How to: Sew on a Button

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Learning to sew on a button is useful for novice sewers and non-sewers alike. Really, anyone who wears clothing should know how to sew on a button, unless you avoid clothing with buttons or can afford to replace clothing when the buttons fall off instead of just sewing them back on.

If you don’t fall into those two categories, then read on to discover just how easy it is to mend your own clothes.

  1. Grab a needle and some thread. The thread should be about a foot and a half long, but there is no standard length to follow. Thread the needle by pulling one end of the thread through the needle’s eye.
  2. Knot the end of your thread. You can do this however you want. Try this technique for hand sewing without knots. My favorite technique is to wrap the end of the thread around the needle a few times and slide it down, as shown in this video:
  3. Hold the button against your fabric wherever you want it to be sewn. Usually when a button falls off of an article of clothing, it leaves behind some thread in the spot where it was originally sewn. If it does this, you know exactly where it needs to be reattached. If not, just estimate based on where the button hole is.
  4. Bring the needle through the back of the fabric and the first hole in the button. Pull the thread until the knot is secure on the back side of the fabric (where no one will see it).
  5. Bring the needle back down through the other hole in the button and the fabric underneath that.
  6. If your button has only two holes in it, repeat steps 4 and 5 until you feel you have secured your button adequately. If it has four holes, you’ll want to make x’s with your thread, going up through the top right hole, down through the bottom left, up through the top left, and down through the bottom right, repeating until the button is secure.
  7. To finish, knot the thread on the back side of the fabric and trim the extra. I always weave my needle under the stitches a few times to make sure it’s secure before cutting it.

Now that you know how to sew on a button, you can stop throwing away clothing with missing buttons. Now you just have to learn how to do laundry…

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