How To: Organize Your Buttonscomments (3) July 27th, 2008
My button collection has grown from hundreds to thousands as I've snapped up more and more of them at flea markets, fabric stores, and thrift shops. They've long outgrown my old ways of storing them, so I came up with a new solution: reorganizing them in larger boxes on a shelf, with a few different tactics inside each one.
First, I covered two simple file/moving boxes with colored paper, which fit right into my craft-room Expedit shelves like pull-out drawers. I just reinforced each cardboard box with packing tape, cut paper to size, and attached it with plenty of double-stick tape (especially around the perimeter). Then I used more double-stick tape to decorate the front with vintage button cards I found at Berger Beads. You could also hot-glue a mix of favorite loose buttons, or smaller cards, to the front if you like, or make simple labels of your own.
Inside, I have the buttons in three different arrangements:
•Sorted into plastic bead/embroidery floss boxes like these. This is great for a few or more of each style, color, or type that you want to be able to see and access quickly.
•Organized in small and medium-sized glass jars. This is great for all the randoms and bits and pieces, or a larger quantity of same-color randomized ones.
•Stored in an assortment of zip-top bags, depending on their size and number. I have a few quart zip-top bags with vintage buttons on cards neatly stacked inside, as well as tons of smaller ones with a dozen (or a few dozen) of each color or size tucked inside a gallon bag.
I love that the boxes conceal the flurry of buttons inside—they're never going to be neat and hyper-organized once you dig in, but I like seeing the plain boxes with those cute vintage button cards so much more than the random bags and jars crammed into those same shelves just a few weeks ago!