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Make fabric covered buttons & cloth buttons (6 ways)

Learn How to make fabric covered buttons and cloth buttons with this simple tutorial : 5 easy ways to make these buttons without any kits
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How to make fabric covered buttons & cloth buttons

Some important things to consider when making fabric buttons

  • If you use fabric other than the one in your dress, ensure it is washable. If it is not, you are in big trouble. At least match it to the washing instruction of your garment.
  • Dampen the fabric to cover the button before covering it. This will make the fabric slightly more flexible and better adapt to the button’s shape.

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Different types of cloth buttons

Polystyrene ball buttons

If you want to make very small buttons, as in the picture below, you can make them easily by wrapping little polystyrene balls ( the kind you get to fill bean bags) with small pieces of fabric.

Simply tie them with a matching thread, and you have small buttons. Stitch them to the edge of the fabric with a facing.

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Fabric-covered buttons with rings 

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You can make them with buttons or anything flat, like round thick cardboard pieces, coins, or rings (plastic or thin metal) in the size you want. If the fabric is too thin, consider lining it or use double layers.

If you are using buttons, segregate your button stash. Choose the ones you dislike. Get the fabric with which you mean to cover the buttons. You can choose the fabric you have made for the top or dress or select an embroidered fabric. (You can try Letter Embroidery Styles and center them).

Cut the fabric with overhang enough to cover the back of the button and plus 1/6 inch to fold in.

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Fold in the edges some 1/6 inch to the inside. Fingerpress.

With a hand-sewing needle with a double strand of a strong thread, make basting stitches / running stitches all around the fold. Do not cut the thread. Leave it hanging.

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Keep the button or ring centered on the fabric.

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Pull the thread until the circle is closed.

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Tighten the thread and stitch the opening closed

If you are using rings, you will need to stitch the front of this button along the inside of the edge. You can use a contrasting thread to make these stitches or embellish them with beads or sequins.

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How to attach the covered buttons

There are two options for attaching the buttons. The first option is to attach them directly to the edge of the fabric. This is fine as long as the button is very small. The second option is to make a thread shank on the back.

You will have to make a shank on the back of these buttons to attach them to your clothes. A thread shank is made on the back of the button for this. You will have to make a thread shank which looks like the thread bar we make to attach hooks on the clothes behind the buttons.

Checkout the tutorial to make thread bar here.

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To make the buttons look good on the back as well you can cover the back with a piece of felt and attach the felt with ship stitches to the back of the buttons before making the thread bar.

  • Cut a piece of felt smaller than the back. 
  • Attach it to the back using whip stitches.
  • Make two loops of thread in the center of the felt or the button if you are not attaching felt. 
  • Make buttonhole stitches around the thread loops fully covering it up.
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Make a flat cloth button

You should use wool felt / fleece to make these buttons and a very strong thread, preferably a buttonhole thread, to sew it up. Use a 3-inch diameter circle of the fabric. Cut another circle 1.5 diameters and place it in the center.

Make the gathering stitches around the perimeter. Gather. Do not pull too tightly. You will get a flattened front. To maintain the shape, you will have to make a line of stitching inside the edge. Do not pull too tight. You will just get an indentation which will maintain the flat shape.

Another option is to use fabric loops / thin fabric tubes to make the buttons like the picture below. The fabric loop is flattened by beating it with a rubber mallet to look like buttons. It is a decorative cloth button more than a functional one.

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To attach a cloth button. 

These buttons are usually attached to the edges of the garment. Here also, you will need to make a shank. Attach the button to the garment edge with several long stitches

Now wrap the thread around the long thread, which is below the button. Stitch through the button also once or twice to anchor the shank. Make several back stitches and hide the ends in the fold.

Make a macrame knot button

Check out the tutorial to make turk’s head knot which can be used as a button. These can be made using cord or thin fabric tubes.

Check out the different types of cords you can use to make these buttons.; and also how to make cord – 7 methods. ; How to make beaded cord.

Make a thread-wrapped bead button

Any medium-sized bead can be made into a button by threading a yarn through the hole. Either knot the end or thread through the hole and then hold the tails together and tie them at one end.

Repeatedly pass a colored thread through the holes and wrap over the beads in a pattern to make beautiful buttons. ;

Fabric button covering kits

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These are convenient kits with buttons, mold, and a pusher. These kits are very easy to use. Most of the kits come with very clear instructions. The impressive-looking buttons made with the help of these kits are washable.

The buttons look very professional without any of the home made look you may get if you are making the buttons yourself. Checkout this

You can make beaded buttons as alternatives to these buttons covered with fabric – checkout this post on making bead-covered buttons.

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Related posts: 10 different types of Buttons ; How to Sew a button

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Author: Sarina Tariq
Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.
1 thought on “Make fabric covered buttons & cloth buttons (6 ways)”
  1. Monica Adobea
    Please i want you to help me how to sew a dress Reply
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