an array of color-sorted buttons drying on a kitchen towel


Collecting vintage buttons is its own pleasure. I really like to sort things…there’s something about the process that both calms and energizes. The more I sort, the more I see. Color, size, style, shank or flat, material, and the best…matching!

Sorting a button lot after washing the batch with warm water and dish soap. Be sure to pick out any fabric-covered buttons before you submerge the lot. Kids are natural sorters!

If you want to build a stash of buttons, let people know that you are hunting for them. Many gracious people have simply handed me a tin of buttons from their family, as no one is interested in them.

Check your local recycling centers – the type that accept donations. My favorite is in Ann Arbor, Michigan, The Scrapbox…they have loads of buttons. I’ve also seen them at thrift stores like The Salvation Army and Goodwill.

eBay is an excellent source of vintage buttons. Using good search words will help you find them, like:

If there’s no time to collect, and you need those buttons right now, traditional craft and fabric stores have ready supply. Check the scrapbooking department to see if they have pre-packaged lots – those will be much less expensive than buying carded buttons.

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