I have two tins of buttons.
One is small and kind of boring. It's filled mostly with spare buttons in plastic packages, thrown into the can for safekeeping in the event a garment needs a replacement.
That small, boring can of buttons is mine.
Then I have a larger tin of buttons. It's filled to the brim with what looks like buttons, but they're actually treasures. Treasures from my mother-in-law, also known as Granny to most anyone who knows her.
Granny's tin of treasures became mine when she was moved into a nursing home a few years ago.
Inside Granny's tin that's now mine are hundreds of buttons. It's hard to imagine the years upon years of outfits losing buttons. Baubles and bits found in the washer or dryer on laundry day, buried deep in shag carpeting of long ago, or dangling frustratingly so by threads as one headed out the door to work, school, or special affairs.
Some of the buttons were surely from Granny's own dresses and blouses. Many more, though, likely wiggled their way off outfits worn by her six children, her first then second husbands, possibly even some from her nearly fifty grandchildren and great-grandchildren who stayed with her now and again.
Granny's tin also holds several cards filled with unused buttons, fancy bits never removed from their original packaging. Looking at them I wonder what plans Granny had for such treasures, plans she never realized for one reason or another.
I now have plans for Granny's buttons, for her treasures. I plan to share them with her many grandchildren. And her great-grandchildren, like Bubby and Mac, as well as her great-great-grandchildren, of which there are, surprisingly, already one or two.
I've not yet finalized the ultimate button-sharing plan, though, the projects I'll create to divide up Granny's buttons to be enjoyed by all. For now, I'm starting off small, passing them along to my children one by one, like this:
When wrapping Andrea's birthday presents in July, I topped each with a button. One of Granny's buttons. One of Granny's treasures.
Brianna's birthday is this weekend. I'll be doing the same for her. Come Megan's birthday in December, she'll get treasure-topped gifts, too. Maybe my girls can start their own button tins with Granny's buttons.
I've pinned on my Pinterest boards several button project ideas and am still looking for more. Eventually I'll settle on one or two, then set to work sharing Granny's buttons. Her treasures.
In the meantime, I'll keep adding my own buttons and spare button packets to my own small, boring tin. Maybe eventually I'll need a bigger tin. Perhaps one day my tin will be like Granny's—filled to the brim with buttons.
They may look like buttons now, but they may one day be treasures. Treasures for my kids. For my grandkids and their kids, too.
Just like Granny's treasures. Just like Granny's buttons.
What do you do with your spare buttons?