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Topic: Tutorial: How to make fabric covered buttons  (Read 66678 times)
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« on: September 11, 2009 06:32:35 PM »

I wanted to show you all an awesome little tute to make fabric covered buttons. They're ridiculously fun to make and SOOOO easy!  You can use them on clothes, you can attach them to bracelets or bobby pins, the possibilities are endless!


Button blanks.  You can get these easily at most craft stores or online.

Assembly tool.  Many times when you buy the button blanks they also come with these little pieces. This is what you'll use to put the buttons together.

Scissors and fabric scraps. Make sure the fabric isn't too thick or else the button won't snap together!
(I'm using pinking shears because my scissors are out being sharpened.)


1. Cut your fabric scrap.  You'll want a circle that's about twice the diameter of your button blank.  You can buy a cutting tool or measure it out or just wing it like I did.  Lips sealed This is just placed this way to make sure it's a good size. We'll have to move it in a second!

2. Put your fabric piece in the larger assembly tool piece. Put the fabric RIGHT SIDE DOWN. When you look into the tool you want to see the back of the fabric.

3. Place the button front (the domed piece) on top of the fabric.  Leave the edges hanging out.

4. Squish your edges down into the tool.

5. Place the button back on top of your fabric and button front

6. Take the smaller piece of the assembly tool and with the open side down place it on the button back.

7. Press down. You may hear a pop when the last bit of the button back slips into place.  If you take the tool out and the button is not all the way secured, just put it back in and press down again.

8. When you take the small assembly tool piece off, your button should look like this.  The fabric edges are now secured underneath the button back.

9. Remove the button from the larger assembly tool piece.

10. Tada!

Those are lots of steps listed up there but really, they are very easy and go very, very quickly! You can easily cover a button in 30 seconds if you have all the supplies in front of you. Smiley

Besides regular buttons, you can use a fabric button base to make all kinds of awesome stuff! If you know you would rather make other things instead of buttons you can buy blank backs without the shank.  If you only have shanked backs, just follow the directions below.

You'll needle nose pliers and/or wire cutters. (Mine are actually wire strippers but there's a cutting section toward the middle there.)  Basically you're going to remove the metal shank.  I tried to find a simple way to do this so I could show you with pictures, but really, you'll just need to fiddle with it for a while.  If you have needle nose pliers, you can bend the the ends of the shank so they can slide back through the holes.  If you have wire cutters you can just cut the shank and take out the leftover ends.

The left is what you started with, the right is what you have now.

Now put the button together the same way you did before, only with the new shankless back.  Remember, for the back the edge of the metal points up toward you.

Once you're done you can use industrial glue or hot glue to attach any number of things!  I made:


I just glued a little metal fob I had onto the top of this one!

Hair clips

A ring

and a thumb tack!

Yeeea Transformers! Wink

But really the possibilities are endless!  Smiley
« Last Edit: March 24, 2011 08:27:31 AM by jungrrl - Reason: fixed pictures » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2009 07:03:50 PM »

I've never really wondered how buttons are made, but now I'm kinda glad I know. Those are really cool

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« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2009 07:09:04 PM »

WHERE did you find "all you need is love" fabric!!!! I must have!!!

Great tutorial, a much bigger help than the pictures on the back of the cardboard. Cheesy

Thanks for sharing. Cheesy

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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2009 08:33:12 PM »

You're welcome!

I got the Beatles fabric from Equilter.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2009 08:34:44 PM by jungrrl » THIS ROCKS   Logged

« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2009 08:38:16 PM »

I absolutely love those! I went to a small Japanese store around Pittsburgh a few years ago, and the woman was making some buttons, only she had a machine. But after looking into those and seeing that they are expensive! I just put that out of my mind. ANYWAYS, this just brightened my night. I am going to have to run out and make some buttons now. They all look great btw.

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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2009 03:48:19 AM »

Thanks so much for sharing this, I want to go an try making those buttons straight away. It's FANTASTIC Cheesy
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« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2009 10:36:11 AM »

I've never seen those tool things...with the covered buttons I've made you have to sew around the edge then gather it up.  It's a slow process, I need to find one of those tools!

And don't forget you can loop an elastic hairtie round them, and of course cut all the buttons off a boring cardi and put cool fabric ones on instead.

The website's up and running, and the shop will be ready soon ~ www.lilidesigns.co.uk ~ Unique Handmade Jewellery Designs
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« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2009 07:53:22 PM »

How crafty are you? Cutting off the shank & gluing those other things to the back is genius. Thanks for sharing.

« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2009 01:26:01 AM »

Hi, I thought I might show you what your tutorial inspired me to make:

a button bracelet!!!  Grin

I'm super proud of it
and It wouldn't of been possible without this tutorial so THANKYOU!!!! Cheesy
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« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2009 07:54:19 AM »

Yay!! That's *awesome*, Alana!!  Smiley Smiley

« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2009 10:41:18 AM »

i need to make these, you don't understand my desire! I have been wanting to make these for so long, but being a visual learner and the directions on the back lacking much of well anything. i didn't think i would ever be able to make these.

You have made it look so easy! i have some pink pleather begging to be made into buttons! I have a new craft project for the weekend!

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« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2009 09:05:25 AM »

Those are so awesome!
I especially love the transformer pushpin Smiley

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« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2009 09:40:04 PM »

I'm having too much fun making buttons now!

Question if anyone might know?  I made one button and didn't get enough fabric down in the button before snapping the back part onto the button.  What's the easiest way to get a button back off and try again? 

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« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2009 02:49:20 PM »

Thanks so much for the tutorial,
I had been wondering how to make these for a while Grin

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« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2009 03:38:47 PM »

Wow, thanks so much for the tutorial, going to have to run out and try and find the supplies tomorow. I made a waistcoat last week and was having trouble finding appropriate buttons but now I can just make fabric ones...and think of all the other awsome things. I've been in love with fabric covered button hair clips for a while but they're so enpensive to buy...but it easy to make! Thank you!
« Reply #15 on: January 10, 2010 08:46:42 AM »

Question where is the best place to buy supplies for the buttons and the little circle to make them. I have seen them at craft stores but didnt know if anyone seen them somewhere on line cheaper.
Thanks Jeni

« Last Edit: January 10, 2010 08:55:12 AM by jungrrl - Reason: edited to comply with Craftster guidelines » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2010 06:32:46 PM »

i'm totally going to put this tutorial to use! yes!

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« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2010 08:51:29 PM »

Thank you for this great tutorial!  I always walk passed the button making supplied and they yell my name out.  Guess I'll be stopping next time.

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