How To Find Vintage Sewing Buttons

Wondering how to find vintage sewing buttons to add to a collection or to use on shirts, jackets, and other apparel? Vintage sewing buttons can be intricate or plain. These little treasures can be made from wood, pearl or shell, metal like brass, glass, or plastic. Vintage buttons are plentiful if you know where to look.

To find vintage sewing buttons, you will need:

  • Computer with Internet
  • Ability to shop local retail stores
  1. Log on to the Internet and do a search for 'vintage buttons.' Many Web sites sell vintage sewing buttons. Some of the more popular Web sites are eBay, Etsy, Mildred's Antiques, and Ruby Lane. Each site has different inventory available because vintage sewing buttons are so varied. Each seller chooses the buttons they come across to sell so the variety is good.
  2. Use the right search terms. If you just want to see what vintage sewing buttons are available online, search using a generic term like 'sewing buttons.' You will get a lot of choices to look at. However, if you have specific vintage sewing buttons in mind, search using those words, such as 'vintage military buttons."
  3. Visit local retail antique stores. Antique stores sometimes have one owner who stocks the entire store with their own merchandise. Other antique stores operate more on a consignment or booth rental premise. An owner of the building opens up the store to antique vendors who bring in their own inventory to display and sell. Either way, the variety for antique buttons is hit or miss. Often antique sellers or vendors buy items they like themselves, so they may or may not carry vintage sewing buttons. You may want to call ahead and ask if the store carries any buttons.
  4. Check thrift stores. The goods sold at thrift stores are donated. Sometimes these items include vintage sewing buttons. The buttons may be stored in a large tin or bowl and you can pick through them to find the exact buttons you want. Other times the buttons are sewn onto cards or appear on the original card and are sold in sets. Occasionally you will find a jar of buttons for sale for one price.
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