Thrifted Buttons Gloriousness: Fabulous Finds Friday

When I visit my local thrift stores I always have a list in my purse of things that I’m specifically trying to find for projects that I have in mind.

Sometimes it can take months or even years, like with my decoupaged vintage knobs project, to find exactly what I picture in my head when I envision a finished project.

But I’m patient, and I can wait for the right thing to come along…. and if it doesn’t? Well, I have so many project ideas on my lists that there’s always something creative to keep me busy

I don’t worry about what I’m not finding, and I concentrate on what I am.

And sometimes, like this week, I’m just dumb lucky to be in the right thrift store on just the right day at just the right time.

Thrifted buttons for craft and repurposing projects

I popped into the thrift store on my lunch break on Tuesday and found absolutely nothing.

But when it comes to thrifting one day is seldom like the next, and when I went back on Wednesday I found 12 pounds of thrifted buttons gloriousness.

It was actually the vintage rose canister that caught my eye. I thought it would look nice in my aqua and red kitchen and when I took a closer look on the crowded shelf I realized it was surrounded by three large jars of buttons.

And when I opened it… it was full of buttons too!

How wonderful I thought.


Thrifted buttons for crafting and repurposing projects

Well, I couldn’t carry all of them from the back of the store to the front because I already had a few other things in my hands, and I didn’t see a volunteer close by.

There was no way I was leaving them there to go get a basket. I just knew they would be gone by the time I got back. That has happened to me before with other things and it was not happening this time.

So, I decided to do what any self respecting thrifter would do… I put all four $1 jars on the floor so there was absolutely no mistaking the fact that these were all temporarily mine as I opened each one to take a peek.

In my world temporary possession such as this is definitely nine-tenths of thirfting law.

I told myself that I had to love at least one button when I opened up each jar for that jar to come home with me. Searching for one in the depths of each container was not allowed… no… I had to see it right away.

I was hoping that making this deal with myself would help me to narrow down my options. Who was I kidding? Myself I guess. lol.


Container 1 of thrifted buttons for craft and repurposing projects

So, container number 1 was the pretty vintage rose canister… and when I pulled off the lid what did I see? The sweetest little pink and white daisy button with a lovely cream cabbage rose button right beside it.

Well, what could I do? I had to be honest and admit that I’m a flower loving girl… and roses and daisies especially.

Well, shoot!


Container 1 emptied of thrifted buttons for craft and repurposing projects

This first container of buttons had to come home with me.


Container 2 emptied of thrifted buttons for craft and repurposing projects

So, onto the second container.

The first buttons I saw when I opened it were the sweet little gold bear, and the large metal star that kinda looks like a starfish.

Well, what could I do? I had to be honest and admit that I’m a starfish and little bear loving kinda girl.

Darn it all!


Container 2 emptied of thrifted buttons for craft and repurposing projects

The second container of buttons had to come home with me.


Container 4 of thrifted buttons for craft and repurposing projects

The third container had these two fabulously large in your face pink buttons.

I have no idea what these buttons would be used on, but they are super cool and super pink.

Well, once again… what could I do? I had to be honest and admit that I’m a pink loving kinda girl.



Container 4 emptied of thrifted buttons for craft and repurposing projects

The third container of buttons had to come home with me.


Container 3 of thrifted buttons for craft and repurposing projects

And the fourth container?

Well I was kinda hoping it would be a huge disappointment… but unfortunately it wasn’t. (wink wink)

Look at all that glorious color! It was like looking into a rainbow.

Yellow, pink, red, green, blue, orange, purple.

Well, you know that there was absolutely nothing I could do.  I had to be honest and admit that I’m a color loving girl.

Shoot! Darn it! Drats!


Container 3 emptied of thrifted buttons for craft and repurposing projects

The fourth container of buttons had to come home with me.

So I grabbed all four containers of 12 pounds of thrifted buttons, with the other things I had already picked up, and managed to carry them to the counter to pay and then to my car.

I guess it just goes to show that when there’s a will there’s always a little extra strength to find the way.

But the real moral of this thrifting story is that there will always be at least one button to love in every container of buttons. So you might as well just cut to the chase and buy them all without even looking. lol.

It’s very cool when you find an instant stash, but in this case it’s even cooler that my instant stash only cost me $4.

Can you believe I’ve never done a repurposed button project? I know right? I can’t believe it either! I already have an idea list as long as my arm.

But now you’ve probably guessed that there will be button projects for years and years. lol.

And years. 🙂

How would you store these buttons? By color, size, type?

Thanks so much for reading, and until next time…

keep on keepin’ on!



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Thrifted Buttons Treasure Fabulous Friday Finds

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  1. Elaine Hopper says:

    Hi Tuula,

    What a great find….I would not have passed up even one of those jars of buttons! Especially at $1 a container! I have a huge hoard of buttons too but am afraid to use them in projects in case I am putting in a button that I could sell for $30 or something LOL But I have been gathering ideas for framed button art pictures to get started on someday.

    I am a fellow Canadian….and live in Fort Erie ON. Just wondered what thrift store did you find these buttons at? Many of the thrift store in the Niagara region think their items are gold…..and charge ridiculous prices. That’s why I frequent lots of garage/yard sales and love Estate Sales.

    Happy Hunting….
    ~ Elaine

    1. Hi Elaine. I’m about an hour north of Guelph in the country and the small town thrift stores I frequent are either Salvation Army or small independent charity thrift shops, like the one where I found these buttons. When I go to larger towns and small cities I’m usually quite shocked by the thrift store prices. It seems that many of them think they are gift stores not thrift stores. I didn’t get to as many garage sales this summer as I usually do. Not sure why, but there’s always next summer. 🙂 Happy Hunting to you too!

