Button lovers listen up! Please welcome Anna from the lovely blog Miss Beatrix. I have followed Anna’s blog since I began blogging earlier this year and very much enjoy her posts on all things handmade, vintage and tea! She is also a very talented maker of miniature dolls house pieces and hand painted buttons. Over to you Anna to talk about one of my favourite topics – BUTTONS!
Greetings, fellow crafty folks!
The longer I am a reader of others’ craft blogs, the more I realise that buttons are to crafters what shoes are to many women. We can’t quite put our needle-pricked fingers on it, but there’s just something about them.
I’m the first to admit that I’m seduced by the rainbow colours of the buttons in my collection; it’s so satisfying to tip the contents of my button jar onto a table and choose which to use on my latest craft project.
But I also reckon a large chunk of my button obsession comes from feelings of nostalgia. Both of my grandmothers still own stuffed button tins to this day, and I vividly remember being allowed to investigate them as a child, playing shop with them, categorising the buttons by colour, and then mixing them all back up again. For generations buttons have been saved from garments heading for the scrap pile, and it’s this naturally thrifty habit which pervades among today’s makers too.
It’s thought that buttons have been around since the Bronze Age, when they were used not for fastening clothes, but for decoration. Whatever their purpose, the look of buttons has been hugely important throughout history. The material and design of a button could tell the world around you that you were a high up member of the military, a fine lady, or a factory worker merely needing to keep your coat fastened.
The social significance of buttons means that they have often been used as currency, too. Wearing valuable buttons made you look important – just like jewellery. In fact, such is the importance of buttons in some cultures even today that it is illegal to destroy one!
Today buttons are more popular than ever. Fantastic for a huge range of crafts, from scrapbooking to patchwork, sewing to jewellery-making (check out my button Pinterest board for inspiration), they represent those feelings of nostalgia, fun and ‘make do and mend’ in our own handmade projects.
I know our esteemed host, Claire loves buttons as much as I do, and you can see evidence of this in the wonderful buttony accessories she sells in her Etsy shop. It was my own full on love affair with those cheerful little round pieces of fun that inspired me to start my own Etsy shop a few weeks ago, making and hand painting buttons which are full of personality. I love the idea of wearing a little piece of history, or finishing something handmade in a completely unique and special way.
I say long may the button reign in the worlds of fashion and crafting! I will leave you with three interesting buttony facts:
1. The fear of buttons is called ‘koumpounophobia’.
3. King Louis XIV spent $6 million on buttons during his reign, and $600,000 in one year alone!
Thanks Anna, what a wonderful post and who knew there was a word for the fear of buttons?! Please do take the time to visit Anna’s blog and Etsy shop if you love buttons as much as we do.