Making your own beach stone buttons

Over the holiday's I gathered a few stones from my beach visits to have a go at making them into buttons.

 They will need to be fairly flat and not to big.  There are soft rocks and hard rocks - sand and lime stone are the easiest to drill. Some of the ones I collected where too hard for these cheap drill bits.
Also take into account the size of the stone. The bigger they are, the heavier they are and they will not be useful.

 I purchased two different types of drill bits from the local hardware store.
You can go all out and purchase proper drilling bits more suitable but they will cost a lot more.  But these were cheap and a good place to start.
The 3mm bit was designed for masonry such as bricks, tiles and concrete.
The 1.5mm was a Hi Power Bit to be used for metal, wood & plastic.
Mark where you would like the holes to be.
Add a piece of wood under the stone to protect the surface top you are working on.
Hold the stone in a Multi Grips or an adjustable plier to keep it still.
Some suggest working in water but I found it awkward to hold the stone flat with the grips and drill in the water.
You may wish to protect your eyes with glasses.
Carefully drill your holes.

Surprisingly, the larger 3mm masonry bit didn't really work.  It blew out the back and the front hole entries were also messy. The drill was set to hammer.

The 1.5mm bit was easier to use and gave a much cleaner hole.

So overall for a first up attempt it was an OK result, I think purchasing more suited drill bits are the answer.


trudi@maudeandme said...

They look fab! Great idea.

Mommyof2girlz/StephD said...

Those are so cool and a very crafty idea!

Tiff said...

What a fantastic idea! Very clever! X

Jenny said...

Nice button pics :)

A better drill bit to use would be a diamond-tipped hollow coring bit (for a dremel or similar tool) I get mine at RioGrande.

The hollow bits go through the stone faster and are less likely to break the stone because you don't have to put as much pressure on them :)

Oh! and drill the stones under water!! That helps keep the bits sharp longer and keeps the stones from heating up!

Calico Child said...

Great idear love it!! :)

Lic. Soledad Sgarella - Lic. Sol Bevaqcua. said...

quedo muy lindo!

Kate said...

These are great! Found you on Craft Gawker!

jade said...

Thanks for sharing. These are so great.
I have a peach coral, do you think coral works?

PS: I hope my dad would let me borrow his drill.

pamb said...

Oh wow. I have been sitting here drooling on my laptop, just staring at the pictures! I was so thrilled when my husband helped me slice up a tree branch to make wooden buttons... I can't wait till we can try some of these!! Thank you so much for sharing. Oh, and thanks for the contest. But mostly thanks for the stone buttons. They're just incredible. Incredible. I can see them on pillows, scarves, headbands...

Judi said...

Like the previous commenter I am THRILLED with this tutorial, it's something I would never have dreamed of! In saying that, I'm off to Spain on my hols next week, and love beachcombing, so I fear my luggage may be overweight with all the stones I'll be bringing back, lol.


Unknown said...

As Jenny said above, use diamond coring drill bits and drill under water. You still have to change the drill bits out every 10 rocks or so to be sure they're not dull and don't blow out the backs. But you'll have a lot more success with clean holes.