Make your own Bead covered Buttons : 4 ways

beaded buttons

Buttons are functional – everyone knows that. But beaded buttons are the most functional. They function as a decorative element as well as as a fastener.

Here are 4 easy ways to make your own beaded buttons. One is to just used the bead as such and another is to cover a button with beads and the other methods cover a button with beaded fabric.

It is great that you get beads in different colours, shapes and textures, much more than you get buttons. Triangular shaped, heart shaped, cylindrical shaped, so many shapes and colours. It takes only a simple trick to transform these beautifully shaped beads into buttons suitable for your clothes.

Related post : Names of all kinds of beads; Names of buttons used in sewing

how to sew bead buttons


You can easily sew the small buttons of sizes 5 – 6 mm like pearls, wooden beads , glass beads into the garment straightaway. You sew it up like you would a regular button. They look like buttons, they behave like buttons.

One thing you have to ensure is that the buttonholes for these small bead buttons should be smaller than what you would make for a similar sized regular button.

Problem arises when you have beads larger than that. Bigger beads of size 8 -12 mm needs a shank. 

Best way is to make a thread shank. You need a thread shank so that the bead button is slightly raised from the surface of the cloth. 

Method 1. Bead button

How to Make a shank for a bead button

Step 1

Thread your hand needle with two or three strands of thread. Leaving about 5 inch tail ,Make a loop around the bead. Do this twice more.  Make it adequately tight , but not so tight that you cannot let two needles pass through.

bead buttons - wrap thread through the hole in your bead

Step 2

Make button hole stitches ( Start from the side of the needle to the other side where you left the tail) over this thread loop, tightly, like you would make for a thread bar for hooks .

make bead buttons- start making buttonhole stitches along the wrapped thread

After you have made the stitches completely, tie the two end tails strands making a knot.

Make two knots. This will secure your stitches on the shank.

tie the thread tails together

Now re-thread the needle and Take it through the shank you have made and come out through the center of the shank.

shank for the bead button

Now you can attach the bead with the help of this needle.

Another slightly difficult option you have is to make your own metal shank with a heavy wire.

Yet another option is to tie a knot at the back of the bead. Leave a tail of 5 inches on the bead after going through the hole of the bead twice.

Tie a knot around the tail of thread just under the bead. Make 4 such knots one on top of the other.

Tighten the knot with your hand. This is your shank

Keep ready a thin beading needle and good quality beading thread for making your beaded buttons.

Method 2. Cover a chunky button with beads

 beaded button with beads covering the button

To make this button, you need a large wooden button and seed beads. Measure the length of the button from hole to hole and string beads to match this. I took 10 seed beads for my button.

Button and 10 beads on the needle

Take this to the back of the thread. Insert the needle back through the beads as in the picture below – excluding the first and the last beads. (you will be coming back through the beads). See picture.

thread the needle again through the 9 beads

Now turn back the needle and go through the last bead (No.10) in the reverse direction. Picture below.

Come back through the first bead

This will give a single tassel. Make several of these – you can make them individually and then bring them together with a needle and thread or make them continously one by one on the same thread.

make 10 such bead strings

Bring them together into a circle.

Join together to form a circle

Apply a little glue and keep the bead on top of the circle. Wait sometime for the glue to dry.

Wrap over the bead/button

Insert needle and thread through the outer beads – through all the tentacles.

Tighten the thread to cover the bead completely with your strings of beads. Tie a secure knot.

DIY beaded buttons

Here is your beaded bead.

Beaded button

You can use this as a button. Learn how to sew a button here.

To make a shank use a silk or polyester buttonhole twist thread and attach it to the garment.

Method 3 . Beaded fabric button

Cut out a circle-shaped medium weight fabric piece that is 3/4 inches bigger all around than the button. If you are using a button kit you can use the template given with the kit.

Cut out an interfacing paper (very thin paper-thin interfacing) as well in the same shape. Attach the interfacing to the fabric.

You can use all kinds of beads on your button/beaded bead.

Beads, fabric, sequins,etc to embellish the beaded buttons

Mark a circle around the button on the back – on the interfacing.

If you are not using a button but a cardboard to make the button mark it a size between 1/2 inch to 1-1/2 inch – depending on your use.

Mark the fabric for the button area

Stitch around this circle with a running stitch – this will give the marking line on the front.

Fill the circle with bead embroidery stitches.

make beading stitches ' the beads attached in a circular design

You can cut off the interfacing paper around the beaded area – you do not want the thickness outside the beaded circle.

wrap around a plain button

Make a running stitch around the outer edge of the circle. Keep the button top inside and gather the edge around the form. Keep the button back and snap it in place. (or however your kit specifies)

Use other beads and fabrics to make variations of these beautiful buttons.

bead embellished button -with metallic threads, rhinestones and bugle beads
Bead embellished with bugle beads, rhinestones, metallic thread

Related posts : If you do not know how to sew beads on fabric you need to check out these posts – Bead embroidery stitches -glossary ; Various Methods for Embellishing Fabric with Beads

Method 4 Embroidered beaded buttons

You can add beads after doing embroidering on the fabric.

Check out these posts : Hand embroidery stitches ; How to sew beads on fabric edges

Make embroidery stitches on fabric which is interfaced.

Make embroidery stiches on the fabric
Add beads all around and in the middle
curve the fabric over other button

You may want more than one beaded button – ensure that they are all made the same way – for this a little bit of planning will be needed. Make exact same designs, draw grid lines for attaching beads accurately.

Related posts : Different names for buttons ; How to make fabric buttons – 6 ways.; How to sew a button on fabric 

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

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