How to sew a button

The second most common thing I have to fix in the clothing department is buttons! (The first is darning holes in my socks and tights)

A Zero Waste Life. Sewing a button back on

I’ve got a sneaky tip to make your button sewing so secure, it will be even stronger than it was before it fell off… tip is courtesy of my granny!

I always opt for thicker threads when sewing buttons, and I also double the thread by threading it onto the needle, pulling it though and knotting the two ends together. Choose a thread that matches your garment and button (or not, if you’re so super quirky and feel like matching thread and buttons are too mainstream!)

If your button has two holes, the sewing simply needs to go up through one hole, and down the other. If you have four holes, check how the other buttons have been sewn. Some buttons will be sewn on with an ’x’ shape. Others will look like an equals sign ‘=’ or they may be vertical lines.

Place your button wherever it needs to be sewn, and double check that it lines up properly with the button hole and other buttons. Use a tape measure if you need to check this.

You will need:

  • Scissors

  • A button

  • Thread

  • A pin


  1. Take your needle and thread from the back of your garment to the front, through the buttonhole.

  2. Put your needle into the next hole, as if to go back through the fabric- but don’t!

  3. Place a pin on top of the button, through the little loop you're making with the thread. Pull your needle through the hole and fabric. (it will get less fiddly from now on, I promise!)

  4. If you have 4 holes in your button, repeat steps 1-3 with the other hole and trap the pin even more securely with your thread

  5. I’ll usually go through each pair of button holes two or three times, depending upon how secure I need the button to be, how big the button is and how the other buttons are fixed. Sorry that this isn’t very precise! If you need some advice, send me a picture at and I will try my best to help!

  6. When you have fixed your button with two or three loops though the hole, take your thread back through the garment and pull the needle through.

  7. Take your needle back through the garment, like you have to go through the buttonhole, but take the needle to the side of the button. You want the thread to be as close to the loops you’ve already made. Pull your needle through

  8. Remove your pin

  9. Take your needle and thread and wrap twice around the gap between the button and garment. This gives reinforcement and means you have space to do the button up!

  10. Take your needle and thread to the back of the garment again. Do three small stitches on top of each other to secure the button and thread.

  11. Snip off the thread

  12. Marvel at how great you are for giving your garment more life, saving your clothes from looking shabby and being an all round awesome human!

If you want to sew a button on for decoration, you can skip the part where you use the pin.

We picked this thread purposely because it looked cute when we photographed it

We picked this thread purposely because it looked cute when we photographed it