Saturday, February 18, 2012

Buttons, Buttons and More Buttons... and a Vintage Button Guide

I shared a few weeks ago that I had purchased a bunch of buttons basically for using in crafts but also just to see what neat buttons were in the box.. well, it was 10 lbs. of buttons from Ebay.  The description read just a 10lb. box of good, old buttons.  I figured it would be a wonderland of old pretty buttons but when I finally got the box and started looking through them I had a feeling it had already been picked through which is fine but what surprised me was just how old some of these buttons were.. it intrigued me and I knew that I didn't want to ruin old buttons that may be collectors items so I did some research and wrote a guide about antique buttons.  I'm glad I did it because I learned LOTS of fascinating things about buttons.  I know buttons are a favorite among many crafters so I wanted to share some pictures of the buttons I acquired.  So here we go:

Shades of Red
Shades of Yellow

Lots of shades of Green

 These were hard because there were so many different shades of greens to even aqua colors... which looked almost blue to me but when put up against blue they looked more green.

Shades of Blues
Just like with the greens, some of them looked more green but when I would add them to green they looked more blue.. go figure!  I thought about just making a whole new color pile of aqua-ish colored buttons but I haven't yet.

Some of these could have gone into the dark red pile but I think I'll just make one pile of maroon-ish buttons. Who knew separating buttons by color would be so challenging!

Beige, Off white and Light Browns

Shades of Pinks
Some of these were a coral color.. almost an orangey pink but when I put them with the oranges they looked more pink.

Antique Vegetable Ivory Buttons

Antique Wooden Buttons
Antique Metal Buttons
These could be my favorite buttons of them all.. I really enjoyed cleaning and shining them up.  They turned out to be so pretty and shiny especially the copper ones.. Some had this greenish patina ( I guess that is what it's called) and I'm just not able to get it off.  Some of these metal ones are very, very old. I was really surprised at how old some of these buttons were.

At first when I started researching I realized I may have some Bakelites in this 10lb box of buttons so I started testing, and testing and testing and I had a small pile that seemed to test positive for Bakelite but after a while of doing it, I gave up.. it just took so much time and it was almost as if there was one Bakelite button out of every 50 buttons.  I still am not sure if I am going to sell some of these plastic buttons or not but if I do, it's just going to have to be a mixture of Celluloid, Lucite and Bakelite and the purchaser can figure it out.  Maybe they would be better at testing Bakelite than I am. 

If you are interested, please feel free to read this Vintage Button Guide.  It tells about different buttons, how to test to see what material they are made of and how to clean them properly.
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