Collecting Antique and Vintage Buttons
Collecting antique and vintage buttons is a real insight to both industrial and fashion history, and collecting antique and vintage buttons is also a lot of fun. Buttons are usually very affordable and downright cheap, often less than $1, unless the buttons are made from expensive metals like gold and silver.
Not only that but antique and vintage buttons are readily available because buttons last longer than the vintage clothing that they were originally attached to. Antique and vintage buttons are great just to collect, but they are also cool additions to retro clothing or replacements on authentic vintage clothes. Vintage buttons make great necklaces, earrings, or accessories on current clothes. Add a pair of vintage buttons to a pair of shoes to completely change the style, or change your modern cardigan sweater completely by replacing the buttons with antique or vintage buttons.
Antique and vintage buttons come in many materials including glass buttons, metal buttons, bone buttons, mother of pearl buttons, brass buttons, silver buttons, gold buttons, crystal buttons, and rhinestone buttons. Some buttons combine metals with enamel which is a glass fusing technique.
Vintage buttons are often available in lots or groupings of similar style or materials especially mother of pearl or bone buttons. These buttons are generally smaller and simpler than some of the other button materials.
Hand carved antique buttons are generally sold one or two at a time, since they are larger and more expensive.
Craft Ideas Using Vintage Buttons
Vintage Antique Metal Buttons
Antique and vintage metal buttons come in silver, gold, and also in brass and base metal. Most metal buttons are either stamped or molded metal, and some vintage metal button have a stone or glass cabochon mounted in the button.
Brass buttons were often used for military uniforms and school uniforms, but upper ranking military uniforms sometimes had buttons made out of precious metals like silver and gold. Antique formal gowns sometimes had buttons made of precious metals and precious stones.
Vintage Shell Buttons
Shell buttons were a much more affordable material to make buttons from in the past eras and easier for the common man to obtain. Vintage shell buttons can be simple shirt buttons or elaborate hand carved buttons in varying sizes.
Mother of pearl buttons were used often for smaller flat buttons used on blouses for women because of the shimmer of the mother of pearl buttons. Most vintage shell buttons are round in shape. A genuine mother of pearl button will only be shiny on one face of the button. Replicas may be shiny on both sides.
Vintage Brass Buttons
Antique and vintage brass buttons are some of the most interesting collectible buttons because brass was used for uniform buttons. Military uniform buttons, school uniform buttons, and other honorary uniform buttons were most often made from brass.
Vintage brass buttons may have family insignia, mottos, military images, or other images that are pressed into the button or brass buttons may have been molded specifically for one outfit or uniform.
Some buttons only have brass button shanks with another material on the top of the button.
Vintage Buttons From Etsy Sellers
Etsy sellers have an excellent selection of authentic genuine vintage and antique buttons of all types, materials, and price points. You can find vintage buttons from every era, including Victorian buttons, pewter buttons, heart shaped buttons, Vogue buttons, ivory buttons and more.
Etsy sellers give you the best selection and pricing for vintage and antique items. You can check their star ratings for past history and reliability, and then just have fun choosing which vintage buttons to add to your button collection.
Vintage Rhinestone Buttons