A fiddly little project

Looking for something to do while you watch the TV this evening that’s really fiddly, will make you cross and leave you with an imperfect result?

Excellent! Then I’ve got the perfect thing…

DIY fabric covered buttons
These three buttons at the front are made with some scraps of Liberty fabrics, left over from the quilt I’m making my sister.

I spent last Saturday night watching The Voice (it’s not that good this year, is it?) and swearing throughout my second attempt at making fabric covered buttons.

I only recently discovered that covering buttons with your own choice of fabric was something it was possible to do. When I first came across the little kits you can get, I had what I thought was a Eureka! moment.

Because I want to make my own fabrics, and make things with those fabrics, I’m likely to have leftovers of scraps and small pieces. So, of course, the ability to use them for buttons seemed like the perfect situation. “Why doesn’t everyone do this?” I thought to myself, slightly smugly, marveling at my own genius and brilliance.

Fabric covered buttons
Do you like the formica table my buttons are on? It was in our house when we moved in, used as a kitchen table, but I’ve appropriated it for my craft table now…

So I ordered some of the relevant buttons. And tried to put them together a few weeks ago. No joy. Turned out you need a little stamping tool too. So I ordered that as well and felt convinced I was really on my way to a genius creation.

So, there I was on Saturday, full kit in hand: two parts to the buttons, the button stamping tool, scissors and some scraps of fabric.

In theory, it’s a doddle to put them together. You cut a circle of fabric, centre your button onto it, stick it in the button stamping tool, put the back on, then use the other side of the tool to click it into place. I watched YouTube videos. It was quite clearly going to be ridiculously easy.

Except. I’d bought the smallest size of buttons. (I don’t understand sizes and weights so I never have a clue what’s going to turn up when I order something online, it’s frequently too big or too small. I have a bag of stuffing in the spare bedroom that could probably make about 1,000 soft toys. I was only making one…)

With the smallest size of buttons, everything gets really, really fiddly. You need to have the button centred perfectly onto the fabric, otherwise the fabric will slip out of one side of the button, or the back won’t click into place if you’ve got a bit of excess fabric in another place.

I’m not the most patient person in the world for fiddly work and this made me swear quite a lot.

So I only made seven buttons.

Fabric covered buttons
Buttons buttons buttons

They do look cute from the front though, don’t they?

From the back, as you can see, the fabric isn’t perfectly in place though. Grrrrrrr.

Fabric covered buttons
Urgh, horrible back which didn’t work properly

I’m going to order a bigger size of button now. I’ll let you know if I have better luck.

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Linking this up at Serenity Now, the Shabby Nest, the Shabby Creek Cottage and Beyond the Picket Fence. Head over to see what others have been up to this week.

3 thoughts on “A fiddly little project

  1. Got my first button maker and buttons to make yesterday …. bigger though thank goodness. But I’m going to try and embroider them … that’s a bit of a disaster so far …

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