Stories and designs from bottom of old button tin

Simon Hart's Christmast tree of buttons and, below, the necklace he made from the same materials
Simon Hart's Christmast tree of buttons and, below, the necklace he made from the same materials
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Remember when most households had a button tin? The days when buttons were kept from spent clothing for future use.

They often fascinated children and have since become a way to evoke memories of past happiness and design.

Simon Hart's button necklace PPP-141124-142758001

Simon Hart's button necklace PPP-141124-142758001

Regular contributor Simon Hart’s friend Cath Atanasio gave him the combined contents of her mother’s and grandmother’s button tins.

This gift, he says, made him think about everyday life in Portsmouth over several generations.

He says: ‘The family were centred around the Bristol Road area of Southsea so the garments the buttons were from would have been bought and worn in the streets and buildings of Portsmouth.’

During the Second World War home-made gifts were the order of the day because of rationing.

One favourite idea suggested by magazines as a Christmas gift was a button necklace.

Simon, of St Anne’s Grove, Fareham, has made the one pictured here.

He adds: ‘However, I decided on a more modern button picture canvas which I have executed in the form of a Christmas tree as a seasonal gift for Cath.

‘Should readers wish to replicate this idea, I recommend the buttons are washed as they can become dusty at the bottom of the tin.’