The folks at Glitter ‘n Glue have a neat little tutorial on making rings out of buttons. Now before you get all uppity and let me know that real collectors don’t harm buttons to make jewelry, let me remind you of all the poor languishing buttons in your collection that:
- aren’t valuable
- probably would never be used for a button tray or display
- you haven’t looked at in years
Why not get those buttons out and wear them! It’s great advertising for our hobby (you know people will ask you about it) and you’ll have a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry.
If you still can’t bear to cut off a shank or glue a button, use a sew-though button and affix it with museum putty, which doesn’t leave any residue on the button.
My mother tells a wonderful story recounting how, more than 30 years ago, when someone asked “What’s new?” she dazedly answered “I think I might be a button collector.”
I, of course, came to button collecting through her, but many collectors are introduced through friends, neighbors, complementary hobbies and very often, happenstance.
In case you are wondering if you might be a heretofore unidentified button collector, here are a few clues.
You might be a button collector if:
- Your mother, grandmother or other relative had a button box you played with as a child and you have kept her button box.
- You keep buttons in a jar and you regularly turn the jar to view the buttons or dip your fingers in the buttons because it feels so nice.
- You haven’t sewn for a long time, but you still buy buttons because you are sure you’ll return to sewing, someday.
- Someone in your family was a button collector and you’ve inherited their collection but you don’t know what to do with it. You can’t bear to part with it, but you don’t know what to do with it.
- You’ve bought a piece of clothing you didn’t like all that much, but it had the most amazing buttons!
- You love button covers, cufflinks, shoe clips, buckles, dress clips, clothing trims and other oddities you can’t quite identify.
- You think buttons are wonderful, but you are pretty sure that people who actually collect them might be crazy.
Feel free to complete this sentence in the comments: “You Might Be a Button Collector If…”