Skip to Content

How to Sew a Button Like a Pro! Beginner Sewing Series

We’re going back to basics with this post on how to sew a button by hand including 2 hole buttons, 4 hole buttons, shank buttons and more!

Different shaped buttons sewn to canvas fabric squares next to thread.

How to Hand Sew a Button

Every now and then I find a button starting to loosen on something I’m wearing or I find a button has completely fallen off already. Buttons that have been attached with a chainstitch machine or shank buttons that have been loosely sewn by hand are most likely the first to fall off. So whatever the scenerio, we’re looking at the 4 different types of button closures and the simple steps for sewing them on to shirts, pants, jackets or whatever other article of clothing or home accessory is needing it.

What are the Different Types of Buttons?
  • 2 Hole Button
  • 4 Hole Button
  • Shank Button
  • Hook and Bar Closure

We’re happy to share this video over on our YouTube channel with all the details on how to sew a button. If you prefer a written tutorial, keep on reading below.

Materials Needed for Hand Sewing a Button:

Disclosure: This post continues affiliate links for your shopping convenience. You can find our full disclosure policy here.

How to Sew a 2-Hole Button:

Mark placement of button with washable marker, chalk or wax.

Cut thread 24” long and thread through the eye of the needle. Pull thread all the way through until cut ends match up and knot the two ends together. 

A needle with thread, blue button, canvas fabric square and scissors.

At marked placement, insert the needle through the fabric on the back side. Push the needle through all the way and gently pull until the knot catches against the fabric. 

Using a needle to pull thread through a canvas fabric square.

Secure the ends further by pushing the needle back down and up in the same area.

With the threaded needle on the right side of the fabric, grab the 2 hole button and thread the needle through one of the holes. Push it all the way through.

Next, thread the needle through the other hole in the opposite direction.

Push the needle through the fabric close to the same position. 

Pull needle and thread all the way through until the button lays flush with fabric.

A blue button sewn onto canvas fabric.

Repeat this 3 or 4 times until the button feels secure. 

To finish, insert the needle back through to the front side but not through the button. Wrap the thread around the back of the button two times. 

Wrapping thread around the sewn button.

Then creating a loop with the thread, insert the threaded needle through to knot it in place. Repeat this twice to make it secure.

Placing a knot on the back of canvas fabric to secure the button.

Trim off the loose threads.

How to Sew a 4 Hole Button

There are two ways to attach a 4 hole button:

  • Criss Cross Stitching; and
  • Straight Stitching

1. 4-Hole Button: Criss-Cross Stitching

Mark placement of button with washable marker, chalk or wax.

Cut thread 24” long. Thread through the eye of the needle and pull thread all the way through until cut ends match up. Knot the two ends together. 

A needle with thread, blue button, canvas fabric square and scissors.

At marked placement, insert the needle through the fabric on the back side. Push the needle through all the way and gently pull until the knot catches against the fabric. 

Secure the ends further by pushing the needle back down and up in the same area.

With the threaded needle on the right side of the fabric, grab the 4 hole button and thread the needle through one of the holes. Push it all the way through.

Next, thread the needle through the other hole on the diagonal in the opposite direction.

Sewing a button onto canvas fabric.

Push the needle through the fabric close to the same position. Pull needle and thread all the way through until the button lays flush with fabric.

Push the needle back up through the fabric and insert through one of the other open buttonholes and then thread the needle back through the other hole on the diagonal in the opposite direction, creating a criss cross pattern.

Repeat this 3 times in the exact same pattern until the button feels secure. 

To finish, insert the needle back through to the front side but not through the button. 

Wrap the thread around the back of the button two times. Then creating a loop with the thread, insert the threaded needle through to knot it in place. Repeat this twice to make it secure and trim off the loose threads.

2. 4-Hole Button: Straight Stitching

Close up of button sewn onto canvas fabric square.

Mark placement of button with washable marker, chalk or wax. Cut thread 24” long and thread through the eye of the needle. Pull thread all the way through until cut ends match up and knot the two ends together. 

At marked placement, insert the needle through the fabric on the back side. Push the needle through all the way and gently pull until the knot catches against the fabric. 

Securing a button to canvas fabric.

Secure the ends further by pushing the needle back down and up in the same area.

With the threaded needle on the right side of the fabric, grab the 4 hole button and thread the needle through one of the holes. Push it all the way through.

Next, thread the needle through the neighbouring hole (adjacent to the first hole) in the opposite direction.

Push the needle through the fabric close to the same position. 

Pull needle and thread all the way through until the button lays flush with fabric.

Push the needle back up through the fabric and insert through one of the other open buttonholes and then thread the needle back through the remaining open hole, creating a straight pattern.

