Buttons | Giveaway

GIVEAWAY: $40 of Vintage Buttons from Vintage Necessities

July 19, 2012

850 of you who are fans of our Facebook page already know (thanks to my poorly composed iphone pics) about my recent pattern-hunting roadtrips around southern Indiana and Illinois, where I picked up some awesome vintage buttons still on their original cards.

I could sum up everything I know about buttons with the phrase “Ooh, I love them. Can I have some more please?” so I asked veritable button-expert (buttspert? no…that won’t do) Marin from Vintage Necessities to give me the lowdown.

Marin has been collecting buttons for over a decade and is a member of the National Button Society (where I imagine they congregate at an abandoned pool to swim laughing through enormous piles of buttons like Scrooge McDuck).

She’s also tremendously nice and an amazing resource if you want to find out a bit more about certain buttons you own or need help tracking down a particular kind of button. You can contact Marian via email ( vintagenecessitiesATcomcast.net) or via her etsy shop.

Now it’s over to Marin to learn a little more about my buttons. Stay tuned at the end for an opportunity to win $40 worth of buttons from Marin’s shop!

Katherine, you have found an interesting selection of buttons from the 1930s and 1940’s. During the war, many buttons were made of plastic. Metal was not readily available for such a frivolous use. This was also they heyday of fun celluloid and Bakelite buttons. Many patriotic themes as well as red, white, and blue buttons were sold.

Did you know that many Bakelite buttons that are now black and butterscotch were originally blue and white but have “aged”? Luckily, the red still retains its magnificent color. Many other colors of Bakelite buttons and jewelry originally were different colors than we see today.

These appear to be celluloid. How nice to have a date on the card! Celluloid is one of the oldest man made plastics. Buttons circa 1880 can be found in this material, although with a very different look:

Victorian Celluloid Buttons
Victorian Celluloid Buttons from Marin's Shop

Buckles and jewelry were also manufactured using celluloid:

Art Deco Buckles from Marin's shop
Art Deco Buckles from Marin's shop

Millions of celluloid buttons have been made, many of them in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Celluloid is very flammable. Think celluloid film reels that melted while showing a movie! It’s one of my favorite materials as so many whimsical buttons were produced in a variety of designs and techniques.

These lovelies are not actually buttons, but trim, known as “montees”. They were made to decorate garments. It’s not surprising these were made in Czecho-Slovokia. Czechoslovakia has long been known for its magnificent work both in jewelry and buttons. They have also been a supplier of rhinestones, so both the glass base and the rhinestones were produced there

Most Art Deco glass buttons were made in Czechoslovakia. Later, many glass buttons were manufactured in Germany. Here is an example of typical vintage Czech glass buttons:

Art Deco Glass Buttons
Art Deco Glass Buttons from Marin's Shop

Awesome, thanks Marin! Now let’s have a giveaway!

Here’s a chance to get your hands on some truly gorgeous vintage buttons with $40 to spend on buttons in Marin’s shop, Vintage Necessities!

To enter, head over to Vintage Necessities on Etsy and find the cutest buttons. Pop back over here and leave me a comment letting me know which ones you want most and why.

The winner will be chosen on Friday, July 27th to win $40 worth of buttons from Vintage Necessities. That’s a whole lot of buttons…my button jar is exceedingly jealous!

Good luck, and happy button hunting!


  1. Aaaaw, i would choose the 1940s Dress Buttons in red with the Pierced Design for a Dress! It would be fit perfect to a black 40s dress with some red shoes – i’m in love! 🙂

  2. So many buttons to love! What I’d really like to say I want is eleven hand-picked sets, from Victorian to the 1940s, in bronze, red, cobalt and black. If I have to pick one, I’m going for the “bakers dozen” Victorian buttons. Picture this: You are walking into my living room, newly upgraded with refashioned and handmade items, and you face a long low bookcase in back of the sofa, covered with a colorful patched cloth. On this cloth are sewn (carefully, and in a way that they can be removed so the cloth can be washed) a series of gorgeous buttons, dangling from the edge over the top of the books at different lengths. When it’s done, I’ll send you the photo. When the living room’s done around it, I’ll send you a photo of that, too. http://www.etsy.com/listing/99030699/victorian-metal-buttons-wholesale-bakers

  3. Red 1940s buttons! How smashing would they be on a chambray or seersucker blouse or dress? Great shop. Thanks for letting me know. I’m tired of spending half an hour in the button department of my local fabric store just to settle for mediocre buttons.

