Sewing Tips: making Cover Buttons, without a kit.


Be sure to check out my latest review and giveaway, the Epione Beauty Brush.  This little gadget is a cordless facial/body brush that gently scrubs away makeup and other impurities. It also “massages the skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.”  Not bad in my book!

. . . . .



Have you ever used Cover Buttons? 


They are little metal parts that you cover with fabric and press a back piece on, creating little Cover Buttons.  Look familiar?

image source



Here are a few projects where I have used Cover Buttons:


tooth fairy pouches, Mary Poppins boot covers, fishy purse



I use them occasionally…….and usually have a stash of them.  But sometimes I run out.  Ugggh.


And those little Cover Button kits only have so many sizes.  They’re not super expensive but if you need a ton of them for something……..they get pricey.


How about an alternative?  A much cheaper alternative.

(Sorry cover button companies, I was kind of getting tired of buying your kits.)




Use fabric scraps and your button stash.  Or buy a handful of the “Odds ‘n Ends” buttons, at the fabric store.  Or purchase some cheapy-cheap buttons at the store.  The price of cheap buttons cost much less than the cover button kits.




Now you can make big, little, and in between cover buttons.  In whatever color you need for your project.





The front is nice and smooth and perfectly covered in the fabric you want.  And the back is bundled up and tightly sewn.



If you have covered flat buttons, they can either be glued right to your project or carefully sewn to your project by grabbing pieces of the fabric that’s on the back of the button with your needle and thread, as you attach it to your project? 


However, if you are still wanting the shaft that comes on the back of the Cover Button Kit pieces……….you can cover a button that has a shaft on it.  Same outcome.




Now you don’t have to stop what you’re doing and run to the fabric store in the middle of a project, because you forgot to buy a dang Cover Button Kit.  Problem solved.



And since I have a button stash and plenty of fabric scraps, this didn’t cost me one penny.  Love that.




Would you like to make your own Cover Buttons?



You’ll need some fabric scraps and some buttons.  Whatever sized buttons that you need for your project.


First, cut out a circle piece of fabric that is larger than your button.  Each side of the button will need to fold up and around to the back of the button and almost meet the middle of the button.  You don’t want the edges to come all the way to the middle (or more) because then you’ll have a big mass of fabric on the back side of your button. 


Then, if you’ve ever made fabric yo-yo’s, the next step is the same.  You knot your thread and start weaving your needle in and out of the outer edge of your circle (on the wrong side of the fabric), until you make it all the way around the circle.  The smaller your weave, the better the outcome.  The bigger your weave, the messier it will look when you cinch it in.


Place your button back in the center of your circle, then pull your thread.  It will cinch right around the button, creating a nice cover for it.  Knot the end, keeping the cinched in fabric nice and tight.


Now, if you want to cover a button that has a shaft on it, cut out a piece of fabric the same way.


And if your button has some texture on the front that you don’t want to show, cut out a piece of felt that is the same size as the top of your button.  Then lay it down on the fabric before putting your button on there.


Then cinch it up and stitch it tight the same way.



And that’s it. 


A super cheap way to make Cover Buttons.



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106 Responses to “Sewing Tips: making Cover Buttons, without a kit.”
  1. 1

    Awesome!! I’ve never used a kit bcoz I don’t fancy shaft buttons but I will be doing this for sure!!! Thanks once again!

  2. 2

    Brilliant. Thanks for the tip!

  3. 3
    Anonymous says:

    Yes!!! This rocks!! Thanks

  4. 4

    Great idea!!! I already have a ton of ‘yo yo’ circles cut out! Now they can be button covers!

  5. 5

    You’re wonder woman! Great way to think outside the box. I’ll definitely be using this.

  6. 6
    Sarah says:

    Hi, new reader here! Thank you for posting this great tutorial. I’m so very excited about covering my own buttons! Score! I’m always so hesitant to make anything with buttons because I don’t have enough matching buttons. Now that doesn’t matter- I will make them match! Thanks again and I’ll see you March 10th. :-)

  7. 7
    Emily says:

    So smart! I could handle this!

