Monday, April 25, 2011

How to Make a Sturdy Felt Button

   I told you about necessity being the mother of invention, but I neglected to mention that poverty is the mother of necessity.  Perhaps, unlike me, you have the means to buy whatever buttons you want whenever you want.  If you do, these are sooooo cool that you may want to make them anyway.  Or,  better yet ~ check out my Etsy shop.  I hope to offer them for sale soon.

 Trace a circle on a piece of hard plastic.  I used a button for my pattern.
You could skip this and use an old button or even buy plain buttons ~ but I enjoy the thrill of making something useful out of what would otherwise be headed for the recycle bin.
 Cut out the circle and use a seam ripper to poke two holes in it.
Sew heavy cotton thread through the holes.
Make a bobble with wool.
For a 5/8" button I used worsted weight yarn and size 10 1/2 needles.  
CO 1 st. Knit it 3 times.  On next row, increase 1 st each end. (5 st.)  Work 4 rows stockinette.  Dec. 1 st. each end of next row.  Then S1, P2tog, PSSO. Pull yarn through. Wrap knitted bobble around plastic disc and draw yarn around the edges, pulling tight.
You could also cut circles out of the lesser worn parts of an old wool sweater.
(Finish the edges so they won't unravel.)

 To give a rounded, rose-like finish, you can crochet a chain and sew it on to the bobble in a spiral. 
(You can also add this or other embellishments after felting.)

Now throw them in the washing machine.
Turn the washer to hot wash - cold rinse for the smallest load possible.
Put the buttons in a bag and zip or tie shut.  Add a heavy piece of fabric to increase the agitation.  
One wash did the felting for me.  You may need more.
Felted buttons:

I used the cotton thread to sew the button to a bag.  Then I sewed it again with yarn.  

The Girl Creative


  1. Very nice! Thanks.

  2. That is fantastic, I get a little crazy about finding the "perfect" button. This really is! Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom.

  3. I love this idea. It couples recycling and felting, which is perfect. I'll be giving these a go in the near future. Thank you for sharing the idea.

  4. Great idea! Thanks! Love the buttons and the bag!!!

  5. Please say you are a member of You need to add this to the patterns pages,you also need to submit this to

  6. Featured you!!!

  7. Wow, really like that! Perfect! thanks for posting this.

  8. This is fantastic. I've used self cover buttons, but this is great for whipping up a perfectly coordinated button even more cheaply!

  9. I love buttons! Thank you!

    I have been looking for a good pattern for buttons to knit. I am hoping to make some for my button collection, in case I ever need some.

  10. What a simple, but utterly brilliant idea! Thanks very much for sharing - I'm going to have an awful lot of fun adding felted button embellishes to my hand-knits

  11. I love love love love love love love love LOVE buttons. These are pretty cool but I doubt I would be able to get them to work as well as you did. Mine would probably end up really weird. I do not even know how to knit a bobble. Plus, don't bobbles require purling? I can't purl and do not want to learn. Thanks anyways for the pattern.

  12. Pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty!

    Sorry about my repetition. Such a great idea. Really want to make some, do not know if I have

    a) A good pattern for making bobbles, I'll have to look that up.
    b) A container to cut the plastic out of. I'll have to finish my milk quickly.

  13. I did use purling for the bobble, but you could do it in garter stitch (no purling) if you preferred. The difference will be small after felting.

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