Tuesday 24 March 2020

How To: Make Felt Covered Buttons

Sooo... we're all staying inside and making things for the next few weeks, then?!

If you're looking for crafty ideas to help yourself relax and pass the time, remember you'll find loads of free patterns and project ideas in my tutorial archive and my printable PDF patterns are still available as instant downloads over in my Etsy shop.

I've also got lots of fun projects in progress which I'll be sharing here on my blog in the coming weeks. First up: how to make awesome felt buttons!

Felt buttons are so much fun. I've made lots of them over the years with colourful felt scraps left over from other projects, and I thought it was high time I shared a "how to" with you guys so you can make some too.

Felt buttons are, essentially, buttons covered in felt. You can use them to embellish all kinds of craft projects and they make fantastic centres for felt flowers (they'd look great with my fabulous flowers!). 

To make them you'll need some cover buttons in your chosen size(s) - I prefer plastic ones because they're cheaper but metal ones are also available. You'll find these for sale in online craft shops, Etsy, or in your local craft or haberdashery shop (when those re-open again! Gosh these are such weird times we're in, aren't they?).

You'll also need some felt, of course. Cover buttons are designed to be used with fabric, so thinner and more flexible felt works best. I usually use a soft wool/acrylic blend which looks lovely but is easy to stretch around the button shape.

If you're planning on making lots of buttons I'd highly recommend buying a button covering tool. Pressing the front and back of the cover buttons together takes a fair bit of force and the button tool will save you a lot of effort, as well as helping you make nice neat buttons.

I use the Prym universal button covering tool, it includes holes for five different button sizes (11mm, 15mm, 19mm, 23mm, and 29mm)... I've got a lot of use out of mine over the years! 

Your cover buttons will probably come with a template, showing you how large your piece of fabric (or, in our case, felt) needs to be to cover the button. The Prym tool came with a template, too.

Use the correct size template to cut out a circle of felt from your chosen colour.

To cover the button in felt, you need to wrap the felt around the front of the cover button then press the back of the button into position. The back clicks inside the front, holding the edges of the felt/fabric in place and giving you a lovely button ready to use.

The button tool is really helpful during this process! To cover a button using the tool place your felt circle over the correct sized hole in the tool then add the front of the button on top, facing down.

Carefully press your button and the felt into the rubbery shape. The felt will be pushed up around the button, as shown.

Squash the edges of the felt down towards the centre of the button with your fingers.

Put the back cover button piece in position then use the hard section of the button covering tool to press it firmly in place.

Your finished buttons may look slightly different if you use a different style of button to mine, but here's how the back of my button looked:

And here's the front. Mmm... buttony goodness...

Now just sew your finished button to your chosen project, as you would with a normal button.

Caution: making felt buttons is slightly addictive! :)

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