Free Template to Make Covering Buttons Even Easier

Every used one of those self-cover button tools but wish you could see the bit of material you want to cut out? Self-covered buttons are super to customise and personalise all sorts of projects, not to mention use up little scraps of fabric. The biggest problem (for me) is that I would want certain elements of the fabric to sit  squarely on the front without cropping off bits or having other bits intrude. Spoiled many a pretty button like that and it’s all the more galling if you don’t have any more of the same fabric.

I came up with a set of templates that sort this out for you. If you have a cutting machine like a Silhouette, Cameo, Silver Bullet , Cougar, etc, cut them with precision! But they don’t have to be perfect, just close enough so fussy cutting done with reasonable care is good enough.

You can see what I mean from the picture above showing a couple of buttons that have a pussy cat and a mousey on the front. Without a ‘port-hole’ to look through, it would have been so easy to have clipped kitty’s ears or the mouse’s tail.

If you have never seen or used a self-covering button tool, here’s how to use one – and how my template comes in very useful to select the design elements I want.

You’ll need some:

  • self-covering buttons
  • self-covering button tool
  • fabric

This is the self-covering button tool. You can get them from most haberdashers  or Google for online stockists. They’re only a few euro.

And these are self-covered buttons. Very simple – two halves; front and back plate. They come in a range of standard sizes: 11mm, 15mm, 19mm, 23mm, 29mm. You can also get a bigger size, 38mm, I think, but I’ve never seen a tool for that size.

1. Select the area of the fabric you want to feature on your button with my free template. The inner aperture is the actual size of the button, the outer ring is the circumference of material you’ll need to cut out to allow for some to tuck round the back. You’ll see what I mean in the next couple of pictures.

2. Here’s the fabric with the little kitty in the middle – don’t worry about the extra stuff around the periphery – that’ll be tucked out of sight in the back of the button.

3. Turn the fabric over to the wrong side and place face down into the appropriately sized button maker. Keep it as central as possible.

4. Press the front of the button face down into the middle so that the fabric curls around to the back. At this stage, if you are using a self-covering button with teeth (some have a serrated rim to catch the fabric at the back) run your finger around the button to press the material into them. Otherwise, just tuck the curled fabric in nice and tidily – maybe use a spot of PVA glue or fabric glue if it’s being a bit fiddly.

Then pop the button backing plate on.

Get the top half of the tool and press it down into the button to force the top and bottom bits firmly together.

Then pop your button out!

I am giving the template away for free – get it here:


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