Repeat this 3 times in the exact same pattern until the button feels secure. 

To finish, insert the needle back through to the front side but not through the button. 

Wrap the thread around the back of the button two times. 

Then creating a loop with the thread, insert the threaded needle through to knot it in place. Repeat this twice to make it secure.

Two buttons sewn onto fabric showing a cross stitch and straight stitch pattern.

Trim off the loose threads.

How to Sew a Shank Button

Mark placement of button with washable marker, chalk or wax. Cut thread 24” long and thread through the eye of the needle. Pull thread all the way through until cut ends match up and knot the two ends together. 

A needle with thread, blue button, canvas fabric square and scissors.

At marked placement, insert the needle through the fabric on the back side. Push the needle through all the way and gently pull until the knot catches against the fabric. 

Secure the ends further by pushing the needle back down and up in the same area.

Threading a needle through a shank button and fabric.

With the threaded needle on the right side of the fabric, grab the shank button and thread the needle through the ring hole on the back side. Push it all the way through.

Push the needle through the fabric close to the same position. 

Wrapping the thread around the back of the shank button.

Pull needle and thread all the way through until the shank button lays flush with fabric.

Repeat this 3 times until the button feels secure. 

To finish, insert the needle back through to the front side but not through the ring hole. 

Wrap the thread around the back of the button two times. 

Hands holding up a sewn shank button on square fabric.

Then creating a loop with the thread, insert the threaded needle through to knot it in place. Repeat this twice to make it secure. Trim off the loose threads.

How to Sew a Hook and Bar Closure

Mark placement of hook and bar with washable marker, chalk or wax. Cut thread 24” long and thread through the eye of the needle. Pull thread all the way through until cut ends match up and knot the two ends together. 

Attaching Hook

Mark the placement of the hook and bar at the inner front waistband of your pants. The hook should be placed on the side that overlaps the waistband (the side facing your body) while the bar should be on the side that faces outward.

At marked placement, insert the needle through the fabric on the inner waistband only. Don’t push the needle through to the top side otherwise the stitching will be visible. Instead push the needle back out about ⅛” away and push it through the fabric. Gently pull the thread until the knot catches against the fabric. 

Secure the ends further by pushing the needle back down and up in the same area. Again avoid pushing through to the top layer of the waistband.

Grab the hook and thread the needle through the top hole and push it all the way through.

Insert the needle back through the fabric close to the same position, about ⅛” away and pull needle and thread all the way through until the hook lays flush with fabric.

Repeat this 3 times an continue this method with the other holes on the hook until it’s secure. Next, move on to the other holes on the hook and secure in the same way.

To finish, create a loop with the thread and insert the threaded needle through to knot it in place. Repeat this twice to make it secure. Trim off the loose threads.

Do the same steps with the bar component of the closure on the other side of the waistband.

Looking for More Sewing Tutorials?

We’ve previously shared our ultimate guide for hemming pants; which includes step by step instructions for shortening and hemming all different types of pants from wide leg dress pants to skinny jeans. Also, if you’ve ever wondered how to hem a pair of jeans while maintaining the original hem, we have a post for that too!

Like it? Pin it for later!

How to Sew a Button – Beginner Sewing Series

Jane and Sonja
We're going back to basics with this post on how to sew a button by hand.
No ratings yet

Materials
  

  • Thread
  • Needles
  • Thread Wax

Instructions
 

2 Hole Button

  • Mark placement of button with washable marker, chalk or wax.
  • Cut thread 24” long.
  • Thread through the eye of the needle.
  • Pull thread all the way through until cut ends match up.
  • Knot the two ends together.
  • At marked placement, insert the needle through the fabric on the back side. Push the needle through all the way and gently pull until the knot catches against the fabric.
  • Secure the ends further by pushing the needle back down and up in the same area.
  • With the threaded needle on the right side of the fabric, grab the 2 hole button and thread the needle through one of the holes. Push it all the way through.
  • Next, thread the needle through the other hole in the opposite direction.
  • Push the needle through the fabric close to the same position.
  • Pull needle and thread all the way through until the button lays flush with fabric.
  • Repeat this 3 or 4 times until the button feels secure.
  • To finish, insert the needle back through to the front side but not through the button.
  • Wrap the thread around the back of the button two times.
  • Then creating a loop with the thread, insert the threaded needle through to knot it in place. Repeat this twice to make it secure.
  • Trim off the loose threads.

