These badges are an adaptation of the ‘covered buttons’ project on page 176 of my new book The Homemade Home.
I made them for my book launch party as little gifts for guests to wear at the party and to take away with them as a keepsake. It could be a lovely idea for weddings too and is a great conversation starter or ice breaker when people don’t know each other. They also work as decorative additions to liven up plain cushions.
You can use either a metal badge making kit (I use my children’s Bandai badge maker), or you can buy button kits from a haberdashery which are similar and just have a front part and a back part that simply snap together, sandwiching the fabric and holding it firm. I have explained the haberdashery button covering method below, as it is more accessible.
Covering buttons in an unexpected fabric adds quirkiness and individuality to an outfit or cushion and they work well grouped together. Each button requires only a scrap of fabric, so you can go to town with your combinations of colours and patterns, or opt for a more coordinated theme. Covered-button kits are available from most haberdashers, they have little hooks to grip the fabric and a snap-on back to finish it off and keep it neat. They have a loop (shank) on the back for attaching.
Materials and equipment
- Button covering kit (these can be bought from John Lewis, buttons can be bought in various sizes and are not too expensive)
- Needle and thread
- Scraps of fabric
- Safety pins
1. Cut out a circle of fabric with a diameter slightly less than twice the diameter of the button.
2. Using a needle and thread, sew running stitch around the edge of the circle and place the button upside down in the center of the circle and pull the threads together to gather the fabric around the button and knot.
3. Place your ribbon on top of the gathered fabric (still on the back), in the position you are happy with. Check the position of the shank if you want your ribbon to hang straight down. Snap the back on so it clamps the ribbon in place as well as finishing the button. If your fabric is thick it can be quite difficult to push the back on. A cotton or fine linen works well.
4. if the shank sticks out too far you can push it in so it is flatter to the back.
5. Attach a small safety pin so you can fix it to clothes or furnishings or you could sew it on to be more permanent.
Have fun making!