  4. I have a confession to make. When I was little, my younger sister had a dress with flower-shaped buttons that I was soooo jealous of. I *wanted* that dress because of the buttons. Now that I have kiddos to sew with, if there are buttons on the front, more often than not, they’re some sort of special button. No plain buttons unless they’re were they don’t show for me! That being said, I want either the heart buttons or the scotty dog buttons. My nieces would love the hearts, and the older one would love the dogs. And since most of my sewing is for them, the two of them loving their Aunt Laura made clothes is important!

  5. Oh wow – any of the satsuma buttons would be amazing, I’d make something terrribly glamorous and tight with those buttons trailing from the neck down the side of the body, telling their stories. Great giveaway 🙂

    1. Oops, I forgot to add a ‘why’ – it’s quite simple. I want to make a gorgeous sundress for summer and I have the perfect pattern to use these buttons for! It’s winter down under, but I am already planning my summer wardrobe, because there is nothing like thinking ahead! 🙂

  6. What a great find! I would love the teal 1940’s dress buttons. These would work well with the vintage peplum blouse I’m making.

  7. OMGosh!! It was so hard to decide!! So many wonderful, drool-worthy buttons!! But if I HAVE to pick I would go with the Blue Glass Moonglow Rhinestone Buttons. Soooo pretty!! And so different!

  8. This is such an interesting article. Thanks for writing it up. I looked through Vintage Necessities buttons assuming I would find red ones. I love red! But guess what! The antique purple glass buttons http://www.etsy.com/listing/79435006/antique-purple-glass-buttons-matching are too awesome to pass by. I love those! But ah, ha, I also love love love the tiny red glass buttons listed at the end of the very last page. So many pretty red ones, but I think these are best. : ) Thanks! That was fun.

  9. Oh WOW! So many lovely buttons in this shop – and at fabulous prices! I’ll definitely be making some purchases from here regardless of whether or not I win (but ooh ooh, I do still want to win hehe :)).

    I think my favorite favorite (and it was SO HARD to choose just one!!) are the 50s Sunny Yellow buttons – I have a shirtwaist in the plans & I think these would just be perfect 🙂

  10. I really admire shell buttons. As a teenager in the 1970s I learned to sew, and fell in love with mother of pearl and shell buttons. I remember finding a piece of abalone shell on the beach, and trying to make my own buttons and clothing ornaments from it. So, it would be neat to enjoy the “Matching Set of 6 SMOKEY Smoky Shell Mother of Pearl Buttons”. Thank you!

  11. The Victorian glass buttons are my favorite! Especially the teeny tiny anchor one. Thanks for introducing us to this shop! And thanks to Marin, too.

  12. I like the teal 1940s buttons and the little green buttons that are shaped like footballs. They are both colors that I love, and the green ones are just a fun shape!

  13. I just love the buttons numbered 7511. They are so feminine, and remind me of something that my grandmother would have put on a dress for me. Thanks for doing this!

  14. I would definitely pick the Satsuma buttons – they are absolutely gorgeous with great details and beautiful colors. If I didn’t end up framing them I would use them as a decorative detail on a garment (or accessory that I could wear frequently).

  15. I really like the pink glass rhinestone ones! Don’t think I would use them on any clothing, probably turn them into some sort of jewelry decoration because they’re too pretty!

  16. Carved GREEN Buttons Vintage 1940s Set of 7 Art Deco Casein Oval Buttons 5/8 inch size MORE AVAlLABLE,these would be great on a shirt dress,I would nee both sets ofcourse.

