This week I made a button! And it wasn’t that hard.
Well, I didn’t actually make a button; but I made a button replacement for a recliner. Maybe you have lost a button from an overstuffed chair, you too, can repair it yourself.
I tried to get a cloth covered button made for my chair after reading that any upholsterer could/would do this for a buck or so. But, at least in my area, there was no one willing to take on this simple task. After looking at the local fabric store I decided this project was not worth the $10 plus it would cost for the cover button kit. But. I did have possible makings for such a repair in my stash of stuff.
Ingredients: 1 1inch button, stiff wire, dental floss, a piece of matching fabric twice the size of the button and assorted tools, including needles, pliers, and you might need a staple gun. (You don’t have to use dental floss, you can use a very strong thread but I happen to have plenty of packages of floss just waiting for a good use.)
Some chairs come with a small swatch of matching fabric attached to the underside of the chair. Mine did not, but there were several areas where I could cut a piece that would not be visible and that’s what I did. Look for a piece on the underside, like at a corner, or where it there are plackets, again at the back corners. First, I pulled the wire through the button looping it through twice and then using needle-nose pliers twisting the ends round so that it was secure and no sharp ends were sticking out. I discovered that the wire needed to stick out almost 1/4 inch because of the cloth thickness.
Then, I sewed around the button with a simple stitch and when the circle was complete I pulled the thread tight, gathering the cloth around the button and secured it.
If you have the original button you can just reattach it starting at this point.
This next step calls for a long needle. You could buy an upholstery needle which is like eight inches long and very wicked or you could be cheap like me and use a yarn needle that you have lying around. The needle I had is about four inches long. I don’t know where it came from but before buying ask your crafty friends if they might have one. Or your mother.
I threaded the needle with three lengths of the dental floss. Make sure you use more than enough to thread all the way through the chair and back out with enough to tie off. Don’t skimp on this length…you’ll thank me later.
Thread the button onto your thread, holding on to the end and then push it into the chair. I was able to recline the chair back and fit my hand to the back without removing the backing. You might not be so lucky and have to remove the fabric then re-staple it. If you have a second pair of hands this part would be easier. Thread it through and then back out to the front and through the button again. Holding both ends pull the the button into the fabric, tightening it so that it’s the same depth as the other buttons. Then tie it off securely. Do not be a dummy and use a granny knot or you’ll have to repeat this step.
Do not go all the way through the back material or your project will look like a doofus did it.
I was worried that I would pull the thread all the way through but there was so much fiberfill that this does not seem to be a problem. Still, if you are worried about this you could easily add a button on the inside that would hold your thread in place. So, thread button from top through upholstery material, add simple back button and then pass needle back to front. The back button will help hold the thread in place.
Now. Time for a nap in my recliner.