Southern Mom Loves: How to Sew a Button on Quickly #Lifehack

How to Sew a Button on Quickly #Lifehack

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

How many of you have clothes that you've gotten rid of because you popped a button and didn't know how to sew it back on? Or if you do know how to sew, do you have a pile of these garments waiting for you to fix them? I know I do. There's always a little "fix me" pile that starts in my sewing room, but sewing on buttons is one of those dreaded tasks that I never want to get to. It's not because it's hard, it's because it's tedious.

A few years ago, I came across a hack for sewing on buttons and it blew my mind. Once your thread is prepared, you can quickly sew on button after button in no time. Problem solved! If you have a dreaded "fix me" pile, check out the lifehack below and blow through that headache, and if you don't know how to sew on a button, I'll teach you!

What you'll need to sew on a button:

  • button
  • thread to coordinate with your fabric, preferably buttonhole twist (thicker and more durable)
  • a hand sewing needle
  • scissors
  • (optional) thimble to protect your finger
  • (optional) beeswax to help strengthen the thread further

Start out by cutting off a length of thread about twice as long as your arm. If using beeswax, run your thread across it 3-4 times and either warm the wax by running the thread through your fingers multiple times or run it quickly over a warm iron plate.

Here's the trick: fold your thread in half, then in half again. At this point you have a 4-thread thickness. Take the two end loops and thread those through the eye of your needle.

Pull the needle to the middle of the 4 threads and put all the threads together so you now have an even 8-thread thickness. Knot the end!

With this trick, you'll have 8 threads in every stitch, so you only need to make 1-2 passes, depending on how many holes you have in your button!

How to sew on a button:

1. I like to start by putting my button where I want it and using a fabric marker to mark where the holes are. Start on top of the fabric and push your needle through to the back. That way your knot will end up under the button and won't be seen. Bring your needle back up through your first hole to the top of the fabric.

2. Place your button over your needle.

3. Bring your thread up over the button and down through the opposite hole, through the fabric to the back. If your button only has 2 holes, skip step 4.

4. Bring your thread back up and through the next empty hole, then down through its opposite empty hole. Hold the button about 1/4" away from the fabric and keep that distance even while sewing; I'll tell you why in a bit.

5. Bring your needle back up through the fabric at your first hole, but don't go through the button. You want your needle to be between the fabric and the button.

6. Now we'll make our shank. This will help protect the threads from friction and hold the button away from the fabric to make it easier to button. Take the thread end and wrap it around the button threads 3-4 times.

7. Then knot it around your button threads. You can simply tie them in a knot around the shank or use your needle to weave them into your button threads before tying off.

8. Snip your thread close to the shank and voila! Button attached!

It will actually take you longer to read these directions than it will to sew on a button now. Once you learn how to do it, it'll take you no time at all! You could even prep needles with various thread colors ahead of time so that they're ready in an emergency!


Do you have any buttonless garments waiting for your attention? Do you sew? Have you ever heard of this hack? I love to read your comments!

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