Studio at Home Web Series: Episode 1

Button People with Richard “Duarte” Brown and recorded by Donte Woods-Spikes.

Columbus Museum of Art
3 min readJun 26, 2023

Discover fun and engaging art-making activities for all ages to enjoy without leaving home. This is the 1st of our 3-part Studio at Home Web Series, created in collaboration with artists Richard “Duarte” Brown and recorded by Donte Woods-Spikes. Each video will be released throughout the summer of 2023. We hope you have a great time learning, watching, and making art with your family alongside Duarte!

A full set of written instructions and suggested supplies are listed below.

Supplies needed

  • Pipe cleaners or bendable wire (not recommended for smaller children)
  • yarn or string
  • wooden beads
  • small wooden spools
  • small buttons
  • paper straws (decorated straws aid to the creativity)

Additionally, if you’d like to add some extra creativity to the project, you can try using a variety of materials like felt, fabric scraps, and googly eyes. Instead of beads, try recyclable items you may have on hand, such as cardboard tubes or plastic caps from bottles.

You could also use a hot glue gun to attach the decorations onto the Button People. Have fun and let your creativity soar!


Great — you’re ready to create your Button Person’s hair! To start, measure out the amount of yarn you’d like to use for your character’s hair. Make sure to double the length of the yarn, as it will be folded in half. Once you have the length you want, fold the yarn in half with a pipe cleaner. Twist the pipe cleaner around the yarn at the middle section to secure it together. Not only will this secure the yarn, but it will also serve as the base and legs for your Button Person, so make sure it’s nice and secure!

Next, you’ll be creating the Button Person’s body by tying the ends of the pipe cleaners together at the bottom of the wooden spool. This will create legs. To make the feet, tie the ends of the paper straw together. You can adjust the length of the legs and arms by cutting the paper straw and pipe cleaners to the desired length. Finally, you can use other materials such as googly eyes, felt, buttons, and yarn to decorate your Button Person.

To create arms and hands you can take your cut paper straws and cut them in half to make two sets of upper and lower arms. Then, thread your pipe cleaner arms through the paper straw and add a small bead to the same pipe cleaner for your elbow joint. On the end of the pipe cleaner arm, pass it through one hole of a small button and out through a different hole of the same button to create your hands. Finally, tie the end of the pipe cleaner with a small piece of yarn to keep it in place. Repeat these steps for your other arm and you should have two arms and hands!

Congratulations on finishing your button person! You can continue working alongside Duarte to make a skirt or explore creating pants for your button figure.

You can style the yarn hair to give your button person a unique look. You can even add other elements like different colored buttons or ribbons for a more expressive touch. Congratulations again and enjoy your button person!

Watch Episode 2 here
Watch Episode 3 here

Share your creativity by adding your creations to social media with the hashtag #MyCMAstudio

Additional thanks to our Cristo Rey interns for making alongside us and providing image gallery.



Columbus Museum of Art

Columbus Museum of Art’s mission is to create great experiences with great art for everyone. It is by the people and for the people.