How to sew on a button

Everyone loses a button now and then. Learn how to sew yours back on.

Everyone loses a button now and then. Learn how to sew yours back on.

Sewing on a button is something everyone should know how to do with a minimum of time and effort. Follow these step-by-step instructions to learn how to sew on a button.

1. Find a replacement button. Most garments come with replacement buttons. If they didn’t, or you have misplaced them, find a button that looks as close to the original as possible. Sewing stores sell buttons if you cannot locate one around the house. Make sure to get one that matches both the color of the clothing and the size of the original buttons, otherwise it may not fit, or stay, in the buttonhole.

2. Pick a matching thread. You do not want anyone to notice a mis-matched thread, so make sure to use a thread that matches the article of clothing as closely as possible.

3. Thread your needle. You will need a piece of thread that is about 18 inches long. Make sure you have enough so you do not run out halfway through the job. If the thread will not go through the needle, moisten it with your mouth to stiffen it. Once the thread is through the eye of the needle, pull the needle to the middle of the thread and then knot the ends. Now the thread should be doubled and you should be ready to sew on a button.

4. Line up the button. Place the new button in the same spot where the old button had been sewn. This will ensure that the garment does not pull or the material does not sag and that the piece of clothing closes as smoothly as it did before.


5. Begin sewing. Come up with the sharp end of the needle through the back of the garment through one of the holes in the button.

6. Go back through another hole. Then repeat steps five and six, alternating the holes you go through to be sure the button is secure. Don’t sew the button on so tightly that it cannot be slipped through the buttonhole. Some slack is necessary.

Note: These instructions are for buttons with holes. To sew on a button with a bottom anchor, simply sew through the hole in the anchor rather than the holes in the button.

7. Leave enough thread. Leave yourself enough thread to wrap the button and knot the thread.

8. Wrap it up. On the underside of the button, wrap the thread around two to three times to strengthen and tighten the thread.

9. Double your efforts. With the sharp end of the needle, go back through, underneath the button to the backside of the garment.

10. Knotting is essential. Knot the thread by moving the sharp end of the needle through the material and pulling up and through to create a knot. This is essential when you sew on a button as it secures the stitching and keeps the button in place.

11. Snip loose ends. Cut the thread from the needle. Make sure to cut as closely as possible to the button without cutting the securing knot. You do not want loose threads hanging but you must be careful not to cut too close and undo all your hard work.

These easy-to-follow instructions will ensure your ability to sew on a button.