Articles, Blog

How to Cover Buttons

October 24, 2019

Welcome to Tuesday’s Tips from SewVeryEasy, my name is Laura. And let’s talk covered buttons. Covered buttons are a lot of fun to do and they are very easy to do. They’re called self-covered buttons if you go to buy them or they can be called upholstery buttons. They come in many different sizes from very small to very large. And the way they’re put together is all basically the same. What they’re designed for is so that you can customize your own buttons to match whatever you want it to match. You can use any fabric to cover them. When you get the package of buttons you will notice on the back there will be a circle drawn. That is the size of the fabric that you need to cut out. What’s really nice with covered buttons is that you’re able to use your own fabric and you’re able to use a placement. You could get a tiny little flower for a very tiny button, or you can do a very large floral right in the middle of the button. To do that, just take your template that you cut from the package and cut out the center. You don’t have to be too fussy about cutting the center out because you are going to use the outside line. This gives you a chance to figure out what you want in the center of your button. After that you’re able to place it down and cut out along the outside. So you have your fabric piece cut out. There’s a couple of things you need to consider. If it is a very lightweight fabric like a chiffon, you might need to double the fabric. Or, you can put a lightweight interfacing on it. Another fun thing that you can do with the very large buttons is put a little batting on them so the button is a little bit padded. You will cut the same size as your first circle. Then you’re going to want to temporarily stick it on the metal. I just use a little bit of a glue stick and then I press it on. It’s only going to hold it temporarily, just until I can cut around. I’m going to follow the shape of the button and take off this extra. So now the quilt batting is just on the top of the button. You don’t need the batting to come inside because you don’t need the extra inside. Now we need to put the fabric on top of the button. Make sure it is pressed and it has no wrinkles in it. The next thing is to slightly dampen it, because wet fabric will stretch a lot more than dry fabric. Then when it dries it’s going to shrink and it’s going to be nice and tight. You’re going to center the fabric over top of the button. You’ll notice along the back of the button there are these teeth. You just need to take your fabric, tug it a little bit, and you’re going to have it grip on the teeth. Start and do two opposite sides, and then the next two sides. From there, tuck in and continue all the way around, making sure all of the edges are nice and smooth and that there aren’t any wrinkles or folds. If there are, you can lift the fabric up off the teeth and reposition it. Tuck in all that fabric right underneath the teeth so that it gets a good grip. The next stage will be putting the back on. This is the point that you really make sure it’s exactly the way you want it, because once you put the back on it is permanent. On the back you’ll notice a ridge and that ridge along here is where the teeth are going to sit in so it is not going to come out. The ridge part needs to go down and the flatter part is going to come up. Match up the hole. Just push the button together. The back should be completely smooth and there should be no little opening. Once it’s in there, your button is done. It is the same method for a little small button all the way to a very large button. Now for the little buttons it might be a little hard for you to get your finger in there. You can tuck the fabric in with a pair of tweezers or you can push it in with a chopstick. Even a toothpick will work. You can cover these with fur, velvet, silk, satin—absolutely anything. You could even cover it with your own fabric that you’ve put through your printer. Imagine the possibilities. Thank you for joining me today on Tuesday’s Tips from SewVeryEasy. Feel free to subscribe and, as always, come on back. Let’s see what we’re sewing next time
in the sewing room. Bye for now!


  • Reply Ali Lee August 12, 2015 at 12:32 am

    Laura, that is a brilliant tutorial, I have always been a bit anxious about button covering but you make it look really easy, thanks so much :0)

  • Reply Herr Mondlicht August 12, 2015 at 1:36 am

    I always use covered buttons I love them.

  • Reply craftymom7 August 12, 2015 at 6:49 am

    Thanks so very much Laura.  I always wanted to learn how to cover buttons, but I figured it would be a pain in the butt! , lol. But Thank God for you , you make it look so easy!

  • Reply Someone Somewhere August 12, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    Thank you for another great lesson.

  • Reply Maria Goumas August 12, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    Oh I love buttons is my favorite 😍

  • Reply Susan Stavrakis August 13, 2015 at 11:42 pm

    Are these covered buttons washable on a garment ? Do they dry without leaving rust spots ?

  • Reply TarandonDesigns August 15, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    This is off topic but can you tell me if you prefer to use plastic or metal bobbins? Do you think it makes a difference one way or the other? I'm having some fabric jamming issues and wonder if the pack of plastic bobbins I bought and am using could be the culprit.

  • Reply Rebecca Mills August 19, 2015 at 12:14 am

    I have made several covered buttons to use on garments and pillows, BUT I've never dampened the fabric.  WOW – great idea.  Next time I will use this tip.  Love your tutorials.  Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply lady kenja December 17, 2017 at 3:34 am

    – Hi Laura, – Have you used a button machine to cover buttons?? If so, which brand did you have success with & do any of them make multi-sized buttons ?? I'm having no luck finding one on line.

  • Reply Nancy Darcy June 2, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    Hi Laura. Do you have a video of that pink quilt pattern behind you?

  • Reply SHARON GREENAWAY February 14, 2019 at 6:25 am

    I have found it difficult to make these with velvet, as the velvet is thick. Any tips appreciated, oh and I am making brooches not buttons, thanks

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