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DIY Covered Buttons (No Kit Required)

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Click to Read MoreNothing says, "I'm a home decor professional" like a covered button. These personalized accents are easy to make, and take your creation to a new level. Make one using the same fabric as the rest of the project for a subtle effect, or choose a complementary color or pattern to make it pop. You can buy covered button making kits in the notions department, but sizes are limited. Making them yourself is more flexible and more fun.

Follow these steps to create your own covered buttons. The instructions are for making one button. Repeat for as many buttons as you'd like. Fair warning: covered buttons can be addicting because they look so dang cool. Once you start adding these pieces of "flair" to your pillows, it may be hard to stop. We're here to help if you need someone to talk you down.

Fabric and Other Supplies

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  • Small square of fabric (enough to cover your button)
  • A button with a shank (this is a button with a loop for attaching on the back, not a button with holes through the center)
  • Fabric marking pen
  • Hand sewing needle
  • Embroidery floss
  • Scissors
  • Ruler

Make the Buttons

  1. Place your fabric right side down on your working surface.
  2. Lay the button on top of the fabric, with the shank facing up.
  3. Measure the distance from the center of the shank to the edge of the button. Your math teacher would have called this half the diameter.
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  4. Using the measurement from Step #3, measure this distance from the edge of the button onto the surrounding fabric.
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  5. Mark this distance with your fabric marking pen. It's best if you mark the distance at various points around the circle, so you just have to connect the dots in the next step.
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  6. Connect the dots from Step #5 to complete a circle around your button. If you have a compass, that will help you make a smooth circle. 
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  7. Cut out the circle on the drawn line.
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  8. Using the hand sewing needle and embroidery floss, stitch a running stitch just inside the circle. (Keep this stitch loose, but consistent.) Do not tie a knot in the end of the floss at this time, and leave a fairly long tail.
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  9. Place the button in the center of the fabric.
  10. Pull on the floss so that the thread pulls the fabric tightly around the shank of the button. (Not so tight that you can't access the hole in the button, but tight enough so that the fabric is secure.)
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  11. Knot the embroidery floss to secure the fabric. Trim thread tails.
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  12. Done. 
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Comments (21)

Lyria said:
Lyria's picture

What a wonderful tip!!!!  I hate those button kits.

JayneB said:
JayneB's picture

 Thank you soooooo much for this it's bee uber helpful-and penny/pound saving...bonus!!!

JGB77 said:
JGB77's picture

Great Idea and I want to try it on my arm chair.

How do I fasten the button to the chair?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ JGB77 - That is an upholstery question and would be best answered by someone with that expertise. Depending on where the button is on the chair, it involves special curved needles and super tough thread. You might try a Google or Bing search on upholstery techniques for re-attaching buttons. 

akshaya george said:
akshaya george's picture

Thanks for this idea. I also want to share one DIY idea on glass jar chandelier . You can use small glass jars which is used in our households.

SomeBunnyWhoSews said:
SomeBunnyWhoSews's picture

Why did I never think of this???  Awesome!

Darley said:
Darley's picture

Just a thought, instead of embroidery floss why not use hot glue?

Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture

@ Darley - I have not tried hot glue for this technique. I often hesitate using it because it can tend to bleed through and leave a stain. But... perhaps you are much neater than I using these tools  I can be a bit of a klutz when it comes to hot liquids! The thread technique is quite fast and easy and neat, but certainly give glue a try. If you are good with a glue gun, it would be a fast solution. 

sangeetha sathish said:
sangeetha sathish's picture
very informative. nice to make our own cover buttons
sangeetha sathish said:
sangeetha sathish's picture
very informative..nice to make our own cover buttons...
laura M said:
laura M's picture
a great money saver for all of those ugly, odd shanks!
AngelicaSews said:
AngelicaSews's picture
Yeah, I know this is an old post, but I've got to say it: Great idea! Why didn't I think of this? Also, this is kind of like making a yo-yo, isn't it? Except with a button inside? Great article, as alsways.
Thank you, never knew. Sooo helpful. Blessings. Maryl said:
Thank you, never knew.   Sooo helpful.    Blessings.  Maryl's picture
Thank you. Just wonderful to share. Never knew. I always sew on the cheap.
Glad I didn't buy that kit since I am on a fixed income. Blessings, Marylynn
Vicki Bo said:
Vicki Bo's picture
Thank you sooooooo very much for sharing!!!!!!
Vicki Bo said:
Vicki Bo's picture
Thank you sooooooooo very much for sharing.
Lisa Zincone said:
Lisa Zincone's picture
Info grande, sto andando a fare questi pulsanti. Grazie
Marleen said:
Marleen's picture
I'm going to make this one, thank you for this great tutorial.
Now I finally know why I cut of the buttons of my old coat.
Greetings from the Netherlands
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home said:
Liz Johnson.Editor.Sew4Home's picture
Hi Jen -- so glad you found this tutorial helpful .. it's not too old smilies/wink.gif ... and -- oh-so-smart, your math teacher.
Jen said:
Jen's picture
I know this is an old article, but I am commenting on it anyways! smilies/tongue.gif

Thank you very much for this information, I always wondered how to make covered buttons with out the hassle of buying a kit (and learning to use it properly).

P.S: My teacher would have called it the radius. smilies/tongue.gif
GailB said:
GailB's picture
Good Info.....never thought to cover buttons like this!

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