Although short on time, I finished a few buttons yesterday. I used a branch that had fallen from a neighborhood tree during a winter storm.
As mentioned in the Esprit Cabine tutorial, I highly recommend the use of a miter box when sawing the branch - it really helped to keep my cuts straight and clean! Next time around, I might even try cutting on a 45 degree angle.
Although I love the bark edging on whippoorwheel's wonderful persimmon buttons, my branch was very dry and the bark chipped off during the sawing process (which is okay, too!).
My button pieces didn't look very impressive after I'd first cut them, but a little hand sanding revealed the natural beauty of the wood. I varied from the tutorial and sanded the front, back and side surfaces. Here are my sanded pieces on a dew-dressed collard leaf:
Lastly, I brought them indoors, clamped each piece to a bench pin and used my Dremel to drill the button holes. As you can see in this final photograph, I can use a lot more practice here! I could also use a tinier drill bit for the small buttons.
I've definitely been inspired to try more of these buttons. My husband suggested carving a few into heart shapes, which could be really cute!
I'd also like to finish these buttons with oil or wood stain, or even experiment with my wood-burner tool for more intricate designs. I'm already envisioning little wood beads, too. Oh, the possibilities!