Thursday, February 20, 2014

Fabric Covered Buttons - A Tutorial Thursday

I know I said tomorrow, and it's definitely not "tomorrow", but I've been very busy with tester sewing! 2 done, 2 to go! So here is the covered button tutorial I promised - they're really very easy, and if you've never tried them I strongly recommend it!

Here are my button blanks, my fussy-cut fabric scraps, the mold (clear) and pusher (pink).

Covered button blanks come in different sizes. Like KAM snaps, the number on the snap has little to do with the actual measurement - the size I have currently is size 30, and they're about 3/4" across. The blanks come in two styles, one with a shank on the back for sewing onto clothing, and one with a flat back, for gluing onto pins, hair clips, and other small accessories. I have both, but prefer the shank since most of my crafts are sewing related.

This picture shows the fabric cutout guide disk. It states the size of the corresponding button (30).
The center hole can be placed over your fabric to show you just what will be showing up on your button.
The process is simple. Gather your button blanks, as many as you need, and small scrap of fabric for each one. Most covered buttons you find in stores come as kits, with a mold, a pusher, buttons, and sometimes a small plastic disk with a hole in the center. This disk shows you the size of the fabric to cut for that size of button, but if you don't have it, just keep in mind that your fabric piece should be between 1/4" and 1/2" wider than your button, all around. Any smaller than 1/4", and the fabric won't stay caught between the button halves. Any larger, and there will be too much bulk to allow the button to stay together. 3/8" is a good number.

Supplies needed for one covered button. Notice I used my cutout disk to get the green striped heart
exactly in the middle of my fabric scrap - that is the design that will be seen on the button.

 Take the "bowl" side of your button blank (like all that alliteration? :D) and your fabric scrap. Place the fabric scrap right side/pretty side facing down into the mold, then press it down into place with the button half. Tuck your fabric edges into the "bowl". This is where you'll know if your fabric scrap is too big or too small - the fabric edges should just cover/come together around the circle, without too much extra. If there is too little fabric and it's only just covering the edges, it is likely to come off of the button and leave you with just a plain silver one. :)

Excuse my poor lighting (it was night time when I took these)...and my stubby fingers! haha :)
 Next you will take the back of the button (flat or shank) and place it over the top of your fabric. You can press it down a little with your fingers to keep it in place while you place the "pusher" over it.


Push down until you feel the button back "pop" into place. You can move your finger in a little circular motion over the pusher to ensure that all the edges of the button back are secured. And here is what you finish with! A beautiful, custom made, fabric covered button - handmade to match whatever materials/crafts you are working with! I have used quilter's cotton and even light flannel to make buttons with - lightweight denim or corduroy may also work, but watch that your fabric isn't TOO thick - the back won't stay on.


Some buttons I made for the pincushion swap. :)
I thought they made a neat little finish to the colorful package.

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