Instructables

How to sew on a button!

Featured
Picture of How to sew on a button!
IMG_3545.JPG
IMG_3506.JPG
Sewing on a button is very simple once you know how to do it! I'll teach you how to sew on both shank and flat buttons so you're covered anytime one falls off. :)
 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Types of buttons.

Picture of Types of buttons.
IMG_3487.JPG
IMG_3488.JPG
Flat buttons are the most common kind - they're what you'll find on dress shirts and most clothing. They have two or four holes, depending on the style.

Shank buttons have no holes on top, but they have a small protrusion on the back that is hollow at the end. They're more often found on dresses and coats.

Step 2: Things you need to sew on a shank button:

Picture of Things you need to sew on a shank button:
  • needle
  • 8 inches of doubled over thread - knot the ends a few times!
  • shank button
  • pen/pencil to mark your sewing spot

Step 3: Sewing on a shank button, part one.

Picture of Sewing on a shank button, part one.
IMG_3491.JPG
IMG_3493.JPG
  • bring your needle and thread up through the fabric on the spot you marked
  • pass them through the hole in the shank
  • bring them down through the fabric in the same spot

Step 4: Sewing on a shank button, part two.

Picture of Sewing on a shank button, part two.
IMG_3498.JPG
  • pull the thread tight so the bottom of the shank sits against the fabric
  • continue passing the needle and thread through the fabric and shank, at least 8-10 times.
  • bring the needle to the back side of the fabric on the last pass.

Step 5: Sewing on a shank button, part three.

Picture of Sewing on a shank button, part three.
IMG_3499.JPG
IMG_3500.JPG
IMG_3502.JPG
IMG_3503.JPG
  • on the wrong side of the fabric, knot the thread several times, anchoring the knots with small stitches. 
  • cut off your ends and enjoy your button!

Step 6: Things you'll need to sew on a flat button:

Picture of Things you'll need to sew on a flat button:
  • needle
  • 8 inches of doubled over thread - ends knotted a few times!
  • button
  • toothpick
  • pen/pencil to mark your sewing spot

Step 7: Sewing on a flat button, part one.

Picture of Sewing on a flat button, part one.
IMG_3521.JPG
IMG_3522.JPG
  • start by marking the spot where you'll be sewing.
  • bring your needle up through the fabric next to the spot
  • bring the needle and thread through one side of the button
  • then bring it down through the other side of the button and through the fabric next to the spot.
  • now you have it anchored!

cool tutorial! i found this site that supplies lots of cool buttons too
www.abmfashion.com

HollyMann1 year ago
Genious!!! Never thought of anything like this..
CrLz1 year ago
Thanks- I finally fixed 5 pairs of shorts!
on my husbands yard shirts and my eldest boys school shirts and youngests pjs, i use dental floss as thread they are as rough as guts with buttons. Oh i also use it for sewing limbs etc on teddy bears when i make them. Great tutorial!!
Ice Angel2 years ago
Thanks for the tutorial! Now I'll be sewing buttons like a pro. Any chance for such a great tutorial on sewing seams? Mine just never seem to hold very long... (",)
How could I not have thought of the toothpick trick?? Very good idea, will try it when I sew some new buttons on my shirt.

As you can tell from my user name, I love buttons! =]
Labyrinth2 years ago
Tip-top Jess, thanks for the pointers.
mgcasella2 years ago
I've been sewing for a while and I thought I knew how to sew a button pretty well. I have been forever humbled :-)
axiesdad2 years ago
Nice 'ible. I didn't know the toothpick trick, always just tried to leave a little slack in the passes. You don't say anything about anchoring the thread at the beginning. Do you just leave an inch or so not pulled through and then snip it off when you are finished? I usually fasten mine with a few passes through the cloth before I start through the button; maybe that's just overkill.
jessyratfink (author)  axiesdad2 years ago
I always knot the end of the thread several times so it'll catch the first time you pull the needle through the fabric. I guess I probably should add that. :)
Guess I'm weird; I usually start it on the front, then pass it back to the front before I run it through the button. Like axiesdad said, probly overkill.
MTJimL2 years ago
Hey, I think I can even do it. And ditto for the toothpick. Also you write with care and are easy to read and follow. That's refreshing on the Net these days. Can't wait to read your I'able on sewing.
TygerCub2 years ago
Very well written and illustrated. Thank you for such simple, useful instructions.
phase902 years ago
The toothpick is just the thing I have been missing all these years! Excellent.
Helder4u2 years ago
nice :)
Thanks for the pointers. My mother taught me to sew on my buttons, but she never taught me about the toothpick. That's an excellent way to create the spacing between the button and the fabric.
MsJaxFla2 years ago
Excellent instructions. You can always make money teaching sewing. Smart gal that you are!
cernenwein2 years ago
I use dental floss instead of thread for buttons that come off a lot.
jessyratfink (author)  cernenwein2 years ago
That's a fantastic idea. Never would have thought of that!
laxap2 years ago
I had an approximate knowledge before.

Now with parts three, I know how to finish the job properly. Thanks.
doxsys2 years ago
Very nice! Thanks -- I've been looking for improvements to my technique, and the toothpick is a great idea.
Thank you. In my efforts to become domesticated somehow I missed acquiring this skill. The toothpick should save me from sewing the same button on repeatedly :D
scoochmaroo2 years ago
I have also had success by putting the toothpick on top of the button when sewing instead of underneath. Sometimes a bit easier to control, but same effect either way. Thanks for this tutorial!