Tuesday, 14 May 2013

The button box

As a child I was fascinated by my grandmother's button box. It was full of interesting shapes and colours, military style in brass and silver, delicate mother of pearl and jazzy plastic ones form the 1940's and 50's. She was a great knitter and if I was lucky she would take me to the haberdashery section of the local department store and let me choose my own for her latest creation. Once I started sewing it seemed only natural to start my own button box.

I've never consciously collected buttons, if clothing gets too old and scruffy I'll take the buttons off and add them to my collection. I inherited my grandmother's box, and that of Andrew's mother (which I suspect had belonged to her mother). But they don't just sit in the box, they get used as well.

My button box

Take a recent purchase. I needed a summer cardigan and found this one, a lovely mix of silk & cotton but with rather naff plastic buttons.

Cheap plastic buttons

So I headed to the button box, had a good rummage and found this vintage dozen.

Vintage buttons

I gave them a wash and then 20 minutes with a needle and thread and voilá!

Designer cardigan

What do you do with your button box?


  1. Oh, I love the old family button box too. And I add to it in my turn, but rarely use the contents. Though there are dozens, I can never see what I want when I want it. When we last moved, I gave part of the collection to a charity shop, as I so rarely used the contents. Of course, I regret it

  2. I'm sure that someone was very grateful for your donation. And it sounds like you've still got some, so you never know.