A Charming Technique for Displaying Vintage Buttons

Are you a vintage button lover? If you answered “yes,” then today’s post is for you. For those of us with full cards of buttons that we want to remain in tact, it can be difficult to know how to display them in an appealing way.

In today’s post I’m going to give teach a charming technique for displaying vintage buttons without destroying their cards.

This DIY project sells extremely well from my booth at our local Shaker holiday craft show every year.

The frames and buttons I chose lend themselves perfectly to farmhouse style but you can switch things up and go many different directions, like Mid-century Modern or Victorian.

Related posts: Collecting Vintage Buttons Part I, Part II,  Decorating with Vintage Buttons, How to Display & Sell Vintage Buttons

An assortment of vintage buttons with text: a charming technique for displaying vintage buttons

Materials for Creating Button Displays

craft supplies to frame buttons with
This post contains affiliate links for products necessary to complete this project. This is both for your convenience as well as to support my blog, as I receive a small compensation whenever you click on such a link and make any sort of purchase, for which I thank you.

How to Frame Vintage Button Cards for Farmhouse Wall Art

large selection of vintage buttons on cards

Step 1: Button cards. Select the vintage buttons you’d like to frame and match them up with suitable frames.

NOTE: Scroll down below to learn how you can make your own button cards with my free printable. Simply attach your vintage buttons and they’re ready for framing!

small vintage wooden frames for displaying vintage buttons

Step 2: Frame. Select an appropriately sized frame and remove the glass; save it for a future project. I pick up most of my frames at garage sales for 50ยข or less–sometimes I find them in “Free” boxes!

Step 3: Scrapbook paper. Cut scrapbook paper or vintage paper (like dictionary or music paper) to fit your frame. Glue it to a piece of cardboard also cut to fit.

displaying vintage buttons using photo corners

Step 4: Photo corners. Apply photographic corners to the card(s) you want to frame, place them on the scrapbook paper and press them into place.

–>>Do this with the frame in place to help you center the button cards properly. 

Using photographic corners of course means that you can slip the buttons out and use them in some other way (or sell them) without having ruined the backs with glue or other adhesive.

Step 5: Secure. Using small finishing nails, secure the project in the frame. Note: Remove the button card during this step as it may pull the scrapbook paper from the cardboard.

Back of wall art showing kraft paper and a sawtooth hanger

Step 6: The back. Cut a piece of brown kraft paper to fit the back of the frame and glue in place with tacky glue. Nail or glue a sawtooth hanger to the top.

See my post about framing like a professional for more detailed instructions.

Displaying vintage buttons in an oak frame

This handsome antique oak frame displays the buttons perfectly. As I mentioned, I sell my framed buttons regularly at both the annual holiday craft show I participate in every year and from my antique booth.

They sell for $10-18 each, depending upon their size and the  age, condition, and beauty of the button card.

Examples of Framed Vintage Button Cards

Displaying Vintage buttons in a vintage black frame

Here’s another example, just a card of simple black buttons with a simple black frame.

vintage red button card with black frame

Red and black make a perfect color combination.

Get Free Vintage Style Button Card Printables

buttons on hand made cards

If you have a collection of buttons but none on cards, I’ve got the solution! In my Member Library, I have two pages of button cards you can print out and attach your buttons to.

You get access to the library when you subscribe to my newsletter.

vintage buttons on reproduction button cards

I made the set you see above from original vintage versions. Aren’t they adorable?? They would look marvelous framed.

Get more info on these button cards and how to make them HERE.

vintage button card framed on vintage dictionary paper

For this piece, I mounted the buttons (using glue rather than photographic corners) onto a piece of vintage dictionary paper.

Notice I chose a page that has the word “button” on it?? So definitely keep in mind that you don’t need to be limited to black for mounting.

