If you are anything like me, you LOVE vintage sewing supplies, especially buttons! This mess (above) is what my button hoard started out as. To be honest, I really didn’t think that I had THAT many buttons. So many colors and styles, the list of possible uses is endless, I guess that’s why I never throw any of them away. Three years ago it was pretty much limited to what came as extras when I bought a new piece of clothing and a few that I had salvaged off of clothing that was too far gone to be donated. A “friend” (at the time) gave me a bag of tan and grey buttons and I hit a streak of REALLY good luck at thrift stores and garage sales. Then we went to the huge flea market in Elkhorn, WI where I was able to find a bunch more to add to the pile. We went to an antique store where I bought a giant glass jar of vintage and antique buttons for $8. Many of those were bone, real mother of pearl and glass. When they had the floods in Tennessee last year Loving Husband had to go down there for two weeks and basically keep watch over a room full of servers with important info on them because the people who normally worked at that base were trying to clean up their homes and he had the right clearances and such to be trusted to do that. When they finally came back to work and were cleaning up their flooded offices, they were mostly throwing away anything that wasn’t very important. He noticed a box FULL of the big black peacoat buttons with the anchors on them. He remembered that I had bemoaned the extortionist prices that people want for them on eBay/Etsy and asked if he could have them since they were just throwing them away and they said sure! So that added 50 more buttons to the list and even in recent months I’ve been able to pick up whole baggies of buttons (like 110 brass buttons for $1) for next to nothing. Even with several large scores, it just didn’t hit home just HOW many I had until I decided to try to organize them and gathered them all into one place.
Boy oh BOY! What did I get myself into!?
Like most things that take me a week or more to do, it is something that I needed to do for my own good. I tried to organize them into baggies once, then into jars, then onto cardstock sheets, then individual cards. There were just too many! I had so many different styles that none of these options were working to my satisfaction. It always ended up as a disaster that spanned several locations around the craft room, but I wanted them centralized. I was sitting here wondering what I could do that would make it easy for me to see them ALL without having to go through bags, jars or cards, but wouldn’t take up a lot of space. I finally decided to keep them in a binder! I took card stock and began sewing my buttons to the pieces of paper by groupings (if they were the same or individuals.) Once I had two cards finished, I used a hole-punch on each piece and taped them together (back-to-back) around the outside edges of the sheets. This made the cards stronger and kept the threads holding the buttons onto the sheets from getting caught on the buttons of the following page. Then, I just put the pages into a 2.5 inch 3-ring binder. I did have to keep a small box for baggies (about 5 or 6) that contain buttons that I have WAY too many of to sew to the large cards. For example, I have 190 standard 2-hole white glass buttons; those are in the box (see below).
The pages inside of the book still look a little on the chaotic side, but with 1,105 buttons that had to be sewn on to them; I was getting rather tired of the job early on in the project. All together I ended up with 1,666 (HA!) buttons that I am keeping. There are about 600 that I will be listing on Etsy in 4 lots and another 375 that I will be giving away in the near future.Below are photos of each sheet so that you can see all of my buttons. For a detail view, you can click the images to enlarge them.
I’ve recently been lucky enough to find some vintage sewing supplies with some really cool looking packaging and I wanted to share them here on the blog. I have a ton of buttons and needles to organize, so I started this project for personal use. Once I got the items scanned in and cleaned up, I thought that maybe someone else out there might find them useful too! All of these images are free, all you have to do is right click on the images and save each, and then you can print them at your convenience.
These are needle cases. The originals just have a piece of black paper glued inside that the needles are stuck through to keep them from sliding around. These are actual size. Once they are printed out, cut around the edges, fold on the obvious creases and cut the closure slit where you see it on the image. These fit perfectly into little sewing kits. Make sure you keep them somewhere that you normally keep your needles because after all, they are just paper and you don’t want anyone to get poked!
Most of the button or snap cards that I run across are plain or are so badly torn up that they can’t be scanned to create new ones. I was finally lucky enough to find these two above and used them to make the two below. Again, just right click and save the image, then you can print it out as you’d like. You sew the individual buttons onto the card and arrange them however you’d like. I left blank spaces on these images so that you could add your own name or change the size, etc. They print larger than they appear on the screen, so adjust to your desired size. Please only use these for personal use as I use these for my own Etsy shop.
I love this free paint label printablefrom fellow home restorers Brooklyn Limestone! I know that I personally have probably 20 different colors of paint back at the house in Indiana and we haven’t even gotten around to the task of painting anything yet. I painted part of the bathroom and one corner of the living room to test out colors, and I painted the dining room because I could no longer stand every room downstairs being YELLOW. With what seems like a thousand cans of oops paint stacked everywhere, I can truly appreciate something as lovely as these labels that will help me to at least make my chaos look pretty! When we bought our house and started restoring it, we decided to not even THINK about any of the cool stuff like what we wanted the finished rooms to look like. We were only concerning ourselves with the boring stuff like electrical, plumbing, room reconfiguration, repairing windows, etc. After the first couple of years though, we realized that you kind of HAVE to consider the finished product when working on the rest, because many of those decor selections will affect the construction work you have to start out with. Flash forward to today, we are still working on electrical and windows, but now we have stacks of tiles and paint cans and light fixtures; any assistance in straightening out this mess if VERY welcome! Whether you’ve got a whole basement full of cans or you just want to clean up the garage a little, you should go over and check these out. In their tutorial, the Brooklynians transferred all of their leftover paint into new smaller cans. This could get a little bit pricey if you have many different colors. I use paint for more than walls, so as I stated, I have many, many cans full (or half full). I keep my cans clean at all cost as it is, so if you are like me all you should have to do is remove the original labels and maybe clean up the lip edges a little bit.
No matter how hard I try to save my seed packets when I’m planting, they always get lost or destroyed. This last year Loving Husband kept grabbing them with wet dirty hands and throwing them in the pile with the empty soil bags; the ones I managed to save then got left out in the rain. If you are a seed saver you might be interested in this project I found over at Something I Just Made! She covers a few different uses for them and even gives you the images free for download! I think these would be great to use with my pattern collection. I could keep fabric swatches, thread, buttons and trim samples that I’ve used when making a garment from a pattern and stick it in the folder with that pattern. I suppose if you wanted to you could even take the templates and redo them with your own images to suit your every need. I devised my OWN seed packet pattern that is slightly larger and assembles differently than this one that I make out of old dictionary pages and use for storing little things around the house instead of buying plastic baggies that are bad for the environment.
Instead of trolling the thrift stores as usual we’ve been busy doing some antiquing and auction shopping as of late. I wanted to show you guys a couple of the really cool things we bought, if you’d like a closer view, simply click on the images to enlarge them.
We actually found this watercolor in an antique shop UNDER a pile of rusted metal light fixtures. I managed to pick it up for $20. I just LOVED something about it. It’s a depiction of a cavalryman of the Grand Duchy of Warsaw (possibly the Lancers of the Vistula Legion) during the Napoleonic war. Of course the painting isn’t that old, it’s actually from the 60?s I believe. I cleaned it; we bought the lovely silver leaf and linen frame from the Goodwill for $4. The blue linen pattern acid free mat was custom cut for the piece and cost $12. Total cost $36!
I researched the artist who is S. Pajackowski. He was born in 1900, but I can’t find any information on when he died. The few paintings of his that I was able to find online sell for about $350-$400, so not bad for under $40!
This unfinished painting is on the BACK of our painting. I’m not really sure what it is exactly, some sort of polish procession I guess. They appear to have been part of a book at one time and were since removed.
It’s hard to say that one or the other of this group is my favorite; all three items in this post are great! But I really LOVE this vintage pram. This is in such awesome condition that I honestly don’t think that this was ever used with a child. There are no rips or wear marks on it anywhere, no staining, it has all of the original parts including the cloth covered mattress and the mosquito net. When I saw the Perego Confiori stroller in forest green and white, I HAD to have it. The auction house sold it as a buggy pram (the two photos below) and a car seat that was out of date. Once I got home and could really look at it, we figured out that it wasn’t a car seat at all (Loving Husband figured it wasn’t from the get-go). What they were calling a car seat is actually the seat for the summer stroller configuration (the two photos above). The hood over the bassinet collapses, the little window on the apron snaps up or down and the entire apron can be removed if you want the pram open. You can remove the bassinet and replace it with the stroller seat. This seat can be adjusted into several different reclining positions, the surrey top can be attached, there is a bracket that can be flipped up and that holds the mosquito net off the baby’s head. It also came with a matching cover that would go over the top of the stroller to cover the baby for sleeping.
I know what you are thinking… We don’t have a baby! True, true, but I figured that it was well worth the $100 price tag, because if we DO have a baby (we are trying) I couldn’t get a new stroller half this awesome for $100. This thing is in such good condition, it’s like old-new stock and we love vintage, so it is perfect for us, it’s even LH’s favorite color! If we don’t have a baby, at least I have an interesting piece to use when staging photos of the baby items I make. Also, I could sell it online. Less mint versions of the same buggy have been going in the $300 range on eBay (even with $50+ shipping) and most of them only have one set of the parts, either the stroller or the bassinet and none of the accessory parts! I feel like it was a hell of a deal even though it was way more than I would normally consider spending. Something about it just called out to me!
This (above) is the reason why we went to the auction in the first place! It is a handmade vintage/antique pattern case! It is solid wood, all brass pulls and glass in the windows with 2 replacement pieces included. I had been storing my vintage pattern collection in Rubbermaid storage drawers which were becoming stressed under the weight. I don’t have to worry about that anymore with this; now I have plenty of room for all of my patterns to be spread out into their categories and then put into separate drawers by size range and even one left over for other stuff! The drawers aren’t completely full, so I have room to grow! It’s 21 inches deep, so that’s a lot of drawer space! This one set me back $80, which I don’t think was too bad for a handmade item like this. It seems like anything with more than 6 drawers in it sells for WAY more than I’m willing to pay. All of the little apothecary chests, old safety deposit boxes, seed chests, etc, etc; they all START at about $300. Taking that into consideration, I felt lucky to get my hands on this one for a relative pittance. The only bad thing about it is that Loving Husband tore his abdominal muscle while moving it into the house and has been out of work and on Vicodin for a week. It really isn’t THAT heavy, but it’s very awkward and he should have let me help him when I offered. Hopefully he will be well again soon, but the medics said 6-8 weeks.