When the kids needed something to do (translation: I needed to get something done), they enjoyed dumping them out and then sorting them again. However, every time I needed a button, I'd pour them out on a table and search. It wasn't very efficient. I spent way too much time looking for "just one more" of a particular button so I'd have enough for a particular garment.
I wanted a way to quickly see all the buttons I have and keep the matches together. As a former "hard core" couponer, I had used divided page protectors to sort and easily view hundreds of coupons conveniently. I decided to try something similar for the buttons. I made a book of buttons! I bought a pack of business card pages to put them in. Of course, the buttons would just fall right out of those pockets when I turned the page. Fail. Not giving up, I picked up some little zip close bags from the jewelry section of the craft store. I put the buttons for each pocket inside a little bag and slid that into a pocket. No more slipping buttons. Yay!
I didn't like that I could see through to the buttons on the next page, so I cut business card size rectangles and slid them in behind the bags of buttons. The cards turned out to be a great help in getting the buttons in and out of the pockets as well. I just slide the card out and along comes the bag of buttons. Slide it back in and the bag slides back in easily. Like a mini button drawer. I also added dividers labeled with colors for different sections of my book.
My first binder was a decoupaged recipe binder that was no longer in use. I was sad to discover that it was too small! Button pages are VERY thick. I recently moved into a larger binder that I found lying around in the basement (why was there a 5" binder lying around in the basement?). It is the type that has a clear layer of plastic to hold a cover sheet. I just trimmed some scrapbook paper to fit and slipped it in to make it pretty.
All of this may sound too complicated or like too much work, but it really didn't take much time and it is SO worth it every time I need a button.
Do you have some organization tips to help us straighten up the sewing room?