Using a store bought kit to make your own perfectly matching fabric covered buttons for your project sounds easy, right?  Well, it’s not, Pollyanna.  UNLESS you have these hacks, tips and tricks to make it SO much easier and to make them last FOREVER so you never have to worry about them popping apart or the fabric coming off.  These tips and hacks are especially helpful if you are trying to use thicker or upholstery fabric.  I’m gonna drop some wisdom on you so hard and you’ll be able to sleep better knowing for durn sure, “These buttons aren’t going anywhere.”  

DIY Upholstery Fabric Covered Buttons - Tips, Tricks and Hacks to make them EASY and STURDY - Do it Yourself Step by Step Tutorial via Dreaming in DIY

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I’m overhauling my craft/sewing/guest room and just had to make a fun diamond tufted custom headboard!  I was full of false hope and excitement when I saw this craft cover button kit.  I was like “Easy Peasy – this will be the quickest part of the entire project!”  Wrong.  So wrong.  

DIY Fabric Covered Buttons Tips to making them extra sturdy - Kit Contents

Don’t get me wrong – it DID end up being easy and I ended up with THESE beauties that will NEVER, and I mean NEVER come apart or have the fabric come off:  

DIY Upholstery Fabric Covered Buttons - Tips, Tricks and Hacks to make them EASY and STURDY - Do it Yourself Step by Step Tutorial via Dreaming in DIY

But not because the directions on the packaging will in any imaginary or real universe work or help you keep your promise to not cuss today.  That was painfully annoying and didn’t hardly work AT ALL.  Especially with thick upholstery fabric.  It gave me flashbacks to the time I made ten gabillion “campaign buttons” when my brother ran for 7th Grade President.  He won, btw.  I know you were on the edge of your seat there….  Anyway – a few tweaks, and THIS button making project was smooooth sailing.  Grab these simple supplies to make this SO EASY on yourself:

  • Gorilla Glue (I like these single use tubes since the lid will glue itself shut when you put it away.  Every. Single. Time.)
  • a bottle of Mod Podge
  • a little paintbrush Feel free to steal it out of your kids’ watercolors.  You need to teach them some life lessons anyway, so this is actually multi-tasking
  • a Paint Stir Stick (free at your local hardware or home improvement store usually!) or a wood scrap you have hangin’ around your garage.  
  • Your Hot Glue Gun or a strong, quick drying glue/adhesive maybe like some Super Glue
  • Your trusty Hammer
  • Your liar, liar of a pants on fire Craft Cover Button Kit 

Tear open the box of your cover kit and immediately hot glue or super glue your little blue pusher to a paint stick by the flat side of the pusher (you need the open part exposed so that you don’t squish/flatten/destroy your shank back of your button back piece):  

DIY Fabric Covered Buttons Tutorial and Tips - Glue Pusher to Paint Stir Stick

This is going to be your new best friend and will save your poor little thumbs so much anguish!  

Here’s your new IMPROVED kit: 

DIY Fabric Covered Buttons Tutorial with Tips - Supplies in the Kit

The extra blue pusher is from another kit.  I needed two to complete my headboard.    Now trace your fabric with the template provided so that the design you want to SHOW is in the center.  You are going to only trace and cut out the outer circle.  I used a “disappearing ink” pen I have for quilting – but you do you:  

DIY Fabric Covered Buttons Tips to Make them Sturdy and Perfect - Trace fabric

Now paint your Mod Podge on the front and edges of your button shell: 

DIY Fabric Covered Buttons Tips to make it easier and make them sturdier to last longer

DIY Fabric Covered Buttons Tutorial - Mod Podge the tops before centering on fabric

Place it centered on the “wrong” aka back – aka ugly – side of your cutout fabric circle: 

DIY Fabric Covered Buttons Tutorial with Tips - Center on Fabric after Mod Podge

And push it as centered as possible into the plastic mold fabric side down: 

DIY Fabric Covered Buttons Tutorial with Tips - Push Down into Rubber Mold

Fold the excess fabric all inside the button shell as flat and squished in there as possible and add a dab of your Gorilla Glue

DIY Fabric Covered Buttons Tutorial and Tips to make it easier

Then on the INSIDE part of your shank button back apply a generous but not insane  amount of Gorilla Glue to make sure this thing isn’t going ANYWHERE:  

DIY Fabric Covered Buttons Tutorial with Tips - Gorrilla Glue the Inside of the Back of the Button

DIY Fabric Covered Buttons Tutorial with Tips - Gorrilla Glue secure the back on the buttons

I apologize for some of the crappy/blurry pictures.  I was using my phone because I wasn’t really planning on creating an entire post about making the buttons.  Until they made me and my thumbs sad.  I figured I’d save you my “learning curve” trials and give you some MacGuyver fixes to skip the sad/cussy part.   Anywhoooo…. So then press the glue smeared shank back into the mold and center it with your finger as much as possible: 

DIY Fabric Covered Buttons Tutorial with Tips - After Glue Center with fingers on mold with Button Front

Then getcher fancy new improved PUSHER that’s glued to the paint stir stick and hammer that sucker in there real good: 

DIY Fabric Covered Buttons Tutorial with Tips - use Stick with Pusher and Hammer in the back in mold

Here’s how nice and neat it turns out if you are working with fabric of a NORMAL thickness: 

DIY Fabric Covered Buttons Tutorial with Tips - Finished Back of Button

But if you are using thicker, upholstery fabric, it will not be as neat and securely STUCK on there so it’s SUPER IMPORTANT that you did the Gorilla Glue steps above.  You might even want to take it one more step like this and paint some Mod Podge on the back so that the fabric edges are really in there and won’t even THINK about fraying or separating out.  

DIY Fabric Covered Buttons - Extra reinvforcement - paint Mod Podge adhesive on the back

I mean – once you have any completed upholstery project – the last thing you EVER want to do is to have to take the thing apart and replace the freakin buttons!  Amiright?  So now you can sit back and bask in their completed beauty.  See how the Gorilla Glue expands and bubbles out a little bit?  You know that’s gonna be SECURE, buddy.  MAKE SURE to wait 24 hours so that the Gorilla Glue is REALLY good and dry before you start ganking on them completing your project.  

20160904_131802 (2)Aren’t they fantastic and all profesh looking?  


Do It Yourself Fabric Covered Buttons Tutorial and Tips to make it easier to use the kit and make them last longer

I can’t wait to finish the headboard after MY 24 hour drying period is up!    

Make sure to PIN THIS IMAGE where it’s handy for your next upholstery project that needs BUTTONS to match! 

DIY Upholstery Fabric Covered Buttons - Tips, Tricks and Hacks to make them EASY and STURDY - Do it Yourself Step by Step Tutorial via Dreaming in DIY

Make sure to sign up for our email list so that you are notified as SOON as my headboard is done so you can check it out.  It’s gonna be fan-freakin-tastic.    In the meantime – happy creating, friends!  

 

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