Buttons are an extremely common item that we’ve all encountered. And if you’re like me when I started sewing, you probably have a basic understanding of how a button is attached to fabric but aren’t sure exactly how to sew on a button for yourself. It is a very handy skill to learn, however, and can open you up to a wide variety of crafts and projects to complete.
Here is a guide on how to sew on a button, and hopefully you find it helpful!
First, you’ll need a button, fabric, and corresponding thread. For this example I’m using a sharply contrasting thread, but typically you’ll want one that matches your fabric and/or button.
We’ll start on the underside of the fabric, the opposite side from where the button will be. Starting from this side, stitch a small “X” on the front of the fabric to mark where the button will be. Your loose end of thread will be on the underside, but this “X” will be on the outside. If your button slides around during stitching, use this “X” to keep it in the right spot.
Place your button right on top of this “X” then place a pin, needle, toothpick, or similarly-shaped object on top of the button. This will keep you from sewing the button too tightly, which will be important later. This object is called the spacer.
Next, starting from the underside of the fabric, push your needle up through one of the holes of the button and down through another hole across your spacer.
Repeat this for the second set of holes if you’re using a 4-hole button like I am.
Now repeat the process multiple times for each set of holes. You can get creative and criss-cross holes if you’d like, but for simplicity’s sake I’m just going straight across. Three times per set of holes (6 total) should be sufficient.
Finally, from the underside of the fabric, push the needle up through the fabric but not through a hole. The thread should come out from under the button.
Now remove your spacer and lift your button away from the fabric. Thanks to your spacer, there will be some slack.
Now circle your thread around the slack below the button to form the shank. The shank gives the button some height so that it can sit on top of the fabric when pushed through the buttonhole. The thicker your fabric, the more times you should wrap the thread. For most fabrics, 6 times is enough.
Now push your needle down through the fabric to tie off the thread. I do this by first pushing the needle through the stitches but don’t pull it all the way through to form a loop in the thread and use that to make the knot. Then take the loose end from the beginning of the process and tie a square knot.
Trim your ends and you’re done! Your button is ready for action.