Home » DIY Tutorials » DIY Crafting » Crafting: No-Sew » Sewing Tips: making Cover Buttons, without a kit.

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:

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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.)

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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.

 buttons into button covers1



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

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

button front and back



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.

IMG 2534 1  IMG 2560 1



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.

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

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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.

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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. 

button cover 1


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.

button cover 2


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.

button cover 3


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

IMG 2534


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.

button cover 4


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

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And that’s it. 


A super cheap way to make Cover Buttons.

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  1. Vicki says:


  2. 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

  3. Kathryn says:

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

  4. 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.

  5. Malin says:

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

  6. 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.

  7. {entreter os dias} says:

    Great idea. Thanks *_*
    Kisses from Portugal

  8. Irene says:

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

  9. 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!

  10. 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 :)

  11. Shannon says:

    Good stuff! Thank you for this.

  12. 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.

  13. 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 :)

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Tracy says:

    Great tip… thanks for sharing!!!!

  17. 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

  18. Tiffannie says:

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

    1. Alissa says:

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

    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.

  19. 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,


  20. 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!

  21. 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!!!!!!!!!!

  22. 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 ;)

  23. domi95 says:

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

  24. stefanie says:

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

  25. 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!

  26. 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!

  27. Natalie says:

    Oh my goodness! Genius! :)

  28. Evgenia says:

    Such a beautiful and smart idea! Thanks a lot!

  29. Jennifer T. says:

    Definitely an awesome alternative. Thanks for sharing.

  30. Brycie@Reenie Jae Creations says:

    This is so genius! I have so many weird buttons that I wouldn’t actually use, so what a perfect way to get some creative use out of them! Thanks for sharing this idea! =)

  31. dannyscotland says:

    So clever!

  32. Wendy says:

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

  33. Jocelyn Lim says:

    Super duper nice!

  34. Haven says:

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

  35. 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?

    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!!

    2. 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.

  36. Michelle says:


  37. Camille says:

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

  38. kristin @ petal and thorn says:

    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.

  39. Jackie says:

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

  40. 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!

  41. Emily says:

    So smart! I could handle this!

  42. 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. :-)

  43. Amanda Walker says:

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

  44. Linda Chapman says:

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

  45. Anonymous says:

    Yes!!! This rocks!! Thanks

  46. Amie {Kitty Cats and Airplanes} says:

    Brilliant. Thanks for the tip!

  47. Cassie Joughim says:

    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!

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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