In addition to the other ideas I’ve already mentioned, you could use end papers from old books, vintage atlas pages or maps, and/or antique receipts or letters.

vintage ephemera: postcard, photograph, woolco, seed packet, etc.Furthermore, why limit yourself to framing just buttons? Take a look at these other highly frame-able items:

Only your imagination limits the sorts of things that you can frame in this way ๐Ÿ™‚

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an assortment of vintage button cards with text: learn a charming technique for displaying vintage buttons

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  1. I really like this idea. And you could even use some non-permanent glue/fastener so you could swap out your display. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Fabulous ideas and advise, just what I always find here! Ty Diana for the wonderful printable button cards, such a great resource

  2. What a simple but absolutely sweet project! My daughter just recently embroidered a vintage button card and was supposed to attach real buttons to it when finished (and then hang it). She used the recycled buttons from her fathers old shirt which made that a very special piece to her ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for sharing this. I found you via The Scoop!

    1. So glad you liked the project. Your daughter's "memory" craft is such a great idea–I love it! Off to visit your blog ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. What a cute decoration, especially for a craft room wall! I came across lots of buttons at a flea market on Saturday, but had to stay focused on vintage jewelry. I love the little packages where they're still attached to the cards.

  4. Love how you turn your finds into art! Thanks for sharing it with Let's Talk Vintage today!

  5. Thanks for the idea, this looks great for a sewing room idea and I have plenty of old frames and vintage button cards. Looks great.

  6. Love the way you framed the buttons. I love love buttons! It gives me some new ideas to try. Thanks for sharing this idea.

  7. Very interesting idea! I like how you even thought of including a dictionary page with the word button on it. I'm stopping by from the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop.

  8. I collect vintage buttons and have created lots of fun DIY projects with them, including embellished frames as well as using the buttons to create a picture as you have done, but I never thought of keeping them on the vintage cards. This is absolutely lovely! Thanks for sharing and for linking up to the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop, sponsored by Katherine's Corner. Hope to catch up with you again next week at the hop! Nina @ Vintage Mama's Cottage

  9. I love vintage buttons and adore how you framed them! Reminds me that I need to finish a piece of stitch work that I started a long time ago to display some Mother of Pearl buttons. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

  10. Such a fun way to display amazing vintage button cards and buttons. I love that you used a dictionary page with the word ‘button’ on it, that’s very clever! I’m so glad you shared this project because I have some vintage button cards I now know what to do with!

  11. I always enjoy reading your Blog…Thanks for the good work and great Ideas.
    when I was 1st married (55 yrs ago), my first neighbor lady was in her 90’s.
    One day she asked me if I wanted some OLD BUTTONS, of her Mothers. (OLD?)
    They were all single buttons, thrown into a clear glass jar. Really ornate, & I will always cherish them. I now keep them inside of an old Bubble Gum Stand. Have had so many compliments on
    such a clever idea.

    1. Oh my gosh, Pamila, that’s an AMAZING idea–I’d love to see a photo of your stand someday ๐Ÿ™‚ What a treasure, and so sweet of your kind neighbor. I’m sure they remind you of her and her generosity.

  12. OH! Another project I want to try! These pictures would be so pretty in a sewing/craft room. I may have to dig through my stash–I love old buttons for plates for the dollhouse people!

    1. Ha ha–like you need another project Kathy!! Like I said in the post, though, these sell pretty well for me so it may be worth a try for your booth? I can see how certain buttons would make the perfect plates for dollhouses. Such a great idea ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Oh, Diana, just reread this post. The buttons make ash trays, pet food bowls, fancy or Jello-looking desserts (nurdle of white fabric paint and a red seed bead topper!), lamp bases, wall plaques (especially metal coat of arms and coin-look buttons), Christmas tree ornaments, candy dishes (the old clear glass ones are SOOO elegant), tiered tidbit trays, cakestands, candleholders, serving platters (the old huge coat buttons), cheese plates, etc. One of my faves was an old black coat button with a bump in the middle–glued a clear pony bead with yellow glass stain to the bump, surrounded it with tiny “snail” shells from an old necklace with a dot of caramel fabric paint in each one. Voila! Escargot with garlic butter–absolutely adorable–and much more fun than housework! Dollhouse people party well!

        1. You have such a wonderful imagination Kathy–transforming buttons into so many wonderful doll house accessories and decorations! Thanks for sharing your great ideas ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Very cute idea, Diana! Perfect for a sewing /craft room but they’d also make a wonderful gift for the sewer in our lives.

  14. Really cute, Diana! I’ve always loved the graphics on all those old sewing notions; this elevates them to art status!

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