Firstly search for a branch of a good thickness and as straight as possible. This is especially important if you are needing a bunch of buttons all the same size.
Using a hack saw, or an electric saw if you have one which is much faster, simply saw off rounds. About 1/8 inch thick is perfect, any thinner and they risk snapping.
Next step is to drill the holes. Using a a very fine drill bit, drill two or four holes, whichever you prefer. I used an old button as a guide and simply drilled straight through it's holes.
The lovely outside edges will come off eventually anyway, so you might as well knock them off now. Gently buff off any rough edges with some sandpaper, to avoid them snagging on anything.
As indicated by the pic, I like to use a few different grades of sandpaper starting with a rougher one, and graduating to a fine one. Just like buffing your nails!
Lastly treat the wood by rubbing in some natural beeswax, furniture wax or polish. In the pic you can see I have treated half of the button to show you the difference it makes. It really brings out the natural grain and personality of the wood.
And here they are finished - your own handmade buttons!
I couldn't help myself and simply had to sew some onto a garment...
This sweet embroidered wool coat which I have been working on for some time, needed some natural looking buttons to go with the botanical theme so my new buttons worked out perfectly :)
I'm really pleased with them, and they are such fun to make, albeit quite time consuming.
I would love to hear if you make some - and what you use them for :)
Linking up with more creatives here.