  8. 8
    Veronica says:

    This is such a great idea!! I have bags of buttons that this would be perfect for. Thank you for such a simple, gorgeous idea!

  9. 9
    Jackie says:

    Now why had I not thought of this??? Thanks for such a simple yet fantastic idea!

  10. 10

    i just restocked my cover button refills, but will keep this in mind next time i run out. looks super easy! although i do love that rewarding feeling of stamping down the rubber thingy and voila, getting a cute chubby button.

  11. 11
    Camille says:

    Love this! Sometimes I want a cover button that’s nice and flat, and this will fill the bill nicely!

  12. 12
  13. 13
    Christy in ND says:

    I love this idea! I’m saving this idea to make some buttons for my girls’ dresses. How do they do when washed?

    • 13.1
      E. F. says:

      was just asking myself the same thing- great idea- but how do they wash- i guess either use fabric that doesn’t fray (like a strechy one) or just use these type of buttons for crafts…(that don’t have to be washed)- another idea: glue one end of a snap to the button and sew the other end to the shirt- you could remove before washing!!

      • 13.1.1
        J. O. says:

        If you use pre-washed fabric, they wash just like any other button does. I put a dab of washable glue on the backside of the button just before gathering it up. Works just fine for me.

  14. 14
    Haven says:

    Great tutorial. Never woud have thought to do the yo-yo flowers, but this is perfect. Your photgraphy is down right gorgeous!

  15. 15
    Jocelyn Lim says:

    Super duper nice!

  16. 16
    Wendy says:

    You’re right. The cover button kits are ridiculously expensive compared to this little project. Way to go!

  17. 17
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  19. 19
    Jennifer T. says:

    Definitely an awesome alternative. Thanks for sharing.

  20. 20
    Evgenia says:

    Such a beautiful and smart idea! Thanks a lot!

  21. 21
  22. 22
    Natalie says:

    Oh my goodness! Genius! :)

  23. 23
    Jessica says:

    Do you have a Pinterest account? I ask because a. your tutorials are *perfect* for pinning so I b. occasionally pin things and immediately get a number of repins and likes, so I know there’s interest!

  24. 24
    Kristina Noall says:

    I’ve been making your simple binky clips like crazy–for myself and the bazillion other women I know who will be having babies soon–and it can be a challenge finding a button that matches the ribbon, ESPECIALLY for boys. (And every last one of the babies from here on out are boys.) This is so perfect! I just wish I’d made them this way from the first!

  25. 25
    stefanie says:

    Thank you! you are so awsome!! I really apticiate all your projects! Please keep up your amazing work!

  26. 26
    domi95 says:

    C’est une idée géniale ! merci beaucoup !!
    It is a brilliant idea! Thank you very much!

  27. 27
    Hannie says:

    Hi, if you want the back to look a bit more neat (is that the right word?) you can glue on a thin scrap of felt or fabric. You can make a small hole/slice for a shaft button. And for a button with holes, you could use a pen to make dots to easier locate the holes.
    Kind regards from the Netherlands,
    P.S. My 12-year old daughter thinks your little baby girl is THE cutie on the internet. Surely, you agree ;)

  28. 28
    farheen says:

    dear Ashley
    i am from India and i have been following your blog for the last three months. i just love your projects and i even got a sewing machine (gift from my hubby on my birthday after he saw what i did with an old t shirt of his). my daughter loves to wear the frocks which i make following your tutorials for which i thank u a lot cause she used to hate frocks.

    hats off to u!!!!!!!!!!

  29. 29
    Fenja says:


    I do the same. I never bought those kits. But to make the buttons look more 3dimensional and add some volume I put some stuffing on the button underneath the fabric. Take a look (its in German though, but you can see it on the picture, just scroll down a little)
    Your pictures look so nice!

  30. 30
    maggie says:

    I love these! I have been sewing since before I can remember and I have never thought to do this to my buttons! Thank so much for the great idea! How do you get them so tight though? That has always been my concern.

    Take a peek at my place,


  31. 31
    Tiffannie says:

    You mentioned in your post that this project only costs pennies. I’ve done this same thing using actual pennies.

