Framed Button and Pin Collection

My 30x30x3 journey isn’t finished quite yet, but my deadline is fast approaching, and I’ve been thinking a lot about the future of my blog.  The 30x30x3 Project was always meant to be a subset of my larger idea, a blog based on the principles of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, or the 3 R’s.  I’m going to start posting some additional projects now, as a gradual transition into the future life of my blog, and as with the 30x30x3 projects, I’ll keep track of my posts in the Main Project Log at the top of the page.

So without further ado, Project 1, framing my button and pin collection in two shadow boxes.  I’m pretty excited about how these turned out, and I think this project is a really fun start for the future of my blog!

Over the last 8 years or so, since college, I’ve collected pins and buttons.  I’ve always loved having a big messy cork board in my life, and sprinkled all over were my pins and buttons.  But I’ve always felt there could be a better place for my collection, and that’s when I spotted this project on Pinterest.  I loved the idea of framing my buttons in a big shadow box, and though I tend to shy away from anything heart shaped, I figured they would look equally good in a big circle.

I had actually picked up these two white shadow boxes at Ikea when I went last week, without even remembering that I had this project in mind.  I initially (naively) thought that all my pins would fit in one frame, but I actually like that I ended up with a matching set, and now I only have 3 or 4 pins that wouldn’t fit.  Overall the frames are approximately 10 inches across, the foam core insert was about 8.5 inches square.  I probably could have fit all the pins in one larger frame but this was the size of the Ikea frames, so this was the size I went with.

In terms of construction, I knew I wanted to use a piece of white foam core as the back, so I could just stick the pins in and didn’t have to glue them down.  So I cut a piece of foam core to the exact interior dimensions of my shadow box, and then I cut a slightly larger piece of thin scrap cardboard which would overlap the interior frame.  I then glued the foam core to the piece of cardboard, so the thin cardboard could keep the foam core at the back of the frame.  I drew a little diagram, to hopefully clarify things.

Then I just lightly sketched out a circle and started sticking in pins.  At first I was frustrated that the pins wouldn’t lie flat against the foam core, but then I decided that I actually liked the three dimensionality, it adds character.  I also found that since I didn’t use any glue, if the frames got jiggled (one fell over while I was taking photos) then the pins could fall out.

Personally I didn’t really think about any sort of theme as I placed the pins, I cared more about the size and color.  But if someone had a large collection of pins from a specific event or genre, say from Obama’s campaign like I do, you could make a thematic shadow box, featuring just those pins.  It would make a great keepsake!

I have to say, my pin collecting has been dwindling a bit as of late, but this has renewed my enthusiasm and I can’t wait to collet enough pins and buttons for a third shadow box!

What are you collecting?  Do you have a fun way of displaying your own stuff?  I’d love to see what you’ve done with a special collection, so hit up the comments section below.

Ciao, Allison

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3 Responses to Framed Button and Pin Collection

  1. Colleen says:

    I love this idea! We just found my husbands pin collection from the 80’s and have been keeping them in a box until we decided what to do with them. We were thinking of hanging on cloth but I love the clean decorative look of your boxes.

  2. Andrés says:

    Awesome….This is exactly what I was looking for for a future display of my button collection. This idea is great and they look so cool and stylish. Sometimes a display of your button collection may not look tidy, but this suggestion works so well! I imagine having three of these boxes above a bookshelf or something. White is a good color as it makes the buttons outstand. Besides, the way you put them ( I mean, not flat) gives the collection a dynamic look. Thank you for sharing this, greetings from Chile!

  3. meiler01 says:

    You went to Tufts! I recognize a lot of those pins :) Great idea, thanks!

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