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Reusing Old Buttons

I’ve written about how my inner crafter comes out from watching Project Runway. I’ve reconstructed all of my ill-fitting and ordinary tees and have moved on to adorning tank tops with use of old materials: buttons. I’ve long had a love of vintage buttons and like to replace boring ones on jackets and cardigans with glass and wood ones.

My late grandmother saved old buttons in tins. If I remember correctly, she liked to use cookie tins (you know the cookies—Danish, buttery, sugar-coated, stacked in white paper dividers). She removed buttons from worn garments, mostly shirts and coats, and they are so much more interesting than the cheap plastic ones often found on garments these days. The old buttons look like jewels in the tins, and I recently went through them to remove ones I wanted to reuse for my latest little DIY project.

It doesn’t get easier than this: simply sew old buttons along the neckline of a tank. That’s it—quick and simple—and it results in a uniquely individual look. (Mismatched buttons in the same color is my favorite way to go.) If you don’t have your own stash of old buttons, find them at flea markets, thrift shops, or on eBay.

By Stef McDonald

Photo Courtesy of 7x7 Magazine

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