Thursday, August 19, 2010

Buttons, Buttons Everywhere

I rescued my stash of old family buttons from the closet this week. Why, you ask? Three reasons:
  1. I have an idea for a sewing project, for which I will need a few.
  2. A neighbor saw an old mayonnaise jar full of them at a garage sale and picked it up for me because she knew I had done this little project.
  3. I recently saw this done and thought it was cute.
I have buttons spread all over the dining room table. The Husband, as you may imagine, is thrilled (not).

Lots of the buttons from our grandmothers and mothers were cut off clothing that had outlived it's usefulness. Buttons were removed with the intent of reusing them on other items of hand made clothing. Our grannies and moms weren't good about removing the bits of cloth and thread attached to the buttons, so I'm spending time doing that as I sort by color.
I have a ways to go, as you can see from the containers below. 
I did find this little bracelet in the big tin of buttons. I wonder who took the time to make it and why?
I've spent a lot of time wondering about the clothing the buttons were from originally. What was it? Who wore it?

In my personal stash there were lots of black and white buttons (of course, because I'm a black and white dresser), but there were also tons of red and purple buttons. Red and purple are my "go to" colors to add a pop in my wardrobe.

In this collection of buttons there are pretty pastels; pink and yellow, but also vibrant orange, green and blue. What clothing were those buttons on and who wore them? Were they party clothes? Church clothes? Work clothes?

And my, my...the tiny little buttons! Probably from baby clothes. Boy clothes or girl clothes?

As I continue with my button sorting project, I'll continue to wonder about where they came from and where they've been and, more importantly, where they will end up after I'm finished with them!

What about you? Do you have a jar or tin or box of old buttons? What are you planning to do with them?


  1. I've always loved old buttons, and have my own jar. Both of my girls used to love dumping them out and playing with them when they were tiny.

    My mother-in-law bought a glass lamp base (kinda vase shaped) that she filled with her old buttons, popped a bulb and shade onto. It's the coolest lamp ever!

  2. Now I wish I still had the old buttons! Mom kept hers in a large cookie tin like the red one in your picture, and my sister and I played with them for hours. They became cars, houses, people, pets, and anything else we desired.

    Nancy in Iowa