Saving Buttons

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One of the things I remember from my childhood is my Mamaw's button box. She must have had a billion buttons in it. She kept a large tin box about 10 inches high full of buttons. When something was too old to use again, we cut off the buttons and strung them together so we wouldn't have to sort out the whole bunch looking for a set of buttons for something she was making. I still love collecting buttons and I also thread them together to keep them sorted.


Saving buttons was a thrifty way to have on hand something that was needed. We never threw anything away that could be used for other things. We had to be frugal in order to live. I loved the button container. I would sit for hours going through it and picking out buttons I liked. There were so very many buttons in the can it was just like a treasure hunt for me. Life was simple and laid back back then. Makes you wonder what happened to change all those wonderful days to hectic and unorganized lives that we live.

Buttons back then were expensive and they are more so today. So next time you start to pitch a shirt or something that is no longer usable, be sure to cut off the buttons and string them together with thread, so the next time you need a button you'll be able to find them easily and save you some money.


By maphisx7 from Gordonsville, VA

assorted buttons
August 20, 20100 found this helpful

Ha! I just cut off all the enameled metal buttons off a slightly moth-eaten knit jacket I was donating to the thrift shop last week. (Sometimes it would be worth it to buy a thrift shop item just for the buttons & I have bought items without buttons cheaply & replaced them myself!)

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August 21, 20100 found this helpful

Have to thank you for bringing memories back this morning, of grandma, aunts and mom. I have button boxes, tin ones, that belonged to my mom, mom in law and grandma (no one else wanted them), and of course, I cut and put ones in, also, they can be used on cards and scrapbook pages. I do both, and children's clothing ones can be used to decorate their pages, to make them special. Ive even changed an entire set of buttons on an outfit when I've lost one, because of my stash, and I'm 66, and think our days of being simple were the Best!

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August 21, 20100 found this helpful

My mother also had a can filled with buttons. As a child I loved to go through it and look at all the different colors and shapes. In my 30's I had a business "Button Boutique" in a flea market till the market went out of business. I loved it. I still have an 8 draw metal cabinet filled with buttons and appliques. When I get a spot I cannot remove from a blouse an applique often comes to the rescue. I like your tip of threading a set of buttons together when they are in a container.

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August 21, 20100 found this helpful

Thank you for your story as it brought back fond memories of my childhood. I was a sickly little kid so spent many days in bed when I was ill. My parents didn't have much money so one of the things my mom would give me to play with was her button tin. I spent many hours pouring through the collection of buttons which even included ones from my Grand Mothers clothes. When my mother passed away I kept her button bin and felt very selfish doing so as my sister in law wanted to give it to her church for the kids to use with crafts. I just couldn't part with that little bit of my family history!!

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August 21, 20100 found this helpful

Add me to the list of those who remember playing with my grandmothers' buttons! I did the same things, finding matches and oohing and awing over those with rhinestones and the like. I passed many hours playing with simple buttons! I now have my own button tin that sure comes in handy for odd projects and for a quick fix!

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August 22, 20100 found this helpful

I, too spent hours on rainy days sorting buttons. It is a small, but sweet pleasure even now that I am 57. It is relaxing and it takes your mind off worries. I also make buttons from clay-Fun!

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September 14, 20100 found this helpful

Thanks for all your comments. It means a lot to me that something as simple as a button can be dear to ones heart.

I am so glad I brought back wonderful memories for you and that you stuck by me.

Big hugs to all and God Bless!


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September 21, 20100 found this helpful

I would like to say that your buttons are wonderful!

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Saving Money on Buttons
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Craft Ideas Using Buttons
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Protecting Delicate or Vintage Buttons in the Wash
Sewing on Buttons for Crafts, threading needle with white thread.
Sewing Buttons On Crafts
Closeup of Sewing Buttons On Clothing
Sewing Buttons On Clothing
Halloween Ideas!
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