Collecting Buttons

storage jars

Collecting buttons is a very cute, old-fashioned hobby that can make for some very pretty displays. While many collections just end up making a mess around the house, use your button fetish to your advantage by turning it into some home-made works of art.

Display in Storage Jars

Many collectors mount their buttons on boards but avid hobbyists will find they soon run out of room to do that. Mounting is a good way to show off your favourites but you’ll still need a way to store the rest of your collection.

A more capacious and feminine display for your collection can be made by decanting the buttons into glass jars. There are a number of ways to do this – some are attracted to the beautiful chaos of a random mixture, while others crave order and organisation.

Consider sorting your buttons by colour, so you can arrange a row of storage jars following a colour spectrum. Grouping buttons by size can help to bestow a sense of uniformity even to different colours or materials – you could arrange a collection with small buttons in smaller jars, increasing in size by jar and button for a very linear display. Grouping based upon material types is another way to categorise your collection.

If you are mixing materials, bear in mind that buttons made of different materials don’t always mix well. Buttons made of certain plastics and celluloids can react with metal buttons causing a very messy deterioration. Buttons made of celluloid are best kept together in a glass jar without a lid so the material can breathe.

Different Storage Jars and Collections

If you want an original and different look for your collection, consider different types of storage jars. Colourful glass buttons stored in sweetie jars will look edible, while buttons stored in swing top bottles will look like a tempting, fizzy cordial. Beautifully shaped jars and bottles will help to make a feature of the different colours and materials of your collections of buttons.

While buttons are a popular collectors’ item due to their infinite variety, accessibility and low purchase cost, glass storage jars are a great way to display collections of any small item. Jewellery scintillates through glass but is also kept safe. The simplest items such as a collection of pencils take on a utilitarian beauty when neatly arranged and displayed with purpose. Marbles, paper clips, thimbles, cables and even screws and nails gain form as well as function when some thought is given to their presentation.

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