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Button Keepers

Money Saving Tip of the Month (featured column)
submitted by Ruth Ann of South Carolina

As a child, I enjoyed spending time looking through Mom's jar of buttons and finding the matching set she needed (often for a new item of clothing for me).

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I still enjoy buttons because they can be used in so many projects, like: cards, scrap books, and book covers; various Christmas decorations; gift bags or wrapped packages; jewelry and hair accessories ... and the list seems nearly endless. They can be threaded, glued, wired, tied, knotted, individual, or stacked.

But I enjoy buttons even more because they are so easy to get for free or next to nothing. Just about every piece of discarded clothing has buttons to offer for the investment of just a couple of minutes.

(Oh, that reminds me of another tip I can offer. Last week I wanted to hang a "delicate" item on the wall in our storage area so I wouldn't lose it and it would be protected. I needed a nice, soft fabric swatch that would loop over the nail and around the handle on the item. This was accomplished quickly and simply by cutting the button hole strip of fabric from the front of a shirt. A button hole at one end of the fabric slipped onto the nail, looped through the item handle, and then another button hole slipped onto the nail to complete the hanger. This strip of fabric offered a big variety of loop sizes.)

When I need extra special buttons, I head to a second-hand or consignment shop and begin looking through jackets (if I need extra big) or dresses (for fancy) or children's clothing (for small and decorative) until I find the buttons I need. I get several buttons this way, often for less than I would otherwise have to pay for just one.

So I'm a button saver. Finally--we are getting to my tip. You see, I do not enjoy sorting through a jar of buttons anymore. No problem. I have a quick, inexpensive, and effective method of keeping those matched buttons together. All you need is a paper clip and a pair of needle-nosed pliers. Take the outside end of the paper clip and bend it out to form a wide "v." Now slip the buttons onto the paper clip. The remaining, smaller "u" bend will keep them from sliding off the other end of the wire. When you get all the buttons on the wire (it will hold just two or up to as many as a shirt's worth), use the pliers to bend a "u" perpendicular to the one at the other end of the wire and, still using the pliers, connect the two "u's." Isn't that quick and easy?!

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Copyright © 2011 by Ruth Ann. All rights reserved.

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