Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Nothing adds personality to projects like buttons, and fabric-covered ones are especially versatile. I love customizing buttons with my favorite fabrics to complement a particular project. Here's a cheerful collage of buttons set atop one of my vintage crocheted potholders.

For years, I've used the usual button-cover kits but I'm always looking for ways to simplify ordinary creative tasks. So when Imaginisce sent me their new i-top Tool (a button and brad maker), I couldn't wait to try it out. Being a lover of all things pink, I was already a fan when I saw its color!

For those of you who haven't yet tried this fun tool, I thought it might be helpful to give you a basic tutorial that shows how easy it is to use. So yesterday I made fabric-covered buttons for my pincushions using Moda's new Ruby fabrics, coming to shops this October.

I love Ruby's bright and cheerful palette of reds, greens, aquas, and grays. I chose these three fabrics for my project.

You'll need a button cover, button back, and a circular piece of fabric.

Imaginisce sells small, medium, and large button daddies, and a set of circular templates (not pictured) for tracing your fabric.

The tool features two rubber heads—the larger one accommodates the medium-size buttons and the smaller one the small-size buttons. There are also two metal heads that correspond with each of the two rubber heads (you'll see how in a minute). You can purchase a button-making set that includes the rubber head and metal head for the large-size buttons separately.

To get started, position the metal button cover on top of the metal head.

Center your fabric circle over the top of the metal button cover. Then rotate the pink rubber head 180 degrees so it's facing the metal head. Squeeze the handle, pushing the button cover and fabric into the pink rubber head.

Rotate the pink rubber head face up 180 degrees by pulling up on the spring-loaded metal piece just below it and then twisting. This is what the button cover will look like.

Press the fabric ends down so they will fit neatly inside the button back.

Place a metal button back over the fabric.

Then rotate the rubber head 180 degrees while securing the button back in place temporarily with your fingers. I like to then flip the tool so the pink rubber head is below the coordinating metal head (shown here) because I find the button cover stays in place better. Squeeze the handles. You'll hear a slight clicking noise when it's been properly inserted.

Rotate the rubber head face up. To release the button, just peel back the rubber head slightly.

And you have a perfect fabric-covered button in no time! Button-making is truly a breeze with this tool.

I made two of these buttons for my pincushion design, then dressed up the sides with a little pink trim. The fabric pictured below my pincushion is also from the Ruby line. Gray seems to be a big trend in quilting fabric these days and I love how this line mixes those subtler tones with the more vibrant reds. 

These buttons would also work great as closures for totes or fabric-covered notebooks, or as embellishments for your quilts and pillows. I've also seen them used to adorn yo-yos, or fabric flowers. The creative possibilities are endless! My only warning about this tool is that it can be addictive! I found myself making more and more buttons and now have a rapidly-growing stash of them. All the buttons featured in this post were made with the i-top Tool and Moda's Ruby fabric. For some of the buttons, I fussy-cut the fabric to showcase a particular design motif. 

To find out where you can purchase an i-top tool, click here. I'd love to hear how you like to use fabric-covered buttons! Feel free to leave me a comment.


  1. I love fabric covered buttons - many moons ago my mom used to make them to match sweaters that I would knit. I think I may pick up one of these, thank you for sharing!

  2. This tool makes it look easy! With such pretty fabrics, I can see how you would want to make several! The pincushion looks super cute!

  3. Oh my gosh! I LOVE how that button thing works! Oh man, another toy to buy!

  4. cute pink tool - I have just had to use a hammer before - didn't always work! This is a more elegant solution for sure.

  5. I love those covered buttons. Your pin cushion is lovely too! I'll have to keep an eye out for one of those tools.

  6. What a nice tool you found to make the covered buttons! I've made tons of them in the past to embellish the binding clips. You can see some of the pictures at my blog archived post. http://pleasentree.blog4.fc2.com/blog-entry-805.html#more
    I'll have to check and see if I can find somewhere around here.

    And thank you for hosting a wonderful giveaway. Although I didn't win, I sure enjoyed that excitement over the last weekend :)))

  7. Hi Kimber, Leave it to you to find this wonderful button tool and in the color PINK! Thanks for the tutorial and pictures. You're the best.

  8. I think that this might go on my list of needs! : )

  9. Thanks for the tutorial. I will have to look for one. That pincushion is the best...especially with the added trim.

  10. Love covered buttons. Many years ago I made my bridesmaids dresses - each had 36 tiny covered buttons....with I had this tool! Will be on the watch for it. Good tutorial!

  11. Love your covered buttons and your pin cushion is so cute. I live in Iowa too, and just found your great blog.

  12. Does this work with leather too?


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