Guest Author - Tamara Bostwick
You can personalize or add extra pizazz to a sewing project by adding covered buttons. They can give your garments a couture look and make your home decor items look like they came from a decorator's showroom. Being able to cover buttons also comes in handy for those times when you can't find buttons to match your fabric. You can use almost any fabric to make covered buttons and they are very easy to make with the help of a packaged kit that can be purchased at most fabric stores or online.
There are two types of covered button kits available. They both use a rounded button front and a flat back made from lightweight aluminum. The front is covered with fabric and then the back is snapped on to secure the fabric in place. How they differ is the process by which the fabric is held in place when the back is snapped on. In this article, I will demonstrate how each kit works and note the advantages and disadvantages of each of them.
Both styles are available in multiple sizes ranging from 7/16" to 2 1/2" for about $3.50-4.00 per package. Larger size buttons are packaged with fewer sets as the size increases, so they become more expensive per unit. For example, there are five sets of buttons in the 5/8" package, but only two sets are included in the 1 1/2" package.
|The first type includes a soft white plastic form and a blue pressing tool along with the button blanks.|
|The first step is to cut out a circle of fabric using the template included on the back of the package. |
Center the fabric over the opening on the form.
Place the rounded button shell on top of the fabric and push it gently into the form, keeping the fabric centered as you push down. When the button is all the way down, it will pass under the lip on the form and snap into place.
|Now, roll the fabric edges to the inside of the button shell, pressing them with your finger to flatten them. |
Make sure that the fabric going over the edge is smooth with no wrinkles. The fabric might look wrinkled here, but only where it overlaps on the inside of the button, the edges are smooth.
|Place the button back on top, shank side up, and press it down so that it goes inside the form and snaps under the lip.|
|Put the blue pressing tool on top of the button back, cup side down, and press firmly to lock the back into place. It doesn't take much pressure to lock the back on, and you will feel it snap on.|
|Push up on the bottom of the form to pop the button out of the form and this is how it will look when it is complete. |
You can purchase refills for this kit type so that you don't end up with multiple forms.
The downside to this process is that each button size requires its own form, so if you use different sizes of buttons, you will end up with different size forms. When you purchase a new size, write the size on the bottom of the form using a permanent marker as soon as you open the package so you can easily identify which size button it works with.
If you are looking for creative ways to use buttons, check out these books!