DIY Projects

21 Frugal Uses for Grandma’s Button Box

Need some thrifty ideas to use up all those buttons you`ve been saving? This list is full of DIY button crafts that wow and inspire. You`ll find all sorts of fun ways to jazz up plain clothes, repurpose old frames, create colorful jewelry, and more!

Grandma’s button box was always a treasure to play with and explore. I loved the feeling of cool shiny objects sliding through my fingers, and would spend hours matching colors before it was time to put them all back inside again.

Now that I have my own growing collection, I’m constantly on the lookout for projects that use them in brand new ways. Because even though they come in super handy when it’s time fix a pair of Joseph’s jeans {seriously, why do buttons fall off so easily!?}, I love the idea of adding them to cards, jazzing up old frames, creating art, and more.

I thought I would share my absolute favorite projects from the interwebs in hopes that it would inspire a few button DIY’s for yourself….the only problem is, I have no idea which one to try first!

1. Make a Set of Magnets

Bring a cohesive look to your fridge with fabric-covered magnets that go from vintage to modern within minutes. Make one set for yourself, then give the rest as a frugal housewarming gift!

Button Magnets | Frugal Uses for Buttons via Urban Comfort

2. Embellish a Napkin

Turn ordinary napkins into pretty statement pieces with these charming Fruit Button Embroidery Napkins. What a fun way to celebrate Summer!

Embellished Napkins | Frugal Uses for Buttons via Martha Stewart

3. Upcycle a Pretty Frame

Buy a cheap frame from the dollar store, then glam it up with buttons of all shapes and sizes. I love the seaside look to this wooden ombre frame!

Ombre Button Frame | Frugal Uses for Buttons

via Punk Projects

4. Make a Set of Pushpins

DIY Button Thumbtacks add a cute and crafty touch to your home office. Who says accessories have to be boring when you work from home?

Button Thumbtacks | Frugal Uses for Buttons

via Inspired by Charm 

5. Fill a Vase

Flower gems from the craft store can be expensive, so I love the idea of filling a vase with buttons instead! Apothecary jars would look really cute too.

Button Filled Vase | Frugal Uses for Buttonsvia Martha Stewart 

6. Make a Bookmark

It’s no secret I’m a book loving junkie, and these adorable button bookmarks would look absolutely gorgeous peeking out of my pages!

Button Bookmarks | Frugal Uses for Buttons

via I Heart Naptime

7. Craft a Pretty Card

This colorful card is going on my card crafting wish list — now I just need to plan a day to make it! For one with more of a Christmas touch, you must see this stunning tree.

Rainbows & Sunshine Card | Frugal Uses for Buttonsvia Day Designs

8. Embellish a Tote Bag or Purse

Give your purse a new look with a set of matching buttons. These clutches are so unique and make a fun statement piece for any outfit!

Button Bag | Frugal Uses for Buttons

via Constanca Cabral 

9. Create Framable Artwork

Grab a set of coordinating button colors, and create your very own wall art. I think this beauty deserves a prominent place in my craft room stat.

Button Artwork | Frugal Uses for Buttons

via Torie Jayne 

10. Make Your Own Gift Tags

Homemade gift tags become even more precious with bright red holly buttons and green felt leaves. Pretty packaging is definitely my weakness!

DIY Button Gift Tag | Frugal Uses for Buttons

via One Dog Woof 

11. Give Your Flip Flops a Makeover

Make over an old pair of flip flops (or grab a set on clearance) for funky footwear that is perfect for Summer. I would totally wear these, you?

Button Flip Flops | Frugal Uses for Buttons

via Scrapbook and Cards Today Mag

12. Create a Set of New Hair Pins

I know I have a ton of bobby pins lying around, and they would be so cute with a few buttons added to the ends. This tutorial looks super easy.

Button Hair Pins | Frugal Uses for Buttons

via Craft & Creativity 

13. Jazz Up a Plain Tee

Give a plain white tee a mini makeover with colorful buttons your little girl will love to wear. These newborn onesies are pretty adorable too.

Button Tee | Frugal Uses for Old Buttons

via iCandy Handmade

14. Decorate a Jewelry Box

A plain wooden box from the craft store can be turned into a stunning jewelry box. Hmmm… thinks this would make a pretty good Mother’s Day gift.

Button Jewelry Box | Frugal Uses for Buttons

via All About You

15. Sew Napkin Rings

These shabby chic napkin rings bring a hint of vintage to any bridal shower, baby shower, or girls lunch in. The heart button is my favorite!

Button Napkin Rings | Frugal Uses for Buttons

via Boho Weddings 

16. Make Your Own Coasters

All you need is a circle mold and clear resin to make these cuties. Use them as coasters OR paperweights!

Button Coaster | Frugal Uses for Buttons

via Little Boo Blue 

17. Add Pizzazz to a Pillow

I love anything monogrammed, and this decorative pillow takes the cake. Wouldn’t this look pretty in a nursery?

Button Pillow Monogram DIY | Frugal Uses for Buttons

via Dreaming of the Country

18. Create a Button Ring

I don’t know a little girl that doesn’t love play jewelry, and these button rings are perfect for mini fingers. Mix and match buttons for different looks!

Button Ring | Frugal Uses for Buttons

via Craft and Creativity 

19. Craft a Christmas Ornament

It’s not even Christmas yet and I’m dying to make these festive button ornaments. They would look darling on our little tree!

DIY Christmas Button Wreath | Frugal Uses for Buttons

via Hopeful Honey 

20. Make a Pretty Pair of Earrings

A set of button earrings to match every outfit is a definite necessity. The possibilities and color options are endless!

DIY Button Earrings | Frugal Uses for Buttons

via Lines Across 

21. Add a Pop of Color to a Headband

Make over plain elastic headbands with colorful buttons for your daughters and their friends. You can also add buttons to these DIY Flower Hair Bows for a different look.

Button Headband | Frugal Uses for Buttonsvia Sugar Bee Crafts

Need even more uses for old buttons?

Visit my post on Organizing Junkie, How to Organize Your Button Collection. A must-read to keep these little baubles contained, organized, and put away!

Have you ever crafted with buttons before?

Was this post helpful? Please consider sharing the love!


  1. What wonderful, creative ideas!! I am going to keep my eyes out now for an inexpensive box of mixed buttons! Thanks for all the inspiration…

    1. You’re welcome! I’ve wanted to grab a few more from garage sales and flea markets myself. It’s always nice to have a variety for these types of projects!

      1. Hi. I have a lot of antique,vintage buttons. Would you be interested? I am selling mine.

  2. Oh, what I wouldn’t do for my grandmother’s button box! I loved playing in it when I was a kid, but it is long gone. I forgot all about it and she down-sized and left their farm house years ago. This is a great list and it makes me want to start my own button box.

  3. I LOVED playing in my grandmother’s button box! She had all kinds of old buttons that belonged to my great-grandmothers too. Recently, I had her make me a necklace by sewing a bunch of silver buttons on a piece of felt and attaching a chain. I’ll have to beg her to let me have some more buttons for some of these projects!

    1. Hi I have a large sewing button collection, would you be interested? I am selling mine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.