Posts > News > August 27, 2017

How to : cover buttons

How to : make a fabric journal cover

Covered button fastening on fabric journal cover

In this ‘how-to’ blog, we show you how to cover buttons. Cover buttons give a really smart finish to all sorts of garments and craft projects.

Often, cover buttons can give an authentic, vintage feel to retro garments where modern buttons might look slightly out of place.

This gorgeous fabric journal cover features a 29mm cover button and is made using Kaffe Fassett printed cotton from the-s box September 2017

Cover buttons are available in plastic and metal; both types are made up of 2 parts. The top part is domed and is the section which is covered with fabric and has a central shank for attaching the finished button. The smaller base part snaps over the fabric to hold it in place and has a hole to allow the shank to protrude.

On the metal versions, the domed top section has a toothed edge to hold the fabric in place before the base is snapped on.

The leading cover button makers sell a handy tool to aid this process.


The plastic cover buttons instructions show the stitched gathering method below.

The gathering method we have blogged here is photographed using a metal cover button, because we feel that it’s the best way to get a good, clean firm finish whether you are using a plastic or metal cover button…

How to cover buttons

First, select area of fabric that you would like to feature on the button and cut a rough section of fabric to allow for a circle approx twice the diameter of the finished button.

If the fabric you are using is a loosely woven, fraying tweedy type or a fragile silky type, it’s a good idea to use interfacing to stabilise the fabric before working on it.


Apply interfacing to wrong side of fabric.

Now, cut out a circle about twice the diameter of the button.

So these are 29mm diameter buttons and we cut a 6cm circle!!


Using a basting (running) stitch by hand

or the longest stitch length on machine stitch all around the outside of the fabric,

leaving long thread ends


Gather slightly

Place top shanked section

(metal or plastic) dome side down

into the gathered ‘cup’


Pull gathering right up

If using the metal buttons push the fabric into the clawed edge

Snap in back into place ensuring all the fabric is caught inside and the shank is left protruding through the base


The result is a really smart bespoke technique

which looks especially good with a print like this.






Newsletter Signup