Wednesday, June 15, 2011

buttons and batches

so you all know my love of buttons, right? I LOVE THEM! what i don't love is cleaning them :)

my mom recently sent me a ton of buttons she found really cheap. and by really cheap, i mean under $7. more and more, i see old mason jars filled with buttons being sold for $20 +. crazy right? as beautiful as they are, i would never pay that much. if they are in an old mason jar at a flea market, chances are they were plucked off an old granny's sewing table after she passed and there is no reason for that price tag.

so i received this package of goodies in the mail and opened the bag and wow, did these things stink. i believe the most stinky buttons are old bakelite ones (correct me if i'm wrong). it is almost a burnt plastic smell. i don't have any formal recipe for cleaning, but i soak them first in a baking soda/water mixture, then i soak them in a bleach/water mixture for good measure. typically i will fill up a colander with the buttons and lower it into a bowl of my water mixtures. just make sure your colander has very small holes because some of these buttons can be teeny tiny.

after they soak in each mixture for a few hours, i lay them out on a white towel to dry. this is the best part because i can uncover all the beauties.

this batch contains a few of the beaded green shanks which are so spring like. i also love the molded flower found just above the green one. and hidden way in the background is a royal blue one that is spectacular as well.

what do you guys think, are you a button freak like me? any other tips for cleaning the stinky ones?


  1. Tiffin, I love buttons. I have about 12 mason jars that are from the thrift store where my mom lives. They were $5 a jar. The thrift store gives any clothing that is not worth selling to local ladies who cut the buttons off. I love grabbing another jar each time I head out of the city to visit her. If only you were local. You love the thrift store. Aren't mom's the greatest for thinking of us?

    Those jars of buttons don't even include the 2 large vases of buttons and the 16 small jars oh Papertrey buttons. I can't help but stick my hand in the big vases and just stir the buttons around for fun.

  2. Odor-free cat littler and Odor-Eater shoe inserts also work (put either in a closed container, with the buttons for a week or two)


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