.
Method 2

Put 4 mandrels into the handle and O-ring. Wrap a layer of glass around all 4 mandrels. (Try for a more even wrap than this picture)
Melt the glass and using a sharp tool push the glass between the mandrels. Add dots of glass between the mandrels and continue pushing the glass until the center of the button is filled in.
Wrap additional glass around the mandrels to build the button.

Let the button cool a little bit.
Slide the O-Ring off of the mandrels.
Push the mandrels towards the head of the handle.
Use a pair of pliers (I like bent nose pliers but any kind works) to grab one or two of the mandrels, slowly working the mandrels out of the handle. Sometimes you can just hold the handle with the button down and it almost falls out - so do it over a table. Remove the mandrels completely from the handle and put the button in the kiln.
That’s it – you’re done!
The third one down shows what not to do! It was not cool enough as I took it off and one of the mandrels shifted.
Removing the button from the mandrels is really easy. Grab one of the mandrels with pliers and just twist it off, then do the same for the other 3 mandrels.
Making a 2 hole button is pretty much the same process – they are a little easier to start though.
Let me know if you have any questions.

01-20-2008, 11:35 AM
Hi Barb, I am loving the button tool. Here is one I made yesterday to be the closure for my heart necklace

01-20-2008, 11:36 AM
Here are the ones from my first attempt

01-20-2008, 12:02 PM
Those look good Rosemary, glad you're liking the tool!

10-30-2008, 03:45 PM
Those look good to me Rosemary!

01-04-2009, 12:47 PM
I'm definitely buying one of your lampwork button mandrels as a birthday present to me. :clap:

Barbara in Kzoo,MI

01-21-2009, 08:36 PM
Here's my first button using your mandrel. It's great!! The photo doesn't show it too well because the glass is ivory and dark brown swirls. I tried another last night, but ran out of propane. :( Maybe this weekend.


01-22-2009, 08:14 AM
That looks great - can't wait to see some more!