Day Five-Oodles of Buttons

I really like buttons.


So I created a way to store my buttons, see them easily and have them on hand.

I know my grandmother stored hers in a coffee can for many many years. But I find this re purposed spice rack works nicely for me.

Isn’t there something so satisfying running handfuls of buttons through your fingers?  If you love buttons, leave a comment about buttons-an experience, about a favorite or meaningful one to you,  a cleaver craft with buttons, etc. and I will send a baggie full of some of my vintage buttons  to the top comment.


21 Responses to “Day Five-Oodles of Buttons”

  1. Joyce Says:

    My grandma kept her buttons in a tin box. Some of my earliest memories are the hours I spent stringing and unstring them….sorting by color and size…seeing how long I could make the string. I loved the weight of them on the string, the tactile feeling of them in my hands. I think they were part of what influenced me to become an artist – the helped shape a lifelong passion. Thanks Grandma.

  2. StampinGoodDeeds Says:

    I love the button storage idea… will have to look for one of those myself! My favorite button memories are some of my earliest memories actually… when I was as little as two years old, my mom would give me stuff to work on while she was sewing. She had jars of buttons, and I would be given a needle (not too sharp of one) with thread and my job was to sort buttons by color, and put thread them by color. I even remember going with her to craft stores where they sold buttons in a huge bin by the pound, and I’d have to spend forever it seems searching through those piles for the buttons she wanted…

  3. inkthisstampthat Says:

    I, too, have a love for buttons! I remember playing with strings of buttons at my grandma’s house when I was little. She lived on a small farm in Iowa, sewed most of her clothes, baked bread every day and *always* wore an apron (which were probably homemade, too).

    When my girls were little I used to crochet beads to the tops of their socks. Some of my favorites were the socks I crocheted with buttons. Of course, they are too big to wear those now!

    Your button storage is so clever — I love the embellishment across the top! If I had more table space in my craft area, I do that, too!!

  4. Lisa Cox Says:

    Hi Dena I have always Loved Buttons. My Favorite thing made from Buttons is a Snowman Pin that lady gave me when I was about 17 years old. She made it from buttons and felt. I love it. Every time I see it I think of her.:)

  5. NormaJ Says:

    Isn’t it strange that our love of buttons began for most of us when we were little and sat with our mothers while they sewed. My mother had a
    button box, so like many others, I got to sit and play with them and sort them from big to small, colour to colour. When I grew up I used buttons
    to make earrings, buttons on my daughters clothes that I sewed for her.
    And now I make cards and scrapbook and am again drawn to buttons for embellishment. I love buttons with a pearlescence to them, with filigree around them like our scalloped punches. And shaped buttons, from flowers to butterflies, nautical themes. I haven’t kept a box of buttons for a while, but my fingers can still feel the smoothness, the ridges, the
    the center holes, the shirt buttons, flat with the embossed outer edge.
    I remember and I look at buttons each time I visit a fabric store because one day I will find the most divine of all buttons and I will keep it in a special box to treasure for years to come.

  6. Phyllis Says:

    I too love buttons. After my Mom passed away, a friend of hers called to express her condolences, and invited me for coffee. I went out of respect to my Mom, and it turned out to be one of the most special days ever.
    Her house was a collectors dream. She Knitted, did crochet, collected antique glass, tea cups and pots, and all of her walls had beautiful trays of collectable buttons on display. Many of them had blue ribbons that she’d won in competition. I was enraptured with the buttons, and she invited me to a club meeting at her house. This began my button collecting, and I still have boxed of buttons, mounted and sorted by material, size, etc. BTW, a few of them also have ribbons. On occassion, you’ll see one pop up in my art, thanks for the memory!

  7. Dorlene Durham Says:

    I love your button storage idea. Both my grandmothers kept buttons in an old coffee can. My paternal grandmother had the biggest collection. I remember she would always tell us girls that there’s a perfect button for every project. And whateve we were working on, it seemed like we’d go through that can over and over again, and lo and behold, we’d find the exact one we needed whether it was because of size or color. My grandmother never threw anything away. Old clothes were turned into rags and the buttons were always removed. My mother now has her mother’s old can but she also has a jar or two of buttons. No matter how old you are or what new and exciting electronic or computerized game there is, give someone a can of buttons and they will be mezmorized for hours.

    Such fun!

  8. Deb in Texas Says:

    Wonderful stories here. I have a fascination with buttons as well. I made a trip to NY last summer for my Aunt Mary’s funeral. My cousin wanted me to help her sort through her Mother’s belongings as she decided what to do with so many years of collected stuff. My role was mainly emotional support. We shared so many laughs and many tears as we handled the lifelong treasures that meant so much to her mother. I was deeply touched. We ended up with many boxes of items to donate to charity or give away to family or friends that might be interested. I could have chosen any item for myself as a keepsake. I chose two jars of precious buttons. Aunt Mary loved to make the old fashion Rag Rugs made from strips of old clothing. My late Uncle John would help her by removing the buttons from old clothing and tearing the fabric and rolling the one inch wide fabric strips into balls for her to use to crochet her famous rugs. They were a great team and loved to go to the craft fairs to sell them to make a little extra money. I found some little canning jars filled with old buttons. I was drawn to them and asked could I have them. I know that each of those buttons was more likely handled by both of them. These no doubt must have been her favorites. There is one button that is all beat up, scratched, and has a crackled appearance. It makes me wonder the story behind that button. Another interesting button has writing on it: “Valentino Rudy Italy” – I love that one. Upon my return from my trip I decided to keep those buttons in the original little fruit jar and give them a special place on the shelf in my craft room. It makes me feel good that I have little part of Aunt Mary with me and I know she is smiling down at me. I also have her little scissors that she carried in her purse. You know the kind that you can fold? The story is that Aunt Mary would whip out those little scissors out in a flash during church if she sat behind you and saw a loose thread. “Here, let me get that.” she’d say. Cousin Anne would get so embarrased that her Mom would do that. I got a good chuckle out of it. So I could’nt resist those little scissors as well. Thanks for listening to me ramble – I get so sentimental. I think it’s safe to say that we all love buttons. And Dena… I also have a very similar spice rack given to me by my daughter. She was going to sell it in her garage sale. I said “No way – give me that!” LOL So many great memories here. Keep’em coming.

