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Fabric Buttons
Twenty To Stitch Series
BY Gina Barrett

Search Press
18 June 2019/ ISBN 9781782217596
How-To Books/Needlecrafts

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde


Transform a garment, dress up cards and tags or make jewelry with this selection of twenty handmade buttons. All you need are a few button molds and the rest is about using up a stash. Fabric, beads, fancy threads and felt are all used to create these attractive buttons. You will also require basic sewing skills and tools, but this is a simple craft that can be done by most crafters. I confess to wondering where I was going to get the metal rings and wooden button blanks that are used but the author sells all these things (and more) on her website (see below). The book opens with a list of the items you will require plus some basic button techniques. Twenty To Make books have twenty projects featuring one page of what you need and instructions with the facing page showing a photograph of the item in situ. The buttons can be used wherever your imagination takes you, but it is inspiring to see them worn as pendants and hair slides, dressing up cards, tags and gifts, sewn onto hats and shoes as well as being used as fastenings on garments. Instructions are in word form only; there are no staged diagrams but anybody who is au fait with the basics of sewing won’t have a problem. Make toggles by rolling fabric, stitch on beads or do a bit of basic embroidery (you will need to look elsewhere for the stitches but they are simple ones) and wrap with thread. My own favorite has to be Spiral, made by rolling up bias binding over cord and adding a few beads. At the front of the book are some useful circles to trace that will fit most sizes of circular blank. Another winner in this excellent series.

Anybody who regularly reads my reviews will know I am always looking for new ways of recycling things, and here is a good one. Weave outside using yarn and twigs, cut out card circles, roll up card or hammer nails into wooden boxes or (like me) old frames. With a table fork for a beater, crochet hook and tapestry needle, hammer and nails you will probably be able to make any of the looms, all of which are so simple to make that instructions are kept to a minimum. There are plenty of clear photographic steps to stringing the looms, weaving and finishing off, and of course projects. Cover buttons, weave mats, create jewelry, wall hangings, napkin rings, wallets, bunting and more (no Alice bands). My favorites have to be the tote bag and matching clutch purse, showing that you can do a lot with a little. The threads used include all kinds of yarns but also ribbons, strips of suede and even chenilles (pipe cleaners). The projects have clear diagrams and instructions; if you are new to this sort of thing I advise starting with the simpler looms and items first. Recycling has never been so