Years and years ago my great aunt asked my mother if she’d be interested in inheriting a button collection.  Of course my mother said yes, and I’m pretty sure she envisioned a jar or two full of buttons.  The collection turned out to be a *tad* more extensive than she’d thought . . . .

Looking through these was like discovering buried treasure.

Each plate of buttons was like a clue into my aunt’s life . . . some have dates and names written on the back . . . some are clues by virtue of the way she chose to organize them.  The plates are too fragile too display, and grimy from decades of storage, so we decided to photograph everything as an archive – just in case mom cleans them and displays them differently.  Photographing the collection was a pleasure has me pondering collections in general . . .

My youngest has always had a bit of a button obsession and loved sorting them with Grammy.


Do you collect anything?  How do you display it?  I don’t really collect anything (except books!), but love looking at collections on sites like this and this.  Button display ideas also welcome . . . .

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Sandra Coan - July 20, 2011 - 10:00 pm

wow! they are beautiful! What are you going to do with them all?

Ashley DeLatour - July 20, 2011 - 10:57 pm

Angie- These are amazing!!!! I can still remember going through my grandmothers button tin. Nothing like this!!! What an incredible piece of history you have in your family. You know me, I collect spoons, and unknowingly scissors. : ) I’m still at a loss for how to display the spoons… suggestions welcome for that too.

Janet Fernandes - July 20, 2011 - 11:33 pm

THese are gorgeous. It makes me feel like Christmas just looking through them. Me too, the only things I collect are books, and some buttons (as my grandmother just died and let me have some) and old sewing thimbles. I hope you find a wonderful way of collecting them.

Karen Chapman - July 21, 2011 - 8:58 am

One of my favorite ‘toys’ as a child was an old biscuit (aka cookie) tin of assorted buttons. Flower shapes, twisted coils, dangly ones and tiny ones… I’d pour them onto a tea-tray and make button pictures. Spirals became funky eyes while little pearl buttons joined together to make curly hair… you get the idea! Wonderful rainy day project and a history of the clothes my Mum and Nana wore decades ago. When was the last time we clipped off buttons before throwing an old garment out?

Joey - July 21, 2011 - 3:40 pm

Two words: Super. Jealous.

Addie - July 21, 2011 - 3:52 pm

Wow! What an amazing collection!

Alyson Ross-Markley - July 23, 2011 - 12:08 am

I love the sound and feel of running my fingers through buttons… it’s one of my (and Ashley’s) favorite childhood memories. In my car, the grandkiddo’s have buttons in their carseat cupholders to sort through when we are driving around. Someday I hope to find an old fashion nice round cookie tin (rather than the plastic one they are in now) similar to what my mother (Ashley’s Grandmother!) and Karen’s mother used for button storage… although, attaching buttons to paper plates according to color and style, like Angie’s mother did, is intriguing!!!!!

S t a l k   u s   .   .   .