4 Hole Button

  • Two Ways: Criss Cross Stitching and Straight Stitching
  • Method 1 – Criss Cross Stitching
  • Mark placement of button with washable marker, chalk or wax.
  • Cut thread 24” long.
  • Thread through the eye of the needle.
  • Pull thread all the way through until cut ends match up.
  • Knot the two ends together.
  • At marked placement, insert the needle through the fabric on the back side. Push the needle through all the way and gently pull until the knot catches against the fabric.
  • Secure the ends further by pushing the needle back down and up in the same area.
  • With the threaded needle on the right side of the fabric, grab the 4 hole button and thread the needle through one of the holes. Push it all the way through.
  • Next, thread the needle through the other hole on the diagonal in the opposite direction.
  • Push the needle through the fabric close to the same position.
  • Pull needle and thread all the way through until the button lays flush with fabric.
  • Push the needle back up through the fabric and insert through one of the other open buttonholes and then thread the needle back through the other hole on the diagonal in the opposite direction, creating a criss cross pattern.
  • Repeat this 3 times in the exact same pattern until the button feels secure.
  • To finish, insert the needle back through to the front side but not through the button.
  • Wrap the thread around the back of the button two times.
  • Then creating a loop with the thread, insert the threaded needle through to knot it in place. Repeat this twice to make it secure.
  • Trim off the loose threads.
  • Method 2 – Straight Stitching
  • Mark placement of button with washable marker, chalk or wax.
  • Cut thread 24” long.
  • Thread through the eye of the needle.
  • Pull thread all the way through until cut ends match up.
  • Knot the two ends together.
  • At marked placement, insert the needle through the fabric on the back side. Push the needle through all the way and gently pull until the knot catches against the fabric.
  • Secure the ends further by pushing the needle back down and up in the same area.
  • With the threaded needle on the right side of the fabric, grab the 4 hole button and thread the needle through one of the holes. Push it all the way through.
  • Next, thread the needle through the neighbouring hole (adjacent to the first hole) in the opposite direction.
  • Push the needle through the fabric close to the same position.
  • Pull needle and thread all the way through until the button lays flush with fabric.
  • Push the needle back up through the fabric and insert through one of the other open buttonholes and then thread the needle back through the remaining open hole, creating a straight pattern.
  • Repeat this 3 times in the exact same pattern until the button feels secure.
  • To finish, insert the needle back through to the front side but not through the button.
  • Wrap the thread around the back of the button two times.
  • Then creating a loop with the thread, insert the threaded needle through to knot it in place. Repeat this twice to make it secure.
  • Trim off the loose threads.

Shank Button

  • Mark placement of button with washable marker, chalk or wax.
  • Cut thread 24” long.
  • Thread through the eye of the needle.
  • Pull thread all the way through until cut ends match up.
  • Knot the two ends together.
  • At marked placement, insert the needle through the fabric on the back side. Push the needle through all the way and gently pull until the knot catches against the fabric.
  • Secure the ends further by pushing the needle back down and up in the same area.
  • With the threaded needle on the right side of the fabric, grab the shank button and thread the needle through the ring hole on the back side. Push it all the way through.
  • Push the needle through the fabric close to the same position.
  • Pull needle and thread all the way through until the shank button lays flush with fabric.
  • Repeat this 3 times until the button feels secure.
  • To finish, insert the needle back through to the front side but not through the ring hole.
  • Wrap the thread around the back of the button two times.
  • Then creating a loop with the thread, insert the threaded needle through to knot it in place. Repeat this twice to make it secure.
  • Trim off the loose threads.

Hook and Bar

  • Mark placement of hook and bar with washable marker, chalk or wax.
  • Cut thread 24” long.
  • Thread through the eye of the needle.
  • Pull thread all the way through until cut ends match up.
  • Knot the two ends together.
  • Attaching Hook
  • Mark the placement of the hook and bar at the inner front waistband of your pants. The hook should be placed on the side that overlaps the waistband (the side facing your body) while the bar should be on the side that faces outward.
  • At marked placement, insert the needle through the fabric on the inner waistband only. Don’t push the needle through to the top side otherwise the stitching will be visible. Instead push the needle back out about ⅛” away and push it through the fabric. Gently pull the thread until the knot catches against the fabric.
  • Secure the ends further by pushing the needle back down and up in the same area. Again avoid pushing through to the top layer of the waistband.
  • Grab the hook and thread the needle through the top hole. Push it all the way through.
  • Push the needle through the fabric close to the same position and back up about ⅛” away.
  • Pull needle and thread all the way through until the hook lays flush with fabric.
  • Repeat this 3 times
  • Continue this method with the other holes on the hook until it’s secure.
  • To finish, create a loop with the thread and insert the threaded needle through to knot it in place. Repeat this twice to make it secure.
  • Trim off the loose threads.
  • Do the same steps with the bar component of the closure on the other side of the waistband.
Like this craft? Leave some stars!& mention @SustainMyCraftHabit or tag #sustainmycrafthabit on Instagram!
Tutorial Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.