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March13–20

National Button Week – March 13-20, 2023

National Button Week is celebrated during the third week of March in honor of buttons and their unique place in our history. This year, it takes place from March 13 to 20. From holding the ends of our clothes together and bringing a tinge of color to our outfits, to being great for arts and crafts, buttons fill our world with beauty, and we are so thankful for them. The week was conceived by the National Button Society to promote, preserve, and honor the rich history of buttons. Week-long exhibits are organized by button enthusiasts, and the unique forms of buttons are explored across the nation.

History of National Button Week

Throughout our history, buttons have captured the art, politics, culture, and fashion of a period in small emblems. Collecting buttons is a noted hobby that thousands of people take pride in, and to preserve and honor the buttons as an expression of art, the National Button Society was formed in 1938. The society brings button enthusiasts together from far and wide, to celebrate the joy they share through buttons.

In 1989, the National Button Society dedicated an entire week to the celebration of buttons. Since then, the love for buttons is reignited every year, in the form of exhibits, presentations, and sharing. Historians, enthusiasts, and culture pioneers are invited on panels to share the significance of buttons to each period in history. Buttons are art in miniature as they encapsulate many meaningful things in their tiny templates because they have been a part of our wardrobe for thousands of years. Archaeologists have found buttons adorned on people of great significance.

From appreciation to discomfort, people have a lot of opinions about buttons. Did you know that Steve Job’s innate phobia of buttons led him to invent touch screen phones? It is also the only reason why he chose to wear turtlenecks every day, as he couldn’t bear to button his shirts. Today, buttons are largely viewed as items of utility and not a piece of art that signifies something larger than themselves. Their diminishing significance is viewed as a threat to its 5000-year-old history, and so, many fashion houses incorporate buttons into their high-end pieces.

National Button Week timeline

2000 B.C.
Indus Valley’s Invention

The first button ever discovered, made of a curved shell, is found during an Indus Valley excavation.

1789
George Washington’s Inaugural Button

Washington wears a classic metal button engraved with his initials to his presidential inauguration, popularizing the use of buttons in politics.

1938
The National Button Society is Formed

The National Button Society is formed to recognize button collection as an organized hobby.

1989
The Week is Declared

The National Button Society declares the third week of March as National Button Week.

National Button Week FAQs

Where can I find vintage buttons?

Online shops such as Etsy and AliExpress are the best places to find vintage buttons. You may also take a stroll to your local antique shops to search for old collectibles.

What is the fear of buttons called?

Koumpounophobia, the fear of buttons, is a fairly common phenomenon with more than 70,000 average diagnoses a year. This phobia may be for the texture of the button, the action of pushing it into a slit, the sight of the buttonholes, or any other feature.

What does the idiom “cute as a button” mean?

“Cute as a button” is a popular idiom that is used to describe something that is small and adorable. ‘Button’ is also used as a term of endearment.

National Button Week Activities

  1. Showcase your personal hobby

    If you are a custodian of vintage items such as buttons, stamps, and other valuables, the third week of March is an opportunity for you to showcase your treasures to the world. This is because National Button Week celebrates obscure items and interests as a whole.

  2. Read about the history

    Buttons have been a staple in many cultures, right from the Indus Valley Civilization, to the very first American presidential inauguration. The enduring charm of these beautiful articles should be cherished forever.

  3. Go thrift shopping

    Since we are talking about vintage buttons and celebrating times past, it’s the perfect opportunity to hit your local thrift stores and discover dresses or tops with vintage buttons. Go crazy for the day, but don’t forget to stick with the theme of buttons.

5 Quirky Ways To Put Your Button Collection To Use

  1. Make a Bracelet

    Button bracelets are easy to make and fun to play with or gift to a friend.

  2. Do up your night lamp

    Escape the mundanity of regular lamps by giving them a makeover with buttons and hot glue.

  3. Hang them up

    String a couple hundred of your favorite buttons together for a nice wall hanging.

  4. Moving calendar

    Decorate the frame of your calendar or use your buttons as a cursor for each day.

  5. The perfect fridge magnets

    Stick a tiny magnet on one side of your button to adorn the fridge with quirky and colorful decor.

Why We Love National Button Week

  1. It represents the lavishes of the past

    Buttons once represented class and status. A classy button completed the outfit and was exclusive to select people. Today, we have a chance to ditch the elitism and rock as many buttons as we please.

  2. There’s a kind for every taste

    Buttons come in all shapes, designs, materials, and colors. The diversity of buttons allows everyone to find a favorite.

  3. It promotes the hobby

    Button collection is a wonderful hobby that can be passed down to your children. The National Button Society was formed to recognize this, and National Button Week is a chance for us to showcase it.

National Button Week dates

YearDateDay
2022March 14Monday
2023March 13Monday
2024March 11Monday
2025March 10Monday
2026March 16Monday

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