“Cute as a Button” Tree

Unlike furniture, which is usually what I’m working on, I’ve been tackling some smaller projects around the house in an effort to really create OUR space. Not a Pottery Barn space, not a Land of Nod Space, but a space that’s truly personal and reflective of things that we love and that are meaningful to us.  Today’s focus was the girls room.

It’s been HOT, HOT, HOT and because my kids and I kinda are not fans of the humidity and heat (ours is the kind that literally makes sweat pour from your face), we’ve spent a lot of time indoors. That can get old REALLY quickly, so I decided it was time to put the littles to work! No, they’re not scrubbing floors and toilet bowls. Ha, I wish! We’re tackling DIY decor projects! This particular project doesn’t have much in the way of meaning, but I got to spend time creating something for my girls room and best of all, my two youngest babies got to help. The time we spent together is priceless. This project was super quick and very, very easy.

Here’s what’s you’ll need to complete ONE canvas.

(1) canvas ($6 for both at Walmart)
(4) bottles of acrylic craft paint (I had them already, but they’re about $1 per bottle) three colors will be for the background and one will be for your tree)
(1) paint brush (I used my favorite brush, the Purdy Cub XL)
(1) small flat head paint brush to paint the trees (it can be whatever you have available)
(1) glue gun
(1) about 6 glue gun refills
(2) jars of mixed size buttons (available at Walmart for about $5 a jar)
A few sheets of newspaper or paper towels to offload your paint

Let’s get started!!

I did the following steps in no time.  No joke, it was totally a 15 minute, “Let me get this done as quickly as possible” situation that happened in between finishing dinner and getting the kids ready for bed.

I began by squirting my colors directly on the canvas. Be sure to apply enough paint.  Acrylic paint dries very fast and if you need to make corrections or do any additional blending at the end, you need to make sure your paint remains wet.  The lighter green goes on the bottom to simulate grass, the lightest aqua in the middle and the darkest teal up top. Once my colors were on, I took my Purdy paint brush and started to spread the green, making sure to wrap the paint around the sides of the canvas.  I had some excess paint on my brush, so I offloaded it onto newspaper just so it wouldn’t carry too much into the next color.  (There’s no need to wash your brush in between colors).


After offloading, place your brush down about 2/3 on to the green and 1/3 on the aqua and begin blending up into the aqua.  Offload when you’ve got good coverage on the middle and then repeat with the teal.  Just remember to stay moving upward and try not to double back into the previous color.  When the canvas is covered, take a step back and make sure you’re happy with it.  If you see areas that need more blending, go ahead and go back over them, but remember to get as much paint off the brush as possible before making fixes and when going from one color to another. Check your sides for excess paint (image 3). Also remember not to overwork the colors so that they blend together so much that you can’t tell that there are three different shades.  Don’t worry if your background isn’t perfect.  You’re painting a big tree right in the middle, so imperfections won’t matter too much.


I let the canvas dry for about 2 hours and then painted my trees with a medium sized, flat head artists paint brush. It’s what I had on hand, but you can use whatever works for you. I chose a color that was close to the color of my buttons. There was no rhyme or reason to the actual painting part. I just kinda did what I thought would look nice. I do have a few tips. Make sure you wet your brush a bit and don’t skimp on loading the paintbrush with paint. If you use too little, you’ll get hiccups in coverage. Make sure you carry the base of the trunk to the side of the canvas. When your all done, let dry for a few hours.


Now, the fun part! Time for some buttons!! I’ll say off the bat, make sure you put aside at least 20 small buttons for the end. I chose to use a hot glue gun to adhere ours. Yes, I used a hot glue gun on a project that my 2 and 4 year old were helping me with. You could probably use craft glue, but I chose to use this as a teaching moment about how we must be VERY careful when working with stuff that’s hot. I demonstrated how to hold the buttons and how to apply them gently. I’m happy to report that no little fingers were hurt in the making of this movie art work. We started applying the buttons around the side of the tree and worked our way up and over into the middle. Again, do what’s comfortable for you.


Once your tree is pretty much covered, you’ll need to go back and fill in some of the misses. This is where those 20 little buttons from earlier come into the picture.


Wherever you see canvas peeking through, apply a bead of glue…


…and then pop a small button on top to cover the canvas.


When your all done, you’ll have lots of glue gun cob webs.  They’re inevitable unfortunately. I gently ran my finger across the surface of the buttons and rolled the gluey webs into a ball to remove. Voila! Your done! Now you and your creative little helpers get to enjoy a super cute, custom piece of artwork that cost $16 to make!

If you have any questions, please leave me a comment and I’ll be sure to answer as soon as I can. If you loved this tute and can’t wait to try it out, please pin and share for others to enjoy! Thanks a bunch!




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  1. I love this. You could probably make 4 of these, one for each season. Although I would probably have to have a suggestion on the winter tree.

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