National Button Day

Today November 16th  is National Button Day .

Who knew…

The National Button Society, founded in 1938, established Button Day as a celebration for all who enjoyed collecting and crafting with buttons.

This is an image in my sketchbook from last year.

It’s the beginning of a story that has been percolating in my imagination for a while now about a woman called Mrs. Button who lives with her long suffering husband, 2 cats, and who happens to collect buttons.

One of her cats is very lazy and likes to stay home and lounge by the fire on rainy days.  The other is always waiting for something exciting to happen. He can be found sitting on the windowsill watching the world go by, dreaming of adventure.

When Mrs. Button goes to the store to top up her supply of catnip, you can guess who needs to be on a leash in case he runs away in search of excitement.  And you can also guess who complains bitterly about leaving the warmth of the fire and will only go for the walk if he can get a free ride.


But that story is for another day.

Today in honour of National Button Day I’m looking back on what I’ve been doing with my stash of buttons the last few months.

Every now and then I spill my larger than life collection onto the table in my studio. Something I have fond memories of doing as a child with my grandmother’s cookie tin of buttons.



 Images start popping up as I play around with different shapes and sizes.

I pull out some watercolour paper , add paint as a back drop, and there it is, a partnership of sorts.

The possibilities seem endless.

‘Little birds on Rough Seas ‘


‘ Little Birds ‘


‘ Hide Not Your Truth ‘


‘ Baby Birds Are In The Nest ‘


Those small half moon buttons seemed to provide just the right inspirational backdrop for all those images to unfold.

But those particular buttons ultimately found a permanent home in one of my fibre needle books.


It seemed the right landing place for them to provide the image of a shore bird.


My favourite store to pour through and come away with some good buttons is here :

It’s a small shop in Vancouver aptly called  ‘Button Button’ ……

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IMG_3108  IMG_3107

There are drawers and drawers full of buttons and I’m like a kid in a candy store whenever I go shopping there.

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My family and friends know about my passion to collect buttons too and I’m so appreciative of my sister-in-law who thinks of me when she’s travelling. She sends me great buttons like these:

Tiny little blue hearts that called out to be painted into a scene like fragile bluebells.

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 I also have a special friend who lives in Africa.

For my birthday, she recently mailed a set of large handmade wooden buttons that happened to be square .

I paired one of her buttons with others in my collection to create the rest of this image.

# 3 WM Button Truck

 Along flowed a whole series of scenes …



The possibilities are endless.



So in honour of Button Day, I say let’s continue to collect and craft with these  sometimes maligned little items and

Celebrate The BUTTON .


11 thoughts on “National Button Day

  1. Your pictures are so beautiful! I have a lovely mental image of coming to pick Elise and her friend up at your home and they were elbow-deep in buttons, sorting by colour and shape….. I love when functional items are made beautiful too. Thanks for sharing your beautiful paintings and words!

    • So cute Sandy, I love your button art. My favourites were your little felt needle cases with images of the moon and sea… but I totally adore these as well. I wish we had taken photos of the button shop we visited on the Île d’Oléron when we were there in June. I will have to go back. xxx

    • And who knew there was a special day to celebrate and honour this wonderful little item so necessary in life! Thanks for popping in here for a visit and reminding me of that great time with Elise and her pal. They were bent over in earnest concentration sorting and counting for longer that I thought possible for a pair of 7 year olds. That was such fun.

  2. Ooops on my last comment I replied to Alex by mistake. I love your button art Sandy… so clever and how lovely your friend sent you those square wooden buttons.

    You’re reminding me that I have loads of buttons that I’ve been keeping for sewing repairs and now I’m thinking I could have a whole new use for them! 🙂 xxx

  3. Hi Sandy, my first visit to your lovely blog! Oh, my, I could have never imagined so much things could be made by using buttons! And there’s even a national button day! :). Your art is so lovely and imaginative. I also like very much the mrs Button going out to collect buttons with her cat on a leash :). Happy to have met you through our little facebookgroup.

    • So glad you came by Esther, and thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. 🙂 Yes my grade one teacher told my parents I had a ‘vivid imagination ‘… I must say that comment stuck in my memory, and now that I’m grown up, I see ‘ it’ as a faithful companion , not something that I perceived at the time to be bad. Hope you saw the lazy cat hitching a ride in the basket , only ears poking out :)..Honoured by your praise. I think your art is incredible ..<3

  4. Ooh, these paintings are marvelous Sandy! the little moon shaped buttons made the best models, really pretty and so very versatile… that little needle book is precious too. I too love buttons and funny, I ended up with someone that is terrified with them. Yes, that is possible. He hates them, can’t look at them. Interesting eh? I thought he is the only person out there with such a reaction but then I met a girl, who has the same reaction to buttons. So I guess there are phobias for everything that exists 🙂 But I’ll always love them!

    • Such thoughtful praise Nini. Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment too ❤ . So sad to think of someone not liking buttons , and yes for me , I'll always love them . My collection is one of my prize possessions. 🙂

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