Real Life Organizing: Button Storage Tactics

Overwhelmed with buttons? This is how I handle loose button storage.


My Real Life Organizing Button Storage Solution


I’ve “inherited” a lot of sewing supplies in the last few years, from multiple sources.

An old metal cabinet with plastic drawers turned out the be the perfect solution for my ever growing button collection! It was also someone’s cast off (and at this point I can’t even remember where it came from!).


Real Life Organizing: Button Storage Tactics


The thing with buttons is that if you’re going to use them, they need to be sorted and handy. A jar of miscellaneous buttons is not useful when you need to pick out buttons for a project or repair. While I do have more than one set of buttons in each section of each drawer, I can find what I’m looking for within a few minutes.



Buttons stored in tiny drawers.


What We Can Learn From This Real Life Organizing Solution


Aside from the tips below, here’s one thing to take away from this solution: any storage containers or cabinets are valuable. Don’t pass them by lightly.

You can’t necessarily keep everything that comes your way (or buy everything you find cheap at thrift stores) but give everything serious thought. Consider the future (is your button collection growing?), and whether or not your current systems are really working or if you need something better.

Keep an eye out for the types of storage solutions you need. I was doing just that when I grabbed this cabinet because, let’s face it, cabinets with tiny drawers with dividers are just plain handy if you have any small parts or doodads to store. I wouldn’t mind having more of them!


Small metal cabinet with drawers.


Seven Button Storage Tips


#1 Use what you have or can obtain.

This wasn’t the first time I had organized buttons. It was just the best solution yet!


#2 Organize buttons in the way you will use them.

If size is your first thought, then organize them by size. If color is what you go for, organize them by color. Ideally, do both (but that can be challenging with limited space!). I originally just went with color but in my most recent redo, I separated basic styles (flat and shank) and organized them by size (roughly) and number of buttons per set (2, 3-4, and 5 or more). It’s easier to see color than anything else so I pretty much ignored it this time around (see tips 5 and 6). If I had more space I would like them organized by color . . . but I don’t!


#3 Store miscellaneous buttons separate from sets of buttons.

You can use these for repairs or crafts. You also might finding matching buttons later.


#4 If your space is limited, you may need to double up categories.

When I originally organized my buttons in this cabinet, I decided to put different colors together to save space: pink+brown, red+green, etc. I still “double up” but in a different way (see tip #2).


#5 You also may have to store many sets of buttons in the same container.

Talk about confusion when it comes time to find the buttons you need! I recommend doubling up categories across several containers instead of putting all buttons in one category in the same container (see the next tip for my explanation).


#6 It’s actually easier to find the buttons you want when there’s contrast in your container.

Vary sizes, styles, features, and/or colors so everything doesn’t look the same. Instead of digging through a container of different sets of red four-hole buttons all of similar size, you can dig through a container with one set of red four-hole 1/2 inch buttons, one set of red two hole 5/8 inch buttons, one set of green four hole 1/2 inch buttons, one set of green four hole one inch buttons, and so forth. Much easier!


#7 Your organization method will probably evolve over time.

Don’t worry about that. Just do what works! But on the other hand, try not to spend all your time reorganizing buttons. Just do it and go with it for awhile, even if it’s not perfect.


What is your button storage solution . . . or are you still looking?



  1. I’m impressed by your ideas and tactics. I finally sorted my button collection in this manner All sizes that share the same color goes in a 3″ x 6″ sturdy clear snack bag. All the buttons, in their bags, go into a very large glass urn looking container. The container sits on a desk where I carefully tip it over to decant the contains. I may change later in the future but right now I’m happy with it. Thanks for letting me share.

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