It has been a very busy week. We have been working on a dress that is for a dear friend and this weekend was crunch time. My amazing cousin is out on vacation and has been super accommodating (meaning mostly sitting and watching) and generous enough to help out a bit. The dress is finally finished and it’s GORGEOUS! That being said, this dress has a very special feature that I wanted to share with you. There are over 175 buttons. You read that right. 175+ buttons. Each button was hand made using the lining and lace trim from her mother’s wedding dress. Not only is this really special for her and her mom, but the buttons are a crucial element in the style of her dress. There is a 3 ft. train and the buttons go all the way to the hem.
This brings me to today’s tutorial. It is easier to make a custom button than you may think. Whether it’s a bridal gown, jacket, or a shirt, buttons add a ton of character to a garment. I know I change buttons on things I buy all the time because I love the jacket, but not the buttons. Simple fix. Buy pre-made buttons or make ones that I love and are tailor made to the piece I am working on.
Here are a few of the buttons we made over the weekend for the dress (beautiful right?!?).
I promise you, it’s not hard to make these little beauties. Let’s get started!
There are a number of button making kits out there, but most all have the same premise. These are the ones I used and you can find them online or at your local craft store in a multitude of sizes.
In the kit you will find a button and button back, as well as a pattern for your fabric and the button “press.” The pattern is on the back of the package so make sure you don’t throw it away before cutting it out!
Cut out whatever fabric you are using and center it on top of the clear plastic piece of the press.
I am using 2 layers since the lace is see through. Make sure if you are using two layers that the outermost layer (the one you want on the exterior of the button) is down, or touching the press.
Grab your button piece and place it in the center of your fabric. You may have to move this around a bit to make sure everything is centered, but it doesn’t take more than a few seconds.
Now, take the blue piece of the press and push everything down.
The next bit can be a bit tricky, but don’t worry. Press all of the fabric into the center of the button. You can use your fingers, the edge of your scissors, or the blue presser. I tend to use a combination of all of these, whatever works! When you are done, it should look something like this:
Place the button back on top of the fabric with the shank facing up, like this:
Take the blue presser and center it over the shank. Press firmly. The button back should “snap” into place with enough pressure. It does not actually make a loud noise, it will just be very difficult to remove if done right. Sometimes, like when using two layers as I am here, it may not want to press down. I have a small hammer that I use on the top of the blue presser to really secure it down. Don’t be afraid to pound away. Relieve some stress!
Once the back is secured, you have a button! Simply pop it out the clear form and it is ready to be used on your project.
See? Not hard at all and you have a beautiful, custom button that you can tell everyone you made yourself.
Leave any questions in the comments and I hope this inspired you to add something personal to your next project.