    • 31.1
      Alissa says:

      That is brilliant! Thank you from someone who doesn’t yet have a button stash to dig into!

    • 31.2
      Anonymous says:

      Also, we keep old plastic tub lids from ice cream, sour cream, margarine and they can be cut to size with scissors.

  32. 32
    Kathy says:

    I love this idea! I always hated those kits anyway. This is kind of like a little “yo-yo” button. So cute! Thank you for this wonderful idea.

    Kathy Lee

  33. 33
    Tracy says:

    Great tip… thanks for sharing!!!!

  34. 34
    Marnie says:

    Brilliant! This is one of those ‘why didn’t I think of that???’ tips. Love it. :) Think I might use some fabric fray glue to ensure they wouldn’t fray out.

  35. 35
    Steph says:

    Wow! What a great idea! I LOVE covered buttons. The “shaft” on buttons is actually the “shank.” I just know that because I have a tool made to remove them so the button can be used on projects and it’s called a shank remover.

  36. 36
    Edie says:

    what a great way to use the really small scraps (that I just can not bear to throw away LOL)
    the thrift store is another great place for getting buttons cheap :)

  37. 37
    Janis C says:

    I love the idea. Are you concerned about fraying out, though? That’s one thing the kits do address – they enclose the raw edges. I may try the felt idea someone mentioned, too.

  38. 38
    Shannon says:

    Good stuff! Thank you for this.

  39. 39
    Kim says:

    As Hannie (#27) said, a piece of fabric glued to the back would cover raw edges and give it a more finished look, and the glue should keep the edges of the backing circle from fraying. And I like the idea Fenja (#29) has to add a bit of batting. Thanks again, Ashley, for a wonderfully simple idea I’d never have thought of on my own :)

  40. 40
    Kelly says:

    That is awesome! I am seriously procrastinating a project because I didn’t buy enough button covers! I never would have thought of this. And thanks everyone for the tips to make it even more awesome!

  41. 41
    Irene says:

    Very helpful, I can’t wait to go cover some buttons!

  42. 42

    Great idea. Thanks *_*
    Kisses from Portugal

  43. 43
    Brenda J. Moore says:

    If your covering a button with ridges etc. and your wanting a smooth look…use a piece of kids craft foam cut to the size of the top of your button OR…use a cotton ball, polyfibre stuffing etc. Anything that helps to re-use goodies for the next purpose is AOK.

  44. 44
    Malin says:

    Wow, I just found your blog and i LOVE it!

  45. 45
    Mei says:

    Do you know how big a deal and timely your tutorial has been?!? Thank you times a thousand! I’m making fabric flower rings and needing to put something in the center for some color. These are perfect because they also will help make the ring sturdier.

  46. 46
    Kathryn says:

    What a great idea! I LOVE your blog – you always have such great taste and great ideas!

  47. 47
    cucicucicoo says:

    now why did that never occur to me before? such an easy (and cheap!!) solution! now i’ll never buy those cover buttons again! :) lisa

  48. 48
    Vicki says:


  49. 49
    Dee Reat says:

    These are so great! I want to make a ton of them and saw them all up on my tote.

  50. 50
    Nat says:

    Hey, great tutorial, but I have a question: say you cover one of those standard buttons with two or four holes. How would you button that newly-covered button without piercing the fabric cover?



  51. 51
    SRUTHI says:

    Wonderful idea….Useful for a variety of projects. Thank you…

  52. 52
    Kathy says:

    Hi.. I saw a cushion cover in a store today, I absolutely loved it.. But there was nno way I was paying $115 for it. It has covered buttons on it.. I knew it would cost a fortune to buy the required amount of button kits and was toying with the idea of just covering normal buttons… So glad I came across this.. I will be making my cushion, very soon.

  53. 53
  54. 54
    Justine says:

    Oh thank you , thank you, thank you, Ashley, I’m knee deep in a Project and you save me! As usual, your ideas are genius!