  17. I think these are awesome – I would use them on my art dolls!

    RED 1940s Dress Buttons Matching Set of 24 on Card from FRANCE 9/16 Inch Size qz

  18. This little history of buttons was so interesting! What a tough choice! For practical reasons, I plan on sewing some blouses and the light blue shell buttons and the blue lavender glass buttons would be perfect for them. But the royal blue buttons and the red pierced ones are so pretty!

  19. The red tagua nut buttons (in different sizes) have my eye! I love cherry red, and I love vintage carved buttons, and I actually have a vintage coat that color that needs new buttons (its have faded to a sad mottled pinkish color).

  20. I am in love with the 1940s basket of fruit buttons and the sunny yellow moonglow glass ones from the 1950s. And that’s only the beginning 🙂 Thanks so much for the giveaway!

  21. The blue glass moonglow buttons with rhinestones really sing to me! So fetching I’d have to immediately come up with a couple of projects worthy of them.

  22. Oh my goodness I think I looked at this website for over an hour! There are so many things to choose from. In the end I’m a sucker for metal buttons and like to mix my eras so I’d make a cute 1940’s dark green crepe dress embellished with this beautiful mismatched victorian set:
    Imagine this green dress with the buttons sewn in a cluster around the left hand panel point – almost like a lot of little broaches
    I think I need both the pattern and buttons!

  23. There are too many to choose! I think I like the turquoise abstract glass buttons, though, they would be perfect for a dress in one of my favorite shades of blue! Or maybe the moonglow glass… hmm.

  24. Wow, there are WAY too many cute buttons to choose from here. I think I’d go with something practical but pretty, like the RED 1940s Dress Buttons Matching Set of 24 on Card from FRANCE 9/16 Inch Size qz. I could just picture them on a button front shirt dress! Thanks for the spectacular giveaway!

  25. There a lot of buttons I like, but there is usually just one of it.
    I’m a great fan of sparkle and these buttons do sparkle in a special way.

    BLACK WOOD Rhinestone Buttons Matching Set of 5 Vintage 1940s PlasticBall Shaped with Glass Centers 3/8 inch size 7826.

    I like!

  26. Ooo! I’m TOTALLY a vintage button hoarder… er… collector! Does one need any better reason than that to enter (and hopefully win!) this giveaway?

    I’d choose the following seven (yes, seven… I told it was an addiction!):

    1. BOWLING Motif Vintage Buttons Lot of 8 1940s Dress Buttons REALISTICS 7275 (because they would look adorable on a shirt dress I’ve been dreaming up)

    2. BLUE Moonglow Buttons With RHINESTONES and Gold Luster Set of 7 Glass 9/16inch size 8009
    (these would look amazing up the back of a dressy dress in the same or similar shade of blue)

    3. BLACK WOOD Rhinestone Buttons Matching Set of 5 Vintage 1940s PlasticBall Shaped with Glass Centers 3/8 inch size 7826
    (and these would look lovely on long buttoned sleeves of a fancy dress–maybe one with a high neck, low back!)

    4. Lampworked Buttons PINK GLASS FLOWERS Pair of Handmade 3/4 inch size 7511
    (These would be perfect for a dress that I’m going to make that is that EXACT shade of “hot” pink!)

    5. SCOTTIE DoGS Buttons Matching Set of 3 Vintage RED Reverse Painted Clear Glass SCOTTY 9/16 Inch Size 7524
    (I have a nephew that I want to make a little pair of sailor pants or a pea coat for and these would be perfect down the front!)

    6. Set of 8 1940s Dress Buttons RED Pierced Design 5/8 inch size MORE AVAILABLE
    (these just because I like the shape)

    7. Satsuma Button Architectural Scene Mt Fuji Beautiful Vintage Collectible button 15/16 inch size 7850
    (this because it would be an awesome statement piece on a very simply cut garment)

  27. Really great post! I would love to enter my favs are the blue moonglow or the small pink shell buttons, I have a thing for shell/mother of pearl.

