I used a basic recipe for salt dough.... 2 parts flour to 1 part salt and water...I used a 1/4 cup measuring spoon (the recipe I read asked for 2 cups of flour, but I only needed a little bit and the amount I made was more than enough!) I also added a little drop of sunflower oil, to make it easier to knead, and a few drops of lemon juice, which is supposed to make it harder (seems to have worked despite the fact the adding of lemon juice instructions were quite vague and I guessed at the amount, I have dropped several buttons and they didn't break!)
I made up my mixture, kneaded it for 10 minutes and left it to rest for another 20.
I used some little vintage Tupperware cutters that my Mum says are petite fours cutters to make some of the small buttons, a star cookie cutter that I got in my Christmas cracker and hand shaped most of the heart and round buttons...you can see the rolling in a ball and squashing technique I developed to make my round buttons in the photos below...
I used a matchstick to make the holes. As you can see I had enough dough to make buttons to fill this 12 inch square tray (which only fits in my oven if you tilt it at a funny angle!)
Put them in an oven on the lowest heat setting for up to 4 hours...mine have been in for 3 then it was tea time and they had to come out of the oven to make way for the chips! About an hour or so into the baking time, when the tops have gone nice and white and hard turn the buttons over. This is a good time to check the holes haven't sneakily closed up at the back, most of mine had (in the photo the hole on the left is all shrunken, the one on the right is after I poked it with a match stick again) these need to be re-poked with a matchstick, re-poking won't hurt the buttons so long as the tops have gone hard (so you don't squish them when you handle them) and the underneaths are still yellowish and a bit soft (so you can physically get the matchstick through!)
I have to leave my buttons overnight to completely dry out and then I'm going to paint them!!!