  55. 55

    Best tutorial/idea I have come across this year. You are a star and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing. As a student wife and part-time crafter I have been putting off buying a button maker as I could not justify the repeated cost with our budget. I have yearned to make fabric buttons with my scraps though. I have made two already and will post a photo with link back on my fb page when I have enough made up to make a pretty picture. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you

  56. 56
    Vicki Miller says:

    I’ve been looking for a tutorial to make buttons. Thank you so much for sharing. I think I’m going to need shank buttons for the project I have in mind. I think I’ll take a jump ring & sew it to the button holes, then cover it & back the button with a circle of either matching fabric or felt. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  57. 57
    Robin B says:

    PERFECT, thx! Was buying the kits and it was getting pricey. I have a huge mason jar full of random buttons and now I can actually use them! I make tons of fabric flowers for headbands and use a lot of fabric covered buttons as the center so this is going to help a lot! Thanks again!

  58. 58
    MamaD says:

    Aha! I needed some really BIG covered buttons – and now I know how to do it with the juice can lids I’ve been saving. Thank you!

  59. 59
    Sue D. says:

    I was just looking at a kit because I need two buttons for a pillow. Of course they are an odd size. This is the perfect solution. Thank you for posting this tutorial & saving me some dollars.

  60. 60
    Olgitsa says:

    Great idea and beautiful buttons!!!
    Thank you so much for sharing!

  61. 61
    Livvy says:

    Love these defanetly trying this out amazing!!

  62. 62
    Josie says:

    Thanks so much for this! Helped me make my cross stitches into jewellery :)

  63. 63
    Carolyn says:

    So clever! Beyond the budget issue, have you ever tried to use a thick upholstery fabric with a button kit? I can tell you that it just doesn’t work! Thanks to you, problem solved!

  64. 64
    rachel says:

    love it, thank u

  65. 65
    dorothy says:

    Thanks for the tutorial . I just covered my first button and I am so satisfied with the results !

  66. 66
    me says:

    that is such a neat idea, and so easy, thanks!

  67. 67
    Susan says:

    I love you for this!!

  68. 68
    jo says:

    I knew there would be an easier and cheaper way to make covered buttons! :)

  69. 69
    witchy says:

    Thank you so much for the great idea and clear tute with I found at a crucial time in my project where I need many buttons in various sixes and colors. Problem solved and it will hep save money too!

  70. 70
    Hollie61 says:

    What a brilliant solution, thanx, I was going to buy one if those kits but instead will raid the button jar!

  71. 71
    Shirley says:

    I have also been looking around for a easier way and less costly way to cover 40 buttons. The kits are too small surly there are bigger kits or just the buttons? I don’t know..but your way is the way we did it before the kits came along its one way to do it but its not easy and seems a little bulky for my intended use. Still searching..

  72. 72
    Allison M says:

    So excited to use this technique!! Thank you for this brilliant idea :)

  73. 73
    Steph W says:

    Thanks for this tutorial, it really helped me out in a pinch! I hope you don’t mind me linking to it in my DIY Upholstered Headboard post.

  74. 74
  75. 75
    Penelope says:

    Very creative! Thank you !!!

  76. 76

    I was needing to make some satin covered buttons so as to make buttons for my tailcoat and tuxedo vest. This process helped me achieve just that.

  77. 77
    Mirian Vieira says:

    Hi, I’m in love !!! Your tips are helping me a lot!! I just start in this world of sewing,and your tutorial always made my work so much easy and fun!! Sorry for My english..

  78. 78
    Barbara says:

    Thank you! I am covering buttons for eight bridesmaids dresses in a very different shade of purple — a shade I knew I’d never find. Now I can use my button collection and bits of our fabric. Thank you!

  79. 79
    Jessica says:

    Great tutorial! Love the pictures and colors. Here is how you can make a fabric ring.

  80. 80
    Evie says:

    Brilliant – your right some of those kits and the buttons themselves can get expensive. I like recycling too so this perfect.

  81. 81
    Shea says:

    I think this is a great idea because the kids that you have to buy only have 4 or 5 buttons in it and I don’t want to buy a lot of kits just to get the buttons!

  82. 82
    tina says:

    thanks alot this is awesome