by Amy Kingsford

Buttons…buttons…who’s got some buttons!?

Buttons are one of my favorite things in the world!

I remember looking through my grandmother’s button stash as a little girl and telling her one day I’d have a button collection just like her’s.  I definitely made good on that promise!

Though my button stash doesn’t have quite the charm and sense of history that my grandmother’s held for me as a child, it still reminds me of her every time I sift through it!

How about you?  Do you have a button stash to rival all others? Do you need some ideas for using buttons on your scrapbook pages?  Are you looking for storage solutions for your sizable stash? Maybe you’re just starting out and looking for inexpensive ways to build your button collection. Solutions follow, so button up and dig in!

Frugal ways to build your stash

  • Save all of the replacement buttons that come with your new clothes.
  • Remove buttons from old clothing before throwing them away.
  • Try making your own fabric-covered or epoxy buttons.
  • Buy them in lots from places like etsy or ebay.
  • Search thrift stores for clothing with unique buttons.

How do you store your buttons?

What better way to illustrate the many ways you can store buttons than to have a look at how your fellow scrapbookers have gone about it.

Below are five stashes and five stories about how and why these scrapbookers have chosen to store their buttons the way they do.

Myself, I use small baskets to sort and store my buttons.  While I don’t have quite enough space to sort them in individual baskets for each color, I still do some separating.  I store all of my warm-colored buttons in one basket, my cool-colored buttons in another, and my neutrals and specialty buttons in two more baskets. Thus, I still get to do a little digging–but ultimately it cuts down on a little bit of the time spent searching.  I guess you could say its the best of both worlds!

Tania Willis used to store her buttons sorted by color in plastic craft organizers.  “But now that I have little hands wanting to dig into the buttons along with me, that type of storage isn’t suitable.”  Tania repurposed this fishbowl. Its wide opening makes it easy to dig through and find just what she and her children need.

tamis_scraproomjarsTo save on space, Tami Taylor uses a Making Memories wall storage shelf and medium-sized spice jars (from Ikea) to store her buttons.  She likes to save time by narrowing her search for the right buttons, so she enjoys having them separated by color.

Buttons-3Diane Payne has been “collecting” buttons for a long time. And while she stores her specialty buttons in a jar above her scrap desk–her basic buttons live all together in a Ziploc bag. “When I need one I just dump some out of the bag and start sifting through the pile. I love it…I never know what I’ll discover in that bag.”

Because Cindy Liebel doesn’t have quite as much space to store all of her buttons by color in jars, she uses a few large jars (from Ikea) to store all all of her buttons together. “I just love how colorful they all look together and I am a digger. I love to rummage through piles of stuff–it’s like digging for gold!”



You could also try:

  • Drawstring sachets  or flour sacks.
  • A hardware organizer or tackle box.
  • Toothbrush travel cylinders.

Creative ways to use buttons on your layouts

See how many buttons you can use to fill your background

In Cindy Liebel’s layout “Backyard Freedom” she was aiming to get at least 50 buttons onto this layout, and I’d say she accomplished this nicely!  She not only created a wonderfully fun button background, she brought lots of color and dimension to her layout as well.


“Backyard Freedom” by Cindy Liebel

Everyone loves a fun button border

The button-accented border on Tania Willis’ layout “Definitely Not” does a wonderful job of reinforcing the fun and bubbly tone established in her photos and journaling. The random placement of these buttons is a great complement to her structured design.

defniitely not TSM0910 tania

“Definitely Not” by Tania Willis

Make your own “button art” embellishments

Using your button stash to make fun embellishments and shapes is a great way to add color and dimension to your pages.  Whether you make something as intricate as Diane’s fall tree or as simple as a star shape, it’s sure to make an appealing focal point.


“Fall Button Art” by Diane Payne

Scatter buttons across your layout for a sprinkle of added interest

Adding a button scatter to your page is a simple and fun way to draw attention to your photos or another focal point.  This kind of embellishing gives your layout a bit of random texture–even when the exact color and placement are planned out to the nearest centimeter.


“So Lovely” by Emily Pitts

Use buttons to put the finishing touches on your pages

Give your layouts a polished look by actually sewing the buttons to your layout.  Whether you use them to create a visual triangle or as the center of a floral embellishment, nothing says “ta-da” like giving your layout that extra bit of detail.


“Beat the Heat” by Tami Taylor

Digi scrappers can have fun with buttons too

Whether you tag your buttons by color or lump them all together in a folder to sift through, digital scrappers can use their stash in these very same ways!  Below are a few fun resources to help you get the most from your digital button stash!


“Crazy Boy” by Amy Kingsford

So what are you waiting for…get using those buttons!




Join us for the month of May at Masterful Scrapbook Design where we’ll be discussing many more ways to bust that stash with guests Amy Mallory, Emily Pitts, Noelle Hyman and Kayleigh Wiles!