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Learn How to Sew a Button Back on Clothing With Simple Step-by-Step Instructions Full Guide of 2024

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how to sew a buttonYou’re sitting there, anxiously fidgeting with that loose button on your favorite shirt. The thread has completely fallen away and that small disc is only hanging on by a loose loop now.

No need to panic! Sewing a button back on is easier than you think. With a needle and some matching thread, you can have that button reattached and looking good as new in no time.

Just set aside a few minutes and we’ll walk through the simple process step-by-step.

Ready to get started? Let’s begin!

First, you’ll need to gather your supplies – a sewing needle, matching thread, a thimble to protect your fingers, and a pair of small scissors.

Next, thread your needle with an arm’s length of thread and make a knot at the end. Place the button where you want it on the shirt, and push the needle up from underneath, right through one of the holes.

Now go down through the opposite hole on the button, keeping the button snug against the fabric.

Continue threading up and down through the button holes for a total of 3-5 stitches.

When finished, knot the thread on the underside of the button. Use your scissors to trim off any excess.

Try giving the button a gentle tug to ensure it is fastened on securely. Then wear your shirt with confidence, looking as good as new!

See, fixing a button is quick and painless. With a few basic sewing supplies and couple minutes of your time, you can easily repair loose buttons and save your favorite clothes.

Key Takeaways

  • Thread the needle and knot the end.
  • Mark where to place the button on the fabric.
  • Sew the button with crisscross stitches through each hole.
  • Wrap thread around the stem, creating space between the button and fabric.

Sewing a Button

Sewing a Button
After aligning the button and fabric, poke your needle up through the fabric and buttonhole for a snug fit. Grasp the needle firmly, then push it back down through the opposite buttonhole. Continue sewing by bringing the needle up and down through each pair of holes a few times to secure it.

Wrap the thread tightly around the button shank to provide space between the button and fabric. Poke the needle through to the wrong side of the fabric only, then make several small stitches to anchor it.

With practice, hand stitching buttons becomes second nature. Simply take your time and mind your fingers.

What You Need to Sew a Button

What You Need to Sew a Button
You’ll need some simple supplies to get those loose buttons in place before your shirt falls apart. Gather a sewing needle, thread, scissors, and a button. Select a needle with a large eye that can accommodate the thread.

Cotton thread typically works best, in a color matching or blending into the garment.

Next, mark where to sew the button on the fabric’s wrong side with a removable fabric pen. Line up the button’s holes over the mark. Poke the threaded needle from the wrong side up through one hole and back down through the opposite.

To finish, only go through the fabric underside and stitch a few securing times. Knot neatly on the inside, trim excess, and no one’s the wiser that you mended it! With a needle and thread, you can fix things up in no time.

Prepare to Sew

Prepare to Sew
Thread the needle with care, and mark where the button will go.

  1. Choose a thread that matches or blends into your garment’s fabric. Cotton is a versatile option.
  2. Select a needle with a large enough eye to fit the thread through. Bigger needles are easier to thread.
  3. Knot the end of an 18 inch doubled thread so it won’t pull through.

Line up the button’s holes over your fabric mark. Poke the needle up from underneath through one hole and back down the opposite.

Only go through the fabric underside to secure the button. Knot neatly inside, trim excess, and no one will know you fixed it up! With the right tools, mending is a simple, satisfying skill.

Mark the Button Placement

Mark the Button Placement
Before stitching, precisely pinpoint where that button’s gotta be.

Aligning placement is key for an inconspicuous fastener fix. Tracing the pattern or garment’s original button position keeps things tidy.

Steps Details
1. Find Replacement Match size, holes, color
2. Mark Placement Trace original or pattern
3. Prep Needle & Thread Single thread, knotted end

Choosing thread that matches the garment color makes a subtle statement. With basic sewing needles and the right hole buttons in hand, you’ve got this. Marking fabric ahead helps you sew that replacement where it belongs – just like the original.

Anchor the Thread

Anchor the Thread
Stitch, fix and finish with attention by anchoring thread beneath. Keeping stitches secure requires a bit of finesse when finishing up. Start by threading the needle under the button and through the fabric only. Avoid piercing the button itself.

Next, pinch the thread near the button and twist it around itself several times. This looping creates a thread shank that provides space between button and fabric. Wrap the thread snugly but not overly tight. Knotting too firmly may pucker material or loosen over time.

With thread anchored, insert needle through only the fabric once more near button. Stitch a few basic hand sewing stitches, then knot thread close to fabric. Finally, snip excess thread but leave enough to avoid immediate fraying and undoing your handiwork right away.

Matching thread color to material makes your fix look seamless. With a careful technique, that button stays put.

Attach the Button

Attach the Button
After anchoring your thread beneath the button, you’ll secure it by weaving up through one hole and down through the opposite. Create a thread shank by wrapping the thread around the stem several times before knotting it off.

With the button fastened, just snip any excess for a professional finish that appears store-bought.

Stitching the Holes

You’re back and forth, up and down, weaving that needle through each hole with care. With balanced tension, stitch tight loops to keep that button in place. Match the thread size to each hole, inserting the tip gently through without much space.

Too loose risks losing your button again over time. Too tight strains fabric and thread. Find the sweet spot that feels just right. Skill comes from practice and patience; take your time. Don’t let frustration win, just begin again if needed. With careful technique, your handiwork holds, improving your clothing and household goods.

Wrapping the Shank

Wrap that thread ’round tight for a snug shank, sparing no distance between fabric and button.

  1. Loop thread under button and over top
  2. Wrap down through button holes again
  3. Repeat, creating threads anchoring shank
  4. Finish off knots hiding thread tails in wraps

Cinch that shank thread between button and fabric, creating an arch with space so cloth moves freely. This prevents breaking, ruining your garment. The shank helps hide any frayed fabric edges too. No need for top stitch perfection either. Just keep wrapping ’til it feels snug.

Secure the Thread

Secure the Thread
After anchoring your thread beneath the button, you’ll secure it in place. Stitch up through one hole and then back down through the opposite hole. Repeat this up and down motion through each pair of holes to reinforce the attachment.

Then wrap the thread several times around the button’s stem to create a thread shank before tying it off tightly.

Stitching Under Button

After looping the thread between holes, you’ll stitch under the button for durability.

Needle Depth Stitch Gauge Thread Strength
Shallow Tight Thick
Deep Loose Thin

Carefully push the needle through the fabric right below the button, keeping your stitches tight and even. Use a thimble to protect your finger when sewing through tough materials. Match the thread thickness to the fabric weight.

Knotting the thread securely prevents it from loosening. With practice, you can replace lost buttons and repair garments to get more wear from them.

Tying Off

T’ secure the thread, knot it tightly under the button before snipping off any excess.

  • Hold thread taut after last stitch
  • Wrap thread around needle 3 times
  • Pull knot close to fabric
  • Add 2-3 reinforcement stitches
  • Carefully cut remaining thread

To finish, form a strong knot or tie near the button. This secures the thread coating and prevents loosening. Making multiple wraps before pulling it tight is key. Adding extra stitches makes the knot even more durable.

Trim the Thread

Trim the Thread
Trim that thread and make yourself useful, why doncha? Ain’t nothing sadder than an amateur seamstress leaving threads dangling everywhere.

Step Description
1 Cut excess thread close to button with sharp scissors. Be careful not to snip the button or fabric.
2 For thick thread like topstitching, cut thread ends at an angle. This helps them disappear into the fabric.
3 Tie off thread securely on the underside with a tight knot. Use your thumbnail to push the knot into the fabric.
4 Check front and back of project. Make sure no loose ends are visible. Restart threading if needed.

Eliminating those loose ends makes your handiwork look professional. Take pride in your craftsmanship. Tie off neatly, then trim. No one wants prickly threads tickling their fingertips.

You’re so close to completing your project beautifully. Carefully cut excess and savor that feeling of satisfaction.

Sewing Button Tips

Sewing Button Tips
Thread the needle and align the button against the fabric. Be careful not to prick your fingertips as you work. To leave a shank space between the button and fabric, knot the thread around your finger.

Then loop the thread under the button to create a gap. The shank provides room for the button to pass through the buttonhole without puckering the fabric.

Varying the stitch length when attaching the button will help secure it. Take stitches straight down through the left hole and up through the right. Keep the tension firm but not too tight. Doing a few extra stitches over the shank helps reinforce it.

Finish off by knotting the thread several times on the underside of the fabric. Snip off any excess thread close to the knot.

Avoid Finger Pricks

You’ll save your skin by working carefully around those sharp needles. Take it slow when threading that needle. Stay focused on the task at hand. Use a thimble to push the knot into the fabric. Be really cautious as you stitch to avoid those finger pricks. Rest your eyes often during the process so you don’t lose concentration.

Stay attentive, and you’ll get the job done right without any unnecessary holes in your fingertips.

Leave a Shank Space

Get a cushy space between the fabric and button by looping the thread around your finger before stitching under the button. Wrap that thread around your digit, then slide it off as you sew the underside. That loop forms a comfortable shank so the button sits just right.

Knot Around Finger

Wrap the thread around your finger before stitching under the button to form a sturdy shank. Loop it snug, but not too tight. This lifts the button up from the fabric, giving a cushy gap. Consider button size and fabric thickness when determining shank length. Knotting thread around your digit first provides just the right space for proper positioning.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What type of thread should I use to sew buttons?

You’ll want a thread that matches or complements the garment and is a bit thicker than usual. Polyester or cotton threads around 25-35 weight work well. Avoid silks or very thin threads, go with quality brands, and make sure to double up your thread for durability when hand sewing on buttons.

How do I choose the right size needle for sewing buttons?

When selecting a needle to sew on buttons, choose sharp needles in small sizes like 8 to The thin sharp point will easily pierce through buttonholes without damaging threads. Keep your stitches tight and close together, so opt for a needle just wide enough to fit your thread.

Avoid a needle that is too big or it may leave visible holes. Match the size to your thread, fabric, and button.

How many stitches should I make when attaching a button?

You’ll want to make 5-8 stitches through each hole to securely fasten the button. Insert the threaded needle down through one hole and up through the opposite. Continue crisscrossing down through one hole and up through the other about 5 times.

Then stitch over the shank several times before knotting off on the underside. Making multiple passes reinforces the button for durability.

What’s the best way to knot the thread when sewing on buttons?

Knot your thread around a finger first, then slide it off to make a neat loop. Insert the needle up through the buttonhole and fabric. Wrap the threaded needle tightly around the button 3-5 times before inserting the needle back down through the opposite hole.

Repeat inserting the needle up and down a few more times, then stitch under the button only before tying off the thread securely at the base.

How can I avoid poking my fingers with the needle when sewing buttons?

Use a thimble. Slipping it onto the middle finger of your sewing hand, the metal cap protects your fingertip as you push the needle through the fabric. Although it takes practice to control the needle while wearing a thimble, this classic tool shields sewers from accidental jabs.


With a few essential tools and a bit of patience, you can easily reattach a button in no time.

After threading your needle and marking the placement, slowly work the needle up and down through each hole to secure the button. Be sure to leave a small space of thread between the button and fabric, wrapping it to form the shank.

Take care not to prick your fingers as you carefully stitch the button in place.

With practice, sewing on buttons becomes second nature. Before you know it, you’ll be fixing buttons and making minor clothing repairs yourself, gaining valuable skills in self-sufficiency.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is the founder and editor-in-chief of, a site dedicated to those passionate about crafting. With years of experience and research under his belt, he sought to create a platform where he could share his knowledge and skills with others who shared his interests.