After my grandmother died, I somehow found myself in possession of her tin of buttons. They smelled like mothballs (why do so many grandma things smell like mothballs?) but were a fun collection of random shapes and sizes.
I had no idea what to do with them . . . until I joined a handful of Dallas Symphony Chorus friends for an evening of Christmas caroling at a fundraiser for a group called DIFFA. Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA) grants funds and grant to organizations which fight HIV/AIDS and direct care services for people living with/impacted by HIV/AIDS.
It was a fabulous evening—designers from all over town had created these amazing Christmas wreaths, which were auctioned off at the event. Our little band of carolers roamed around the event singing, admiring wreaths, chatting with then-mayor Ron Kirk (who joined us in a carol), and generally having a grand time. One of the artistic creations on display was a Christmas tree entirely covered in old buttons.
It was a light bulb moment: I had buttons. I could SO do that! So I did. I wanted to admire my creation year round, so rather than a Christmas tree I created button topiaries.
They looked outstanding for many years before I tired of them and stuck them in a closet.
There my buttons languished until I went on a home tour several years later and saw a “flower” arrangement made of buttons. Another light bulb. Another project.
- a vase or container of some sort
- thin wire (obtainable at any craft store), and
- a collection of buttons.
Wind the wire through the button holes or shank, place the other end in the vase, and bend until you like the arrangement. You could use copper wire or green-paper-covered florist wire if you like; I prefer the industrial feel of plain metal wire.
For containers with wider openings, you might want to insert a chunk of foam to stick the wires into and hide it with something like moss, shredded paper, or small decorative rocks.
Warning to Cat Owners:
Charlie wants you to know this is one of the greatest never-ending supplies of cat toys ever (second only to my scarf made of small balls of fur). Apparently a button with a wire tail is unbelievably fun to chase around the house. He discovered this arrangement on a table, a taller table, and even on the shelf above my hangers at the top of the closet. My button bouquet now lives at the office.