How to Make Fabric Covered Buttons

How to make your own perfectly co-ordinated fabric covered buttons. Never search in vain for the perfect button again.Do you ever have one of those Ah Ha moments?  After sewing around 2 1/2 years now, and forever lamenting at my local sewing shop about the terrible lack of nice colorful buttons, I was standing near the till waiting for pay when I spotted just what I needed!

Ta dah – make your own fabric covered buttons.  At last!  I was working on a couple of wallets that needed a matching button and my eureka moment hit.  I felt such a dunce for not thinking of it before.  But would they be any good?  Time to give it a try.

How to make  fabric covered buttons

 

How to make fabric covered buttons.Here is the pack I bought.  There are 4 buttons in the pack 7/8th of an inch across, plus ‘tools'.  You can get these in all sorts of sizes of button and pack sizes, as well as refill packs that don't contain the tools – here are a selection.  You can also get really big refill packs on Amazon for a very cheap price so if you want to make lots of buttons, for perhaps a home decor project, this is the way to go.  (Alternative links for UK readers.)

On the back of the pack is a template to cut out and use to cut the fabric.  Doesn't have to be exact, a rough circle is all that is needed and the template guides you to cut the right size for the button.

How to make fabric covered buttons.

How to make fabric covered buttons.

There are instructions on the back of the packet, but even without them, it wouldn't be hard to figure out.  The fabric goes on the little rubber mold first, with the right side facing down.

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Then place the button front on top and take a few seconds to center it as best you can if you have a small design you want to try to center on the button.

Push the button top down inside the mold and the fabric naturally pulls tight and gathers around the back of the button.

How to make fabric covered buttons.

Make sure the gathers are all pressed in towards the center and then place the button back on the top.

How to make fabric covered buttons.

Use the little ‘pusher' to snap the back of the button down into place and the button is complete.

How to make fabric covered buttons.

How to make fabric covered buttons.I couldn't resist making a few more!

Now I know how useful these are, and I can get a button in any design, color, style, fabric, and size I need, I'll be ordering a batch to keep so my projects will all be fully co-ordinated in future.

How to make fabric covered buttons.

Certainly makes me realize sometimes just how little I have still scratched the surface when it comes to sewing and the tools that are available.  I'll probably feature a few more simple tooltips again in future.

 

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16 Responses to How to Make Fabric Covered Buttons

  1. JAMES says:

    SO AMAZING, THANKS SO MUCH FOR SHARING THIS WONDERFUL IDEA , EVEN THOUGH I AM QUITE FAMILIAR WITH MAKING COVERED BUTTONS I STILL FIND YOUR EXPLANATION VERY EXCITING..

  2. Emilia says:

    I think fabric covered buttons are great for ladies clothes, but not so much for little boy clothes. I used covered buttons in several button up shirts for my son when he was in kindergarten and several had buttons fail/ fall apart.

  3. Angela says:

    Vlierbloesem, Thank you for the great information.

    Deby, it looks so easy with your step by step instructions.

  4. Kathie says:

    This is so cool!! I love when I see something through different eyes. I’ve seen the button making kits, but never had an interest since the buttons I’ve seen have not been to my taste. Your buttons have made me see how cute they can be. I’m going to keep this in mind for future button needs. Thank you!!!

  5. Kat P says:

    You mentioned to be careful if you’re trying to center a motif. I wonder if you could use a tiny dab of fabric glue to hold the fabric on the button before putting it into the tool? That would hold it in place.

  6. pat says:

    This is also a great way to make matching earrings for an outfit.

  7. Peg says:

    I have used these many times. I was told that if circle of fabric was moist it gathers better and that worked. Of course test fabric first.
    Never had any issues. If it is not washable fabric, I remove buttons first, then resew

  8. Deborah D Andrews says:

    I love making covered buttons! It started several years ago when I found some at a yard sale in a box of old sewing notions. Then I realized I can also make them from just about anything. So I’v made them from oven baked clay, drift wood, shells, etc… It is so fun to get creative with these little things. Thanks for the tutorial. Very inspiring.

  9. Vlierbloesem says:

    Over the years I have done many fabric buttons. Sometimes it is the best solution. But the ones I first bought became rusty. Not a pleasant discovery, after washing my carefully sewn clothes. So when I have some buttons to make, I put one in water for some time, to see if it becomes rusty of discolored.

  10. Yup I remember these from YEARS ago. I sewed in high school (in the 60’s) and used to make those fabric covered buttons to match my outfits! Every now and then, I think to myself… hum.m.m.m. I need to get some of those kits to make me some fabric covered buttons… to match my scrapbooking pages, etc. … or to match your cute totes, etc. This is a great reminder for me.

  11. Aracellis Lopez says:

    Hello Deby.
    I really enjoyed reading this post. I always wanted to know how to do them.
    Sew easy thanks. 🙂 I do like those Singleton buttons too, although very involved (thanks Theresa). I really enjoy and love your blog Deby. Thanks

    Blessings,
    Aracellis

  12. Billye Douglas Watson says:

    Be sure to place another small circle of fabric under the decorated fabric to keep the shiny silver from showing through (thin or loosely woven fabrics).

  13. Theresa Diaz Gray says:

    Nicely done, self covered buttons are so classy. I’ve been sewing for decades and I’m constantly learning something new, there are so many new products out there that sometimes the old stuff is just waiting to be rediscovered.

    One of the coolest things about living in Merida is that I can go to the mercería (store that sells threads, zippers, buttons etc but not fabric) or the fabric store and they have a special machine that makes perfect fabric covered buttons very inexpensively. Though I have to admit that kit is very easy to use once you do it a couple of times.

    I’ve also done fabric covered buttons using plain buttons with shanks. You cut out a circle of fabric and make a sort of shower cap for the button.

    Have you ever seen the buttons using the small plastic rings? There are two types, the ones made with thread called Dorset buttons and the fabric ones called Singleton buttons. I think you will like adding those to your button repertoire.

    regards,
    Theresa

    ps here are the links
    Dorset buttons-
    http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/32711/get-creative-with-heirloom-buttons/page/all

    Singleton buttons-
    http://www.craftstylish.com/item/42746/how-to-make-singleton-buttons/page/all

    • Oh wow, those are amazing. I especially like the Singleton buttons, but not sure my hand sewing skills are up to making something so small that needs such neat stitching. Those handmade styles would be just gorgeous on vintage and reproduction style clothing. Thanks so much for sharing Theresa.

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