How to Sew a Button

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How to sew a button

One of the skills I have found most valuable on the homestead is sewing! I have used my skills to sew custom curtains, pillows, clothes, dog carriers, cat hammocks, chicken brooder curtains and doll clothes. But one of the most used skills in my sewing repertoire is sewing on a button. This is also something I’ve taught my husband and kids to do!

So the question is: do you know how to sew on a button? This is a great skill for men, women and children.

If you don’t know how to sew a button but want to learn, then follow these easy instructions!

How to Sew on a Button

You will need a needle (2 if possible), thread and a button.

How to Sew a Button

Step 1: Thread the Needle & Knot the End

You will need at least 12 inches of thread. If you have 24 inches it always works better to double the thread. In order to do this, thread the needle and pull it to met the other end of the thread. Tie a knot in the end of the thread. If you don’t know how to tie a knot, see my post of “How to Knot Thread Like a Pro.” If you don’t have 24 inches you can definitely use a single thread instead of doubling it.


Once the knot is tied it’ll be used as the first anchor to help keep the thread from coming through the fabric.

Step 2: Create Anchor Point


Create a “X” using the thread to mark the location of the button. You can do this by starting at the back of the fabric. Pull the needle through from the back to the front and then run the thread through to the back, and then again back to the front.  This will create an “X” where the button will be centered.

Step 3: Add the Button

How to Sew a Button

Put the button on the “X” and push the needle from the underside of the garment/fabric to the front through the first button hole. Pull the thread until the knot is snug against the underside of the fabric. Before you go back through a button hole add a spacer (another needle or toothpick etc.) to the top of the button.

How to Sew a Button

Turn the needle around and push it back down through the hole opposite the original button hole. Push it through the fabric and tug the thread tight. The thread should be a loop from one hole to another.

You’ll repeat this process six times, three for each set of holes on the button (if the button has four holes).

How to Sew a Button

Step 4: Create the Shank

After six times through the previous process, come through the fabric from underside but don’t go through the button hole.

How to Sew a Button

Remove the spacer. Pull the button, allowing space between the button and the garment. Wrap your needle around the threads under the button. Make four to six loops around the thread that connects the button to the fabric.

Pull the thread tight and then push the needle back into the garment to tie off on the underside of the fabric.

How to Sew a Button

Step 5: Tie Off Thread

Loop the thread to make a small knot on the back side of the fabric. Hold the thread down against the garment, make a loop, then pass the needle through the loop, creating a knot. Do this process a couple of times and make sure the knot is snug to the fabric.

How to Sew a Button

Cut the thread close to the garment.

How to Sew a Button

These “How to Sew a Button” directions can be used on a variety of garments and buttons! If you’ve lost a button from a shirt or jacket look for an extra button sewn in the inseam. An extra button can also be purchased one at a local craft store.

If you’re interested in learning more about sewing basics, check out my Timeless Sewing Guide. This guide teaches beginners how to use a sewing machine, sewing terminology, how to sew a hem, how to tie a knot etc.


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