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Sew On a Two- or Four-Hole Button

Have an item missing in action because it’s missing a button? Stop the madness and learn how to sew on a button. It’s easy!


Button, button, what kind of button? There are two common kinds—buttons with holes that go through the center (like the four- and two-hole buttons on the top row) and shank buttons (like the one turned bottom up on the bottom row of the photo). 



We’ll learn how to sew on a two- or four-hole button for this lesson. The process is essentially the same for each.



  • Button
  • Hand-sewing needle that has a sharp point and easily fits through the holes in your button
  •  All-purpose sewing thread in a color that matches your button if you don’t want it to show or in a contrasting color if you do want it to show
  • Scissors


Sew on a Two- or Four-Hole Button:

1. First thread the needle. Cut a piece of thread about 24" long. Fold the thread length in half so the two cut ends are together and there is a loop at the opposite end. (We like to use a double length of thread for added security and so you don’t have to make as many passes through your button.)


2. Thread the cut ends through the needle’s eye.


3. Pull about 3 inches of thread tails through the eye.


4. Next position your button where you want it. Holding your button in place with one hand and the needle and thread in the other, it’s time to start sewing. Click the photo below to watch a video of the stitching process. 



Here are a few detail photos of the beginning and ending stitches. On the wrong side (or inside) of your garment, after the first stitch through your button pass the needle through the thread loop before pulling it taut. This eliminates the need for tying a knot in the thread. 



On the front, remember to stitch over a pin so you can avoid the rookie mistake of sewing your button on too tightly, which makes it hard to slip the buttonhole on and off. Don’t remove the pin until the thread is tied off on the back.



Once you’ve made enough stitches to secure the button, pull the needle to the back and slide it beneath a few of the stitches.



Pull the needle and thread almost all the way through, leaving a little loop (like the one you started with on the first stitch). Pass your needle through the loop and pull taut as you did before to knot the thread. Repeat to add a second knot, then trim off the thread end.