  2. Awesome! What to do with all those buttons? A mosaic or put them on a table top and cover with resin. Sounds fun to me. I love thrift stores too!

  3. Amy Rittenhouse says:

    Great finds! I recently went to a estate sale and purchased a jar of buttons for $15. Paid WAY too much , but it was worth it. Didn’t want to regret not buying it. lol Learned along time ago if you see something, grab it. Might not be a next time. Happy Fall & Crafting Tuula! Always enjoy your blog. TFS!

    1. Thanks so much Amy! I’ve learned that lesson well, and will not let things get by me now. Not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. lol.

  4. Cristine Meixner says:

    What a find! Good for you! I sort my buttons by color.

  5. Linda Greiss says:

    Tuula, I have a huge stash of buttons. There is no way I would have not bought all 4 containers for $1 each. I had a discussion with a really good friend last year about stuff vs stash. Of course stash is the really good stuff you can’t bare to let go! I recently made a Christmas Button Tree for myself with a styrofoam form. Would post a photo of it, but I don’t know how.

    1. Hi Linda, I couldn’t agree more about the stuff versus stash thing. I’m usually collecting things for project stashes a bit at a time. Finding an instant stash is like Christmas and always re-inspires me. Love the idea of a button tree. I’m sure it’s amazing!

  6. This post hits home with me right now! I’m house-sitting for a week and one of the projects I brought with me is button Christmas trees! So I”m green with envy with your find! I’ve NEVER found buttons at any thrift store down here. But, as you said, I’ll keep looking! Looking forward to your button projects! I made a red heart on pink satin in a white frame for Valentines day several years ago. I still use! Oh, and I sort mine by color, too. Dona

    1. Thanks Dona! This is the first time I’ve found this amount of buttons. Usually I see small bags of misc buttons for 50 cents and for the amount of buttons in the bag it’s just not a good deal. But I really lucked out with these. The only thing I can think of is that they just didn’t want the volunteers at the thrift store to spend the time sorting and bagging them. Finding these has opened up a world of button project possibilities. I love the thought of button Christmas trees and a framed heart sounds lovely. Thanks for the sorting tip. Happy house sitting! 🙂

  7. Jackie Fretz says:

    What a great find of buttons! You asked how to store them. I have a collection as well, I stored them by color. I put all the like colors in small ziplock bags, then lined them up in a box. You can look at them through the bag, or dump them to choose what you want.

    1. Thanks Jackie! That’s a great idea. I don’t have enough see though containers, but I do have a lot of ziplock bags. Thanks for the tip!

  8. Laura Crumm says:

    I’m totally jealous!! I’m a vintage button kinda girl!!

    1. I was a lucky girl to find these that’s for sure. It’ll be fun looking through to see all the different buttons. 🙂 Hopefully there are some vintage ones in there.

  9. There was a time when I would have been extremely envious of your vintage button find! I looked and looked for years and found quite a few good stashes. Now that I don’t make button things anymore I still have a lot of buttons. I never met a vintage button I didn’t love! Four dollars for all those buttons is crazy good too.

    1. Thanks AnnMarie! I’ve never had a stash of buttons before because I never found enough at a good price. I was so lucky to find these, and I’m really looking forward to doing some button projects. 🙂

  10. I have a HUGE collection of buttons. More than 50 quart jars and 9 pints, plus a couple of baskets. I sort mine according to material, Plastic,glass, leather, wood, bone etc. I have made several button trees and hearts and I try to attache a button to any craft I make. Buttons are my passion! Keep up the great work!

    1. Thanks Jane! I love that you attach a button to every craft. That’s such a fun idea!

  11. Best day ever! Those are amazing buttons! I’m glad you found them and not me, because I would have had to buy them too. And FYI…I would have just pushed them with my foot all the way to the checkout; been there, done that. I’m thinking you may be coming up with a button themed ornament for our Thrifty Chick challenge;)

    1. lol. Thanks Lora! I’ll try the foot thing next time. I think you might be right about the challenge. 🙂

  12. Tuula! I am also a button lover and grab all I can find. I would have been doing the happy dance for sure! Good job and congrats on your find!

    1. Thanks so much Cathie! I was definitely happy dancing on the inside while I was trying to play it all cool on the outside. lol.

  13. Wow, quadruple wow! I would have gone for those too…even though I already have oodles of buttons from past estate, yard sale finds, and even a curbside find. I wouldn’t have been able to walk on by. So now we get to wait to see what you’ll do with them Tuula!

    1. Thanks Florence! This is my first lot of buttons that I’ve every bought. I usually see them in much smaller amounts, which has always allowed me to resist buying them. This time I lucked out. I have a few ideas in mind for them.

  14. Mary Boger says:

    What riches! So many possibilities! I d just have to put them all in a container and run my fingers through them! Enjoy, enjoy!

    1. Thanks Mary! They are fun to look at that’s for sure. I’m looking forward to repurposing them in many upcoming projects.

  15. I am so jealous of your button score!! I teach classes at the local library on how to upcycle old buttons baubles and beads. Teach them to take grandmas button box and her old costume jewelry and make all types of things.
    Button bouquets in fancy old salt or pepper shakers, jewelry to wear, on denim jackets with lace and buttons, covering your wooden initial or house number, free form Christmas tree framed as a picture and of course cover picture frames.
    My next class is just that, cover wooden photo frames with found objects like buttons, beads, broken jewelry, seashells, polished stones, old keys, sea-glass …anything you can imagine. I am like you and search and find stuff then re-purpose it. The hunt and find is the most fun and my students love make and take projects.