Friday, March 7, 2014

How to Make Fabric Buttons

So I've been working, slowly, on our headboard and I just finished our buttons, which actually took longer than I thought they would, but they were still pretty easy.  However, I had never made these before and getting started was kind of tricky since the instructions on the back of the button pack are pretty vague.  I had to look up instructions on how to do this and a friend of mine told me she wanted me to show her how to do it too when I was done, so I thought maybe there are others out there who have wanted to make these fabric buttons but don't know how, so they haven't.

button kit - I used this one
button refill kit (unless you only need 4) - I used this one

On the back of the button kit, there is a stencil in the shape of a half circle that you need to cut out.

Lay your stencil down on the back of your fabric and trace around it.  Then flip it over and trace around it again to finish the circle.

Cut out your circle and place your button shell on top, making sure to center it.

Next, you need to put the fabric and your button shell inside of the mold, making sure that the button shell stays centered on the fabric.  Squeeze the mold so that it comes all the around the top of the button shell.

The stencil makes a circle that is too large to fit with the button back on it, so you'll need to trim around the edge of it.  Make sure not to cut more than 1/8 of an inch off because you need to have enough fabric for it to reach around the sides of the button shell and then hold underneath the button back.  Now having only done this with upholstery fabric, I don't know if you would actually need to trim if you were using a thin cotton fabric, so you can try it and if it works, great, but if not, just trim a little bit off.

Now you're ready to put the back on.  Push all of the fabric down into the center of the button shell and set the button back on top with the metal loop facing out, keeping it as centered as possible.

Then place the pusher on top of the button back inside the groove right along the edge.

To push the button back into the shell, you can do this by pressing down with your hand while the mold sits on top of a sturdy surface.  But, with the thickness of the upholstery fabric, it was impossible to do this without killing the palm of my hand.  So, I used a hammer instead.  With a fair amount of force, hammer the top of the pusher, making sure to hit it on the center.  You might need to hammer it a couple of times to make sure it goes down all the way.  Now you can peal back the sides of the mold and pull out your button.

Having the buttons all done is really exciting.  Now it's time to work on the actual structure of our headboard.  This is easily the most exciting project I've ever done for us so far!