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Arts & crafts

Button boxes

(23 Posts)
Silverfish Sun 15-Jun-14 11:17:39

does anyone have a button box, ive started this thread from one on another subject but it has made me wonder if anyone still has them or am I showing my age.
My gran had one and my Mother inherited it and added all her buttons to it and I started my own when I got married. I do knit occasionally and am amazed by the cost of buttons.
I have a friend who used to go to jumble sales and buy ragged cardis for two pence and strip them of buttons for her box and recycle the wool.
Are these days gone forever along with the jumble sales.
I was reading one of the modern craft mags recently and an article referred to a 'stash' which I think is the modern equivalent where you keep bits of ribbons, thread etc.
also does anyone remember the 'pins and needles' magazine. I really enjoyed it.

Lona Sun 15-Jun-14 11:23:18

It just seems wrong to chuck out perfectly good buttons, and then you never know when they may be needed hmm.
I have cleared out button boxes a few times but suddenly the tin is full again!
grin I think they multiply like coat hangers, when we aren't looking!

whenim64 Sun 15-Jun-14 11:28:36

Nice to see this topic come up again. Here's a thread about button boxes from way back.

Agus Sun 15-Jun-14 11:31:47

My Granny had a National Dried Milk tin full of buttons and I played with them as a child. Just making up designs or matching colours .

I try to limit my buttons but some I just can't throw out, especially mother of pearl or shell. I recently bought a card with heart shaped shell buttons. No idea what I will do,with them yet! Just couldn't resist them.

Agus Sun 15-Jun-14 11:32:34

A card of not with smile

Mishap Sun 15-Jun-14 11:33:21

Yes I do - and I bought a collection of buttons from ebay to add to it. The GC love them - sorting them, playing tiddlywinks. A good cheap toy!

penguinpaperback Sun 15-Jun-14 12:07:47

I have a button tin. Some buttons I've inherited and some are my new 'stash.'
In the tin I also have a couple of small Christmas tree decorations made nearly 30 years ago by my daughter, a letter from a much missed friend who died just after her 50th birthday. Some Cash name tags for both GC and lots of ribbons. smile

rubysong Sun 15-Jun-14 12:09:50

My mother's button box also had beads in it, from broken necklaces and, at the age of about three or four, I put a bead in my ear. I was pretending earrings and it was just before bedtime on a Saturday night. In the end they got the doctor to come to the house and get it out. I don't think he was very pleased!

shysal Sun 15-Jun-14 12:16:15

Yes, I have an old biscuit barrel full of buttons. They bring back memories of long gone garments. We used to hold jumble sales for a youth club. I cut off buttons, buckles and zips from any unsold items, so never had to buy any. I used to make all my own and my children's clothes, so they were invaluable. I recently went through a phase of decorating plain T shirts and jumpers with buttons (as seen in M&S), the results were much admired.

lucid Sun 15-Jun-14 12:42:59

I have my Grandmothers button tin...its an old Quality Street tin. Over the years I've added buttons to it. Nothing goes into the ragbag without having the buttons cut off. My 3 older GCs loved tipping all the buttons onto a tray to play with when they were little. I rarely have to buy buttons...first check the

glammanana Sun 15-Jun-14 12:47:38

My sisters and I all had a big coloured string with buttons on made up from our nanna's box and spent many happy hours threading and rethreading them,I do have a sewing box but not the amount of spare buttons I should have really,I should really cut buttons off before I throw out stuff as they are so expensive.

janerowena Sun 15-Jun-14 12:55:34

Yes, and I use them too, as many are just so beautiful. I often buy clothes and swap the buttons over, which makes them look more expensive and very different. I had a big clearout and got rid of all the brown ones, finding that they made up almost 50% of the 'stash'!

Some of them are still on the cards, 6d a strip!

I went to stay with MiL when I was ill a few years ago, I spent the whole time sorting out the buttons in her conservatory, I had been meaning to do it for years. They are all now neatly threaded together in matching sets. I have a separate tin for glass buttons, as they were getting scratched, and another for brass ones.

Lilygran Sun 15-Jun-14 13:33:55

They were in a tea caddy but they have moved to a small cake tin! I added my DMiL's collection to mine and then my aunt's and my mother's. I used to love playing with my grandmother's buttons when I was little.

tiggypiro Sun 15-Jun-14 19:48:28

Oh yes the Quality Street tins !! I have two of those + 2 more containers full to bursting with buttons. I have my mother's and also a neighbour's boxes. The neighbour was a lovely lady and when I was making many of my kids clothes I often went to see what I could find in her button box.
(Why is it that if you want 5 buttons there are only 4 ?). When she died her husband gave me the boxes. I was also the recipient of another neighbours box when she died last year. Love them all but hardly ever used.

FlicketyB Sun 15-Jun-14 20:49:52

I have and still use my grandmother's button box. It is a tall cylindrical late 19th/early 20th century biscuit tin, with a pattern of roses on a green background.

After inheriting buttons from several relatives as well DD and I sorted out the buttons and threw some modern ones away - one can have too many shirt buttons, but we were able to sort out about 20 lots of buttons that we thought would sell on ebay. I put them on the site, all sold and my total takings were over £70. One set of six buttons went for nearly £12.00

henetha Mon 16-Jun-14 10:46:42

Same here, FlicketyB. I still use my grandmother's button box. (and her little sewing table and and Singer sewing machine).
The button box is square and says Harrods Indian Tea on two sides.
Some of her old buttons are still in it and some are beautiful.

rosesarered Mon 16-Jun-14 11:07:56

I used to play with my Grandma's button box too, sitting on the tab [rag] rug in front of the range in her old 'back to back' terraced house[oh dear, this sounds a bit Catherine Cookson.] grin So it brings back very happy memories of feeling safe and warm.Strangely though, I don't think my Mother had a button box, or I would remember it. I have always had one though, and DGS1 used to love it, so much so that he wanted his own , so we had fun visiting the haberdasher [great word that] and buying him all sorts of buttons.My own DC were never very interested though when they were little, so it jumped a generation.

penguinpaperback Mon 16-Jun-14 11:40:54

I've noticed lots of old Quality Street tins are often for sale on EBay, expect they may have been button tins before being put up for sale?

Tegan Mon 16-Jun-14 12:39:01

I keep mine in a Kilner jar because I think they look quite beautiful in it and seeing them brings back lovely memories.

joannapiano Mon 16-Jun-14 12:55:04

I have 4 Erinmore Pipe Tobacco tins full of buttons, that I inherited from my Mum.They still smell faintly of my Dad's pipe.
They are sorted into black, white, fancy and whatever.
I do still use them,particularly for Dgc's school uniform cardi's etc.
I occasionally add to them.

Silverfish Thu 19-Jun-14 20:07:10

Lovely to hear from you all about your button boxes. Mine will stay with me forever but alas I don't think my daughter will keep one as she belongs to the 'throw away society'.

rosequartz Thu 19-Jun-14 20:59:08

I have about three button boxes, I suppose I should put them all into one, but they fit neatly into my sewing box as they are.

The thing is there are many assorted buttons in it, but never enough of one type for a completed knitted garment so I have to go and buy more (with a couple of spares which then end up in the button box of course).
One is a sweetie tin with the picture of a little blonde girl on the front who reminds me of DD2 when she was small, the others are small round sweet tins.

rosesarered Thu 19-Jun-14 21:00:02

Don't they all? My DD's don't have them, and anyway they bring all the sewing that needs doing to me[still, when will it end?]so I end up sewing buttons on things and taking up school trousers etc.