  28. I would find the “blue lavender” buttons on page 9 very useful. They are classic and vintage at the same time. I find I sew in many blue-hued fabrics, though I seek to add variety in purchases. Therefore, I am sure I could find a blouse in need of the above-mentioned buttons!!

  29. So many lovely buttons to choose from! i’d have to pick one of the carved green button packs, as I think they’d look lovely on a navy blue button back blouse. However, those Scottie dog buttons are just too cute as well. :]

  30. That shop is such a candy store! It’s hard to pick just one, but I really love the Clear Glass Log-Shape buttons. I can imagine using the three larger ones on a Pidge scarf, and the smalller ones to ornament a matching hat!

    Quinn on rav

  31. Hmm, i think i’d have to go with the brass deco belt buckle (because i am obsessed with buckles) and perhaps the victorian pearl buttons set in metal, because they the tones are lovely together. So many buttons!

  32. So many options! But I’d want the 30’s carved green buttons and the applesauce bakelite buttons, and some rhinestone embellished ones just for fun–coats and handknits!

  33. So many gorgeous buttons! I’ve bookmarked her shop for future reference. If I had to choose just one set of buttons, I’d go for the bowling themed set, because I’ve always wanted to make myself a vintage style bowling shirt and how cute would pin shaped buttons be with that!

  34. Mmm what a yummy store! 🙂 The buttons I would most want, (this is a hard choice,) would have to be the “Scottie DoGS Buttons”. I like these the best because they are adorable, have a touch of humor, and I love red! 🙂 Cute, Cute, Cute. These buttons also get the creative juices flowing. I can think of a ton of different dresses to make worthy of buttons like this. Thank you for introducing your store and I hope I win! :} -Jessica

  35. Carved GREEN Buttons Vintage 1940s Set of 4 Art Deco Casein Oval Buttons 7/8 inch size 8144.. I have the most fabulous green dress from the forties that ive been searching for the right buttons for.. Pretty sure these are the babies 🙂

  36. It’s hard to pick just one but I’d choose the white lucite with rhinestones. It would make such a fabulous statement on an elegant dress.

  37. The shell buttons, smoky gray ovals would be perfect for a shirtdress I’m making right now! I’d need more than 4, but they are so unique that I love them!

  38. Let me just start with saying with just appreciating for you to make this lovely etsy shop known! I did not know it, but I am so glad, I do now! Thank you!
    Hmmm, but which ones are my favourites … it’s so hard to pick just one, basically I feel love for all this loveliness!
    Since I’m a sucker for wood buttons (I cannot explain it, it’s just love) my natural pick would be these wonderful wood buttons with pink rose casein. Oh, they look devine. And probably feel nice and warm to touch too. 🙂
    Buuuut, I just have to add that these wonderful buttons in burgundy look like pure gold in my eyes. They really would go with almost everything.

  39. I absolutely ADORE the 5/8″ fire engine red buttons that look like a little flower in a circle. They are 1940’s and remind me so much of some my grandma use to have on a favorite housedress. To win would just make my day!

  40. Wow, I’m currently experiencing a major button shortage… And I’m in love with the CLEAR Glass Log Shape buttons Set of 5 Vintage… Great giveaway, as usual, thanks!

  41. I’ve always been fascinated by buttons. I can’t resist a jar of buttons in op shops or garage sales. It’s a tough call to pick just one favourite. While not technically buttons, I absulotely love these art deco shoe clips with the metal fringe (http://www.etsy.com/listing/104262866/art-deco-shoe-clips-or-buckles-with). But if I had to pick actual buttons, it’s hard to go past these gorgeous red and white carves shell buttons (http://www.etsy.com/listing/105014691/shell-buttons-red-carved-set-of-5-mother). I have a coat I’ve been meaning to replace the buttons on and these would be perfect.
    Thanks for introducing us to Marin’s shop. I can see I’ll be spending a few hours browsing and lusting after buttons in the future 🙂

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