  9. parknslide Says:

    Gramma’s button can (an antique cookie tin) was one of my favorite playthings as a child. Loved to pour through the treasures and sort them into colors and styles. We used them as coins when we played store. I still have the buttons and they are a source of many childhood memories.

  10. Plain Jane Says:

    So many wonderful stories here!
    My buttons came from my grandmother and my mother and also from my neighbor’s mother — yes, in coffee cans! I remember so many hours sorting through a can of buttons for replacements for my dad’s shirts (the old wringer washer — anyone remember those? — was really hard on buttons).
    I spent a lot of time stringing the matching sets together, and picking out my favorites. I was always partial to the mother-of-pearl buttons, and there were a few with “diamonds” that served as pretend “treasure.” My favorites live in a special box now, and I still love to run my hands through them. It’s lovely to be able to pull them out and remember Dad’s old workshirt, or Mom’s long dress coat, both long gone to the rag bin. The ones with stories are the best.

    Rats, now I’m getting all sniffly.

  11. prairiejen Says:

    It’s funny how everyone thinks of a grandparent when we have a button story to share. I remember my grandfather had an old Javex bottle cut in half and full of buttons. They were all strung together in groups with an old piece of string. All of these buttons came from England. I’m not sure why he had a button collection. I used to play with these buttons for hours. Even to this day if I buy a shirt that has “extra” buttons I save them in a drawer. My grandfather lived in Churchill Manitoba for 20 years after having served at Vimy Ridge at the age of 16 fighting for England. Crisp iron shirts and buttons are a huge memory trigger for me with my grandpa. Loved this man dearly.

  12. Debbie Hayes Says:

    I too can remamber the old button tins or boxes. I would have never thought about this–everyone always comes up with such good ideas to repurpose old items. Great job

  13. bekah Says:

    I LOVE your button storage idea…it’s a much nicer setup than what i have (bags o buttons). I am a huge button fan myself.

    And you saw from my jewelry project that I used them in jewelry…which isn’t really such a unique idea. But that’s what I do with alot of my vintage buttons…they go into pretty vintage necklaces and earrings. I have another sample on my blog from a while back. I used a bunch of buttons and other little trinkets in a whole series of necklaces I created that month:

    When I think of buttons, I always remember the HUGE pickle glass carboy of buttons at the dry cleaners downtown near where I used to work. This dry cleaner is no longer in business (retired and closed up shop), but he had this huge glass jug full of all sorts of beauties. I sometimes wonder what he ever did with them all ( was almost waist high and FULL)

  14. Mrs Noofy Says:

    I love your button storage idea. Re-purposing that spice rack …what a splendid idea!! Leave it to you to come up with a wild one like that!! I love buttons..especially mother of pearl. Every once in a while I empty my grandma’s cookie jar and just fondle them. She saved all kinds of buttons but I think her love of those little mother of pearl gems flows lovingly through my veins.

  15. kerbean Says:

    Dena I have always loved your spice rack buttons holder. I have a small one but nothing like yours. I love buttons too but I have quit collecting for awhile. Have no place to put them

  16. Karen Maust Says:

    I love old buttons and my favorite way of finding more is going to auctions and checking out the sewing boxes from long ago. Now I put them in quart jars and display them around my crafting room. Karen

  17. BusyMind Says:

    Dena, what a cute blog! I love all of your storage ideas (I’m a little bit of a storage nut)! :o)

    I don’t have any special button stories, I guess. The BEST book about special buttons is The Memory String by Eve Bunting. It is a children’s book. I tried reading it to my class one year…. yeah… I couldn’t make it all the way through (I’m such a sap)! :o)

    I also enjoy knitting. My local yarn store has an “orphaned button” bin. It contains the last of different types of buttons, and they’re all onyl $1 each. It is such fun to sift through and find those special pieces that, although you might not have a set purpose for them, will someday beautify a handmade garment or other project!

  18. pinkprincess Says:

    a focus from everything to clothing lines, children’s books (Corduroy), jewelery, scrapping, crafting, quilting, sayings “button your mouth” and “buttons and bows and twinkle toes”, Song titles (Pussycat Dolls), Mother-goose nursery rhymes- Buttons, a farthing a pair!
    Come, who will buy them of me?
    They’re round and sound and pretty,
    And fit for girls of the city.
    Come, who will buy them of me?
    Buttons, a farthing a pair!

    me me me I will buy them and swim in them and play with them…

    they really are a part of our culture, our heritage, our traditions

    I love buttons and all they stand for me! My Grandma who inspired me to sew, my mother who taught me to sew, and who also taught me the love of crafting and showing me the path to my creative side and for encouraging me to express it. And because of these women and their buttons helped me find the strength in womanhood and a hidden talent in me……

  19. nancy Says:

    Love this button holder 🙂 I have a button box that belonged to my Mom and it still has her buttons in it 🙂 Brings back lots of memories when I look through it. love all the stories here.

  20. Judy Says:

    I was at a Women’s Ministry meeting and we made flowers out of buttons & wires!!! I still have mu button bouquet in my office!!!

  21. cool cookie jars Says:

    cool cookie jars

    Day Five-Oodles of Buttons | Artontheporch’s Blog

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