How to Collect Antique Buttons

Button collecting can be a fun hobby for several reasons. The buttons take up so little space... Starting your collection doesn't require a large bank account... And the buttons themselves are as unique and interesting as the fashions they once adorned. Here are a few tips for the beginning Button Collector.


  1. 1
    Understand that to be considered "Antique", buttons should be made before 1918. Some more recent buttons are considered collectible because of unique manufacturing processes or design, but "Antique" means around a hundred years old.
  2. 2
    Decide why and how you want to begin collecting. Some common methods are:
    • Age of the Button
    • A Brass Button
      Use of the Button
    • Place of Manufacture
    • Green Vintage buttons.
      Material the Button is made of ie: Enamel, Bakelite, Brass, Celluloid, Champleve.
    • A cute design.
      Design of the button.
    • And other parameters such as Military Buttons, Chinese Boxwood Buttons, Civil War Buttons, etc.
  3. 3
    Rummage through your local thrift shops for old button jars. Often these will be donated from estates and you can sift through them to your hearts content for a very reasonable price.
  4. 4
    Search the web for Button purveyors.
  5. 5
    Check online auctions for button jars, bags, etc.
  6. 6
    Check out Button Collector websites and their lists of sources. (see notes below)
  7. 7
    Set aside an empty drawer. Fill it with empty jars... and have at it!


  • Image titled Multiple examples.


  • Button collecting can be addictive.

Article Info

Categories: Vintage Sewing and Textiles | Zippers and Buttons