Monday, 6 January 2014

Gran's Button Tin

A few weeks ago my gran sent me her button tin. I had known for a while that she had it in mind to pass it my way, and I expected a hoard of buttons from past garments and sewing projects. I had no idea that the contents of this rather beautiful tin would be quite so old.

It turns out that my great great grandfather was a tailor by trade, so you see a love of buttons is in my blood! Many of these buttons belonged to him, and are now so old and delicate that a few of them started to disintegrate as I stirred my fingers around the tin. 

A collection of old leather buckles was included...

And a leather button so old that it looks rather alien to my eye!

Others are more recent and clearly my gran's own buttons, some being quite 1950s and '60s in style. Even so, the cardboard some are attached to is now very delicate. 

I'm starting to slowly clean up some of the more robust buttons when I get a spare few minutes here and there, and I'm not sure what I can do for the older ones other than wrap them up safely in their cheery yellow tin and treasure the thought, next time I'm making a batch of my own buttons, that I'm now the proud owner of a piece of my own personal button history. 

So many people have special memories attached to their elder relatives' button tins. I had never seen this particular collection before, but as my gran turns 90 years old this Wednesday, I feel like I'm the one to have received a special gift.


  1. What a wonderful collection of buttons! I have my Grandad's button tin and I simply use it to look at and pick out buttons to admire. It's great seeing the history in one metal tin.
    Jo |

    1. Lovely post, I adore buttons and so does my little one! I have my Gran's old button box too, it's a family heirloom. I couldn't part with any other them and when I started my Crafternoon tea parties I had to go and buy one from a charity shop as my Gran's was too personal to give away. I'm glad I am not the only one with such a love.


  2. I just love buttons and if ever I come across a button tin at a charity shop or car boot sale, I always snap it up! What tales they could tell, what amazing garments have they adorned? A lovely post Anna, and thanks for sharing with us ...

    Love Claire xx

  3. Button tins are the most wonderful thing, and it is wonderful when they get passed down! I shall inherit my Grandma's button tin, although I hope that she lives for a long time yet. Your buttons look absolutely gorgeous, and that tin is too!

  4. I love old buttons ... how lovely for you to have your grandmother's precious tin ... Bee xx

  5. lovely post!!


    New post:

  6. what a wonderful button collection! i love the tin as well, its beautiful!! hope you're able to do something brilliant with them!
    Lauren xxx

  7. How marvellous! I loved my Grandmas button tin, played with it on every visit, bet you spent a fair bit of time looking through these beauties! :) x

  8. There is nothing ever quite so marvellous as an old button tin... I often wish I could sit down with she who collected them and listen to the stories of the garments each one once belonged to...

  9. My Nanna passed away this year and my mum gave me her button tin - it was so unexpected and holds such wonderful memories for me - it is certainly something that I will always treasure!
    Anna xx

  10. This is such a wonderful gift to receive and I was lucky enough to inherit my Great Grandmothers tin last year which I cherish. The tin even has tea cups on it :-)

    You could make some lovely belts with those buckles!

    Claire x

  11. This is such a lovely gift. My gran had a button tin which my sister and I used to play with when we visited her. We spent endless hours sorting out the buttons into sizes and colours and then we used to use the buttons as money and play shops with them. Recently mum made me a hanging decoration to commemorate mine and Steve's engagement and she used a couple of buttons from my gran's button tin to decorate it. I had to hold back the sobs when I recognised the buttons and where they had come from!


  12. What a wonderful heirloom, and such inspiration for your own button making x


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