Sunday, December 15, 2013

Grandma's Jar of Buttons

One thing about sewing or craft projects is it seems you always need to go out and buy stuff and create more trash and waste more gas.  Sure, you know that the factory worker (you!) was not in unsafe conditions when the garment was made but just look at all of the waste!  Well, there are some clever, easy and cost effective ways to reduce your waste--one is to reuse old buttons. 

I swear, new buttons now cost over $1 a piece!  And for what?  A small piece of plastic.  Turns out there is no need to rush out and constantly go buy them.  You can reuse old ones.  Buttons far outlive whatever garment they're attached to--it isn't like the buttons have gone bad on something with a hole or stain.  Your grandmother used to have a jar of buttons she collected, did you ever wonder why?  Because if she reused the buttons, she didn't need to buy new ones!  Saves money and reduces waste. 

No, I don't have a jar of buttons I've pulled off my old clothes.  I tend to donate them instead of completely destroy them.  What I do instead is to buy bags of old buttons on ebay.  It usually costs about 1 penny (99% savings!!!) a piece and I wind up with all kinds of interesting ones that otherwise I'd never find.   My favorite was a big bag of buttons from men's pants that were stamped with the names of bespoke tailors all over America.  You would be surprised what is out there--antique inlaid buttons, ones of hand-carved bones, buttons from firms long-defunct. 

Below is a sweater I knitted for a relative, I finished it with vintage tailor buttons.  The variety of buttons available for reuse in the world is impressive--why waste your money on new ones when you can give ones we already have a new life?

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