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Button collectors offer program to encourage young collectors

Anyone who’s ever had any type of buttons – perhaps from a piece of clothing, your Grandmother’s button box or something you’ve found at a sale or antique shop or even a family heirloom – knows how special they can be.

Today on Indy Style, we learn about the Indiana Button Society Show and Competition and how it aims to get the youngest generations inspired to love buttons, too!

• Tip – If you find a button in a tin or metal container, be sure to take it out and put it in a plastic sleeve or a glass jar to preserve it.

• Everyone is welcome and encouraged to visit the show this weekend. Admission is just $5 and there is a free children’s program from 9 a.m. until Noon Saturday. Adults and children participating in the children’s program are free and there is no registration required.

• Something for everyone – studio buttons in every sort of material and variety, as well as political and historical buttons and more!

76TH ANNUAL INDIANA BUTTON SHOW & COMPETITION SET FOR MARCH 9-11Event Expected to Attract Hundreds of Button Collectors, Crafters & Curious, 18 Vendors from Midwest & East

Collectible buttons of every variety will be on display and available for purchase at the 76th annual Indiana Button Society Show and Competition on Thursday, March 9th, Friday, March 10th and Saturday, March 11th at the Wyndham Hotel Indianapolis Airport, located at 2544 Executive Drive, Indianapolis 46241.

Admission is just $5 per person.

Featuring vendors from the Midwest and East, the two-day event is expected to attract hundreds of button enthusiasts from throughout Indiana, Illinois and parts of Ohio and it will take place at the Wyndham Hotel on March 9th from 4 until 6 p.m., March 10th from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. (including a free children’s program with adults) and on March 11th from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

New this year is a free Children’s program on Saturday, March 10th to introduce the art of collecting to the next generation.

Hotel reservations can be made by calling (877) 361-4511. You can visit the Indiana Button Society website at

Buttons have long served as a symbol of cultural and societal trends, as well as art styles, political persuasions and historical events. Collectible buttons hold a special significance to people whose collections are as fascinating, as they are unique for what they represent. And, that goes for everything from the materials that are used to make the button to its ‘place’ in history.

According to Sharon Lunseth, a longtime button collector from Indianapolis, the importance that a button holds for someone varies.

“At first glance, you might look at a button from the 18th century and consider it to be valuable simply because of when it was produced,” said Lunseth. “Yet again,

it could be ‘special’ because it’s a simple, white mother-of-pearl button that was worn on your great grandmother’s wedding dress more than 150 years ago.

She continued, “That’s one of the reasons that this show is an especially good one to attend…besides many vintage collectible buttons, there are artists selling their own Studio buttons made from materials ranging from metals and ceramic to tagua nut and blown glass. Many people who work with these mediums may discover a new outlet or use by creating buttons for not only collectors, but textile and jewelry artists, too.

First organized in September, 1940, the Indiana Button Society is structured around the study and dissemination of information about these fascinating and never ending items.

Lunseth said buttons – as a collectable item – are available in wide varieties and, by and large, remain affordable. The basis of a collection can be started and developed on any budget. For example, individual prices at the show will range from twenty-five cents to several hundred dollars, depending on its age, quality of workmanship and scarcity. During the recent recession, values have remained relatively firm, especially in the upper end of the market.

She adds that there is always plenty of room for everyone at the button collecting table, with the so-called ‘veterans’ welcoming people, who are new to it all, with pleasure.

More information about what all is involved with button collecting also can be found on the National Button Society website at

To learn more, Society