The Button Box

When I was a little girl, maybe ten or eleven years old, my Grandmother gave me a wooden box.  I think it’s made of cedar and it has a silver clasp and silver decorations on the lid.

My Grandmother told me a story when she gave me the box. She said this box belonged to her younger sister, Gertrude–it was a gift from Gertrude’s fiance. I never knew Gertrude and I didn’t hear much about her only that she died very young, in the 1920’s, before she married.  So, yes, a sad story, but as a little girl I didn’t think too much about it. After all, this box contained a sort of treasure…


Yes, the box contains  vintage buttons–some I would guess are from the early 1900’s up to the 1960’s.

There are metal buttons, some made of shell and bakelite and some are plastic.  I’m sure a few of them belonged to Gertrude, but I know my Grandmother added some to the collection because of the later ones.

This one is my favorite–made of shell with a metal shank.

I have never used any of the buttons, I just tucked the box away and once in a while, take it out to admire.  However, this week I’ve been working on a very pretty crochet pattern by Bernadette Ambergen called the “Lacey Capelet”.  Her lovely designs are found here.  The Victorian style of this capelet called for vintage buttons, and so, I chose three from the box that seem to work perfectly.

I’m amazed when things come together like this. I’ve had the button box for years and I know my Grandmother had it for years before me. I can only imagine what type of clothing these buttons adorned originally, but now they have a new life and I will continue to appreciate them even more.

4 thoughts on “The Button Box

  1. Loved the buttons but even more so now i see the button box. If only those boxes could talk they would have some stories to tell. I love my mums button box too, remembering all the clothes the buttons have been used on.

  2. Very sweet story. I remember the button box. Grandma used to keep it on her dresser when she lived on Grafton Avenue.


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