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Holiday Gifts – Fabric Covered Button Brooches

I saw this post “How to Make a Fabric Button Brooch Tutorial” on Sew Delicious. I immediately thought, “Oh, I have to make some of these. They’ll make great presents!”

You just get some flat-back covered buttons, fabric scraps, pin backs and glue, and voila you’ve got some great holiday gifts.

Pinback with loop to string on a chain

The first thing I did was buy a few pinbacks from Britex Fabrics, the kind that have the little thing that you turn to keep the pin in place. (Britex is just a couple blocks from where I work.) I got the smallest size pinbacks they had (3/4 inch) and I also got a few 1-inch pinbacks that had a loop at the top so you can string the brooch on a necklace. So the brooch can be worn as a pin or hang on a chain.

Britex didn’t have any flat-back covered buttons, only covered buttons with a shank, which makes sense because you can’t sew flat-back button on anything. They are a craft item, not a sewing item.

So I followed Sew Delicious’s advice and searched Etsy. I found plenty of vendors selling flat-back buttons. I ordered a size 45 covered button kit from Cutiestuffs for $3 (link here), which included six size 45 covered buttons. I ordered 100 size 45 flat back buttons for $26 from Yes to Me (direct link), the cheapest price on Etsy – at least as far as I could tell.

Note: The buttons from Yes to Me are for heavy fabric. The buttons arrived in two ziplock bags – rounded fronts in one bag and the backs in another.

I thought she sent me the wrong backs because they didn’t hold the fabric in place. I emailed her and that’s when I found out that they were indeed the correct size but they were for heavy fabric. She also made the excellent point that you can see the metal of the button through lightweight fabric so she suggested doubling the fabric or using a very light batting as backing. I used some white flannel, which worked well with lightweight fabrics. 

I already had a glue gun and I have a huge supply of gluesticks. I have no idea why I bought so many  so many years ago but they sure come in handy when project like these come up.

Here’s what the back of a completed fabric covered button brooch looks like. The ones pictured above are for my nieces and nephew. These are fun and easy to make and a great way to use up fabric scraps!


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Chuleenan Svetvilas is a writer who sews and collects hats and shoes. She is a fabric addict and loves classic films and vintage clothes.

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