How to Make Your Own Big, Ruched Buttons

It's the details that make a project, and I just love a big, ruched, self-covered button for adding some vintage-modern punch to an outfit or accessory.

I just love a big, ruched button!

You need an oval shape for ruching.

 Stich across oval between dots to gather

  Gather the center, then stitch
around the edge.

Here's how you can make your own ruched, self-covered buttons. (Note: You will need to purchase a large button-making kit from your favorite notions store.):

–First, cut out an oval-shaped piece of fabric to cover the button, rather than circular, to allow for the gathering of the fabric. To determine the size, lay the button down on the wrong side of the fabric and mark the center of the button, as well as the side and top edges. Move the button over half a width to each side and mark the curve lines, as shown. Your oval should be a ½-inch larger than one formed by the side, top, and bottom curves.

–Then, sew a running stitch in a straight linebetween the two outer dots. Make smaller stitches on the front of the fabric to hide the thread, once gathered. Knot the end, then gather up to create ruching and secure center with thread. Your fabric should now be in the shape of a circle.

–Next, sew a running stitch around the edge of the circle ¼" from the edge and gather up like a granny cap. Cover the button and tie off to secure the fabric on the button. Massage gathers to distribute evenly, and finish the button according to manufacturer's instructions. Voila! Big ruched button!

For lots of patterns you can use these buttons on, check out the 30% off ePatterns sale in the Sew Daily Shop.

Do you like to cover your own buttons? I would love to know if you have any tricks!

Happy stitching!


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About Amber

Amber Eden is the editor of Stitch and She LOVES sewing and editing Stitch and She also loves dance, yoga, iced decaf triple espressos, and her two golden retrievers. She divides her time between Boston and New York.

2 thoughts on “How to Make Your Own Big, Ruched Buttons

  1. I create Victorian era historical dresses and this is a great tutorial for creating buttons that would be accurate for that time period. I would like to share this tutorial on my blog which is a combination of living history and historical costuming. I would like to post a paragraph or two to pique the reader’s interest and then link to your website for the rest of it. Would this be permissible? I have thoroughly enjoyed the newsletters that I receive from Sew Daily. Thank you, Ann Dixon

  2. I make ‘buttons’ for kids to have stitched on bags. I use cabone rings but you could use key rings, or brass rings. I use crochet thread, in various colors and after tying it on the ring, I make some thing like a blanket stitch, or half hitch that goes all around the ring. Then I take the crochet thread (with a needle) and stitch back and forth in one direction, neatly. I anchor it in the thread on the back side of the ring. Then I go across and weave it in and out in the other direction. For the kids I can stitch it to their bags through the thread, but a shank can be made from side to side.
    I have also used old fabric covered buttons that have seen better days in my sewing box, and if the fabric is strong enough, I make loops in colored thread. (Once again, crochet thread. I have also used yoyos to cover the old button. I usually have to add a thread shank for attaching. I’ve also made spirals into fabric (made to fit the button cover), they start from the center and continue outwards. I usually use an embroidery thread, and contrast it like using gold thread on black.