Saturday, 20 August 2011

Buttons and Ovaltine!

Today I managed to clear out and sort the craft cupboard, a job which has needed doing for some time.

This meant rediscovering some hidden gems which had been shoved to the back, including a big old tin of buttons given to me by a friend who was renovating an old repossessed house which they had bought. Her husband was about to chuck them when she rescued and sent them my way.

Now I love any button, can't really describe why. But a tin full of vintage buttons, all different and in all colours - Mmmm.

When transferring them into a more suitable vessel I started to wonder about who owned them before me bringing on a wave of nostalgia and intrigue.

If you think about it, buttons in a tin like this are collected over a lifetime, how much could I tell of the owner simply from the contents....

I managed to find a ‘League of Ovaltineys’ badge which research tells me was children's club created by the drink Ovaltine in 1935. This gave me an idea of her age – at least late 70’s.

Then I also found, right at the bottom, a fabric name badge – Doris Roper. My button owner now had a name.

There are packs of buttons which I imagine may have been bought for some sort of sewing project, she was clearly a lady who favoured a shade of beige! And lots of them are tied into little bundles so I’d guess she was fairly organised.

What was Doris planning to use the buttons for? (there are children’s buttons, fabric buttons, fancy buttons), was she married to or have a son perhaps who was in the military (there are sturdy metal buttons from some sort of uniform), what relevance did the odd unusual button have to her? (where did she find it, had she saved it with something in mind?)

In an era where we are potentially far more materialistic and ‘throw away’ I enjoyed spending a bit of time imagining a time of thrift and ‘make do and mend’.
I hope that one day I own a 'lifetime' of buttons or other crafting trinkets which relate to times or things in my life (currently you'd find a half painted dolls house, a half completed rocking horse revamp, knitting half completed...ah a theme).
I will very much enjoy using these buttons for years to come, I’d like to think Doris would be pleased about that!


  1. Sure she would :) Is lovely to imagine Doris as a little old lady who has collected all those different buttons for her tin over her lifetime. Sure she would be thrilled some of them will get a new lease of life! You can't beat a bit of thrifting and upcycling! x


Ooh I do love to read your comments, thank you x