Sunday, June 3, 2012

My "New" Button Organizer

I know I said I wasn't going to be getting to many treasure-transforming projects these days but here is an exception, only because it is helping me to clean out and organize. (How's that for some justification?) For the past several months, I've been delving into a button bracelet making hobby. I've only made a few. But I'd like to make lots more. I'll share more on those bracelets in a future post. For today, I'm talking button organization, using an old metal hardware organizer I scooped up out of the garage of an amazing estate sale a couple months ago.

It was a few bucks. And very blue. And dingy. And full of old hardware - most of which I passed along to a handyman friend, some of which I moved to my own toolbox.

I bought this with the intention of cleaning it up and making it into a button storage case. So I finally got around to it this week. First I took out all the drawers and dividers to wash.  It was my M-I-L who suggested I could just throw them into the dishwasher. That was too easy.

For the outside, I just washed it up with a damp rag. Then I spray painted it white because that's what color I happen to have on hand.  To keep the handle black, I just wrapped it up in masking tape before painting.

Then came the job of sorting buttons.  Most of my buttons were already generally sorted when I got this but they were in random plastic containers and ziplock bags. I had one big tub of buttons that I'd gotten from Christine's Buttons & Bracelets at Bernat Mill before she expanded and renamed her shop, Found Things. I'd already sorted out the best buttons and put my kids on the task of sorting out the rest. Sorting is a very important developmental skill you know. :)

That job was interesting to them for about 10 minutes, after which they began fighting over who was in charge of which color drawer and which pile was theirs, and then they started setting aside which buttons they wanted for their own bracelets. Aye. I have to hand it to them, they are great picker-uppers though.

With 36 drawers, I had the luxury of sorting my buttons into additional categories other than just color. Again, my daughters insisted on helping. Again, they spent more time setting aside the buttons they wanted to keep to make their own bracelets with.

Eventually I had to shoo them off so I could actually finish. Or at least finish that phase of sorting. The organizer came with a bunch of dividers that can slide into rivets in each drawer. So I could create up to 8 compartments within a drawer if I wanted to sub-sort. Which I may eventually. My inner organizing perfectionist loves that. For another day.

For now, I have most of the buttons sorted by color. For the colors I have the most of, like black, brown and white, they are also sorted by size and/or type. And I have several drawers still empty. Which got it -  room to continue collecting buttons. :)

There are even drawers for the thread, needles, and elastic banding I use to make the bracelets.

Now I'm still undecided about labels. Anything that is well organized should have labels, right?. Lucky Good for me, this container actually came with mini labels in one of the drawers.

But I'm not sure I want to cover up half the drawer face with a label. I like seeing the colors. And my hubby had a good point - what if I want to change up what I put in each drawer - then it could be a pain to peel off the labels.

So, ta-da! My handy-dandy, clean and functional, button bracelet-making organizer. A portable hobby is a wonderful thing.

As I promised, I will share a post about the bracelets these buttons are transformed into before too long. I only started drafting that post....oh....maybe 6 months ago?

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