I went to one of my favorite button supply places over the weeked and look at what I found!
These will grace some of the gifts I'm making for the holidays this year. I think they're really cool as buttons go.
Curious as to what my source is? Goodwill. I buy items that have cool/funky buttons that I can use. I bring them home, remove the buttons, replace the buttons with standard issue stuff from my button container and donate the items back to Goodwill. (Sometimes I use the items as well, or repurpose them.)
I think my fascination with buttons started as a child. Whenever we would go visit my mother's aunt in Sioux Falls, Aunt Sadie would bring out her big jars full of buttons. I would sit on her floor and string buttons for hours!
Another relative taught me how to string a large, 2-holed button on a length of string just so in order to make a toy which we would wind up and let it "whir" for as long as we could keep it going.
And a girl from the neighborhood where I grew up would bring a button and thimble with her whenever she came to babysit us. We would play "Button, Button, Who's Got the Button?" and Hide the Thimble for the entire evening.
If you've priced buttons, you know they're not cheap--especially the more decorative sorts. I've found some nice decorative buttons (useful only for crafting) at some dollar stores on occasion. But I really like scouring the racks at thrift shops! (I saw a vest this weekend that was decorated with colored, wooden buttons! One $2 purchase would have brought you well over a dozen!)