Life Skill To Have – Sewing on a Button

Lifeskill alert! Sewing is not just for the pioneer days, ladies; it’s an awesome skill to have – especially with young children, and even husbands, running around! Being able to put in a few stitches here and there can save you a lot of time and money in the long run, AND it makes you look like a BOSS because, sadly, not many people do it these days. So, start with some hand sewing when that button falls off your hubby’s shirt or your toddler’s pants and show ‘em what you’re made of!

First, you’re going to need a few items.

  1. The clothing item and buttons!

If you have the button that fell off or the spare button… (HINT – if it’s a dress shirt, there is usually a spare button sewn into the inside of the shirt, either on the back side of the button panel OR on the laundering tag – usually on the inside at rib level. What?! Who knew?) …found it? Then obviously you’ll use this option.

If you DON’T have the button that fell off – it’s lost in space somewhere never to be found again, or, God forbid, it has been ingested by a person or creature, then you may have to go to your local craft store and buy some replacement ones that look similar or compliment the garment. IMPORTANT – make sure the new buttons are roughly the same size. Otherwise, they won’t fit through the button hole. If they’re not going through a button hole, because they’re decorative rather than functional, then you can play around with size and shape. ALSO, if you can’t find an exact match, you will have to replace ALL the buttons, so buy enough for all of them, not just the one you’re replacing.

  1. Sewing Needles and Straight Pins

If you’ve never sewn before, you may be surprised to know there is a BIG difference between needles and pins.

A needle – is what you use to sew. It has an “eye” that you pass the thread through and can be various lengths and even different shapes for different uses. You just need a straight, medium length needle for sewing on a button, but it’s good to have options (and they’re easy to lose), so a sewing needles combo pack like this one is wise to buy. Plus, they’re relatively cheap and I don’t think you can just buy one needle by itself anyway.

A pin – is what is commonly referred to as a “straight pin” and is usually used to hold two pieces of a garment together for sewing. You can get normal ones with little silver heads on the end, but they’re small, harder to see, and can easily be lost if dropped (not good for little toes, ouch!) so I recommend ones with colorful heads on the end like these. These particular ones also have glass heads (the ball part) so you can iron or press over them without melting them on your shirt (this may come in handy later when doing more advanced sewing).

You only need one needle and one pin for sewing on a button, but having multiples is a good idea, and a cute pincushion like this one can also be a fun way to keep track of them! Want the more traditional tomato cushion? here is one that comes WITH the pins! Perfect!

TIP – I use a pin in my video, BUT if you really don’t think you’ll ever use the pins later, you can always just use another sewing needle in it’s place OR a toothpick in a pinch.

  1. Thread

Now, you just need the thread to hold it all together! Again, you can go to your local craft store, and I actually recommend doing this instead of ordering online. Why? Because unless you’re using white thread like this or black thread like this, you’re going to need to take the garment with you and match the color thread. Otherwise, it’s a good idea to have white and black all-purpose thread in the house, so those two are good options.


Now you’re all ready to sew that button! Don’t worry, it’s not that complicated, and you can’t screw it up too bad. Here is a quick step-by-step video that you can follow.



Have more than one button to sew on? OR did you have to buy all new replacement buttons? Remove the buttons one at a time – that way you don’t forget the spacing of where to put the button back on! To remove, there may be a loose thread that you can just pull and it will come off OR you may have to very carefully pull the button up a little bit and clip the threads underneath to release it. DON’T clip the fabric! Then, just repeat the process until all of them are sewn back on! Good luck!!


Have questions, comments, suggestions, or other skills you want to learn? Comment below or email us!

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