I found this on Pinterest (orignal source: cornerhouseblog.com), and since I literally have a bazillion buttons left over from my wedding, I wanted to try it.
Shoe box lid (or canvas)
Twine (or cloth- this is for the background)
Hot glue gun/hot glue
Letter Outline (my husband made that for me!)
1. First, begin at the top of the lid (it doesn’t matter which one you pick as the top). I wrapped one strand of string around the lid, then tied it with a knot in the back. Then, super glue the top part to the top of the box.
2. Continue to wrap the twine around the lid, making sure to pull it tight and not leave any gaps in the string.
3. About halfway down the lid, stop wrapping the twine. You will notice that the sides of the cardboard are starting to bend in, as the string is being pulled so taught. Theo sawed me a small piece of wood and we wedged that inside to keep the edges from bending in. (I’m sure that you could use almost anything that is sturdy and the length of the box.
4. When the twine has been wrapped all the way to the bottom, repeat the same thing you did at the top. Tie the string tightly in the back, then hot glue it to the corners so that the twine does not slip off the lid.
5. Trace out a letter (I used H for Hines) or a shape (a heart in the original) on a piece of paper. I made mine 7×5 inches. Cut out the letter making the piece of a paper into a stencil. (sorry, no picture). Tape the new stencil onto your box lid.
6. Glue the buttons in! Since the stencil is outlining the letter, simply glue the buttons into the stencil. Some of mine were not directly in the lines of the stencil, but it still looks fine. I started at the bottom and worked up, but anything works. Once the stencil is full of buttons, slowly peel off the taped stencil and VOILA! Your very own button canvas creation!
WARNING: Be careful while hot gluing buttons. When you put glue on the back, and then press the button down, the hot glue tends to come up through the button holes onto your finger =(