Oh yes I did.
I love handmade buttons. Yes, it can be a higher investment, but not much more than high-quality mass-produced buttons…and I figure that if I’ve spent money on artisan yarn and my time to lovingly handcraft clothing for family or friends, it’s worth the slightly higher expense.
For this, etsy has been my friend…and my nemesis. There really are a lot of great options on etsy, if you can find them. The first time I tried to search for handmade buttons, almost all of my options were pin-back buttons, not sewing buttons, and it took several attempts to figure out all of the terms I needed to exclude in order to eliminate them all. Then I had to figure out how to eliminate all of the options I didn’t like–especially the misfiled items. While I understand sellers wanting to get their items in front of the largest possible audience, if your buttons are not handmade, don’t label them as handmade. Maybe you’ll lure a few people, but I’m willing to bet you’ll alienate more.
Eventually, I had 5 times more exclusionary terms than inclusive terms, but I finally had the buttons I wanted to see. At the time, I was looking for buttons for my February Lady Sweater, which I was knitting in a medium blue wool/silk blend. For that sweater, I found some great pewter buttons from Pewter Buttons & Supplies for Fiber Artists. He had a stamped pattern that was called Starstruck but looked like 4-leaf clovers to me…and since I was using Three Irish Girls yarn, that seemed perfect. The only problem is that the buttons weren’t the size I wanted, so I placed a request for a custom order.
But in the meantime, I’d found several other etsy stores selling buttons I liked. One of them was Wooden Treasures, where Jay makes (among other things) buttons from branches. I fell in love with the organic look of the buttons, complete with bark, slight size differences and all the irregularities in shape found in nature (although Jay also makes barkless buttons, as well as buttons that are cut to uniform sizes and shapes). It wasn’t what I was thinking of for my FLS, but I was also working on a sweater for my son…and I thought those rough-looking but so-smooth-to-the-touch buttons would set off the yarn perfectly.
I was right.
I was a decidedly happy customer after that purchase, so I decided to stock up on some more when Jay was having a sale. I looked for buttons in a variety of sizes, shapes, and wood types–I love the various exotic woods he uses–and got a nice little stash started:
I haven’t used any of those buttons yet, so I wasn’t really looking for any more.
And then I saw he was selling buttons for a wholesale price. So I ordered a few…lots. Big ones. Jay emailed me right after I placed the order to tell me he and his wife were out of town so there’d be a delay; was that ok? Sure–I didn’t have any immediate plans for them, but I really appreciated the communication. Jay made sure to keep my updated on his progress and promised me some amazing buttons to compensate me for the delay.
He delivered. First, there was a set of gorgeous toggle buttons:
I really love toggle buttons but haven’t found any mass produced ones that I like at all. These are stunning. Then, I purchased a varied lot of 52 buttons:
I adore the variety of sizes, shapes, and wood species. I really can’t imagine being unable to find a button for just about any cardigan for me. And then there was this bonus:
After counting several times, I realized I wasn’t sure where these 6 buttons fit into my order. They were packaged separately, so they weren’t part of the big lot (oh, yes–we haven’t gotten to the big lot yet). But they weren’t part of the 52. So I can only assume Jay threw them in as a bonus. And I love them. I love the size, the shape, the colors.
I was also looking for some more regularly shaped buttons…and I love his dark exotic wood buttons. These are bocote wood from South America:
And then, just in case I’d ever want another wooden button again…I bought the lot of 120:
I haven’t yet divvied these up, but it’s clear there’s several different sets in here. As you can see from the quarter included for size reference (which was in all the pictures), some of these buttons are very large. They’ll be perfect for single button (or 2 button sweaters)–can you just see a sweet little girls sweater with one over-sized wood button? I can…
So…if you’re looking for stunning handmade wooden buttons, I couldn’t recommend Jay at Wooden Treasures more highly. In fact, I just today I recommended them to some friends, and one of them bought 3 lots. So browse at your own risk!