How to Display Your Vintage & Antique Buttons

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Combine buttons and a fabric background in a formal display.
Combine buttons and a fabric background in a formal display. (Image: Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

Collectors of vintage and antique buttons can collect thousands of these little works of art. Each button is precious and deserves its own special display. However, displaying many small buttons poses design challenges. Buttons can be difficult to see and deserve a display that highlights the character of each. Choose between displays that highlight a single button or several buttons at a time and displays that show off the majority of your button collection.

Things You'll Need

  • Clear circular candlestick holders
  • Display case
  • Fabric
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Scrapbook paper
  • Felt
  • Crazy glue
  • Buttons
  • Platter

Create a Formal Rotating Display of Individual Buttons

Create a formal display if you want to keep your buttons in pristine condition but would still like to showcase them. Gather a collection of circular clear glass candle holders and place a button in each one. The button should be slightly smaller than the candle holder so that it goes in and out easily.

Choose a clear glass cabinet to display your buttons in a formal manner.
Choose a clear glass cabinet to display your buttons in a formal manner. (Image: Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

Design a board for the back of the glass display cabinet. Place felt over a piece of cardboard that is cut to the size of the back of the cabinet, or cover the cardboard with a piece of scrapbook paper that complements but does not distract from the buttons.

Cut felt or scrapbook paper to cover the back of the cabinet.
Cut felt or scrapbook paper to cover the back of the cabinet. (Image: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Place the buttons you wish to display in their candle holders. Lean them against the back of the cabinet. Step away from the cabinet and ensure that you can see the buttons. If you cannot see the buttons, change the angle of the holders. Rotate the buttons every few weeks to highlight different buttons in the collection.

Use plain candle holders to display single buttons.
Use plain candle holders to display single buttons. (Image: Photos.com/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Create a Button Platter

Display multiple buttons by turning them into a piece of art. This option is for those who want to have all of their buttons on display and do not mind if the buttons are not in perfect condition. Go through your button collection and choose ones that complement each other.

Glue your buttons to a ceramic platter. Choose flat buttons that sit easily on the platter. Place the buttons on the platter to determine the best look before grabbing the glue.

Glue buttons to a hard base to make it easy to display multiple buttons
Glue buttons to a hard base to make it easy to display multiple buttons (Image: Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Use glue to attach the buttons to the platter. When it is dry, hang the platter on the wall. Create different platters in different colors or themes. Place three or more platters together in a pattern on the wall.

Glue the buttons to the platter using a glue that dries quickly.
Glue the buttons to the platter using a glue that dries quickly. (Image: Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Create Button Art on Fabric Shapes

Create button displays on fabric shapes that can hang in your home. Cut out a fabric shape that is inspired by the seasons or by other decorative elements in your home. Choose cotton or other fabrics that are easy to work with. Hem the edges of the fabric.

Choose a fabric that is not slippery or the buttons will be hard to sew on.
Choose a fabric that is not slippery or the buttons will be hard to sew on. (Image: Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Collect buttons with green, red, and gold tones for Christmas and sew them onto fabric stars or wreaths. For spring, sew pastel buttons onto floral prints to adorn the walls. Autumn is a time to highlight brown, red, yellow and orange buttons.

Place the button flag under glass in a frame if you want to keep it clean and flat. Display a long button-covered piece of fabric by hanging it on hooks.

Use frames to contain small pieces of button and fabric art.
Use frames to contain small pieces of button and fabric art. (Image: Hemera Technologies/Photos.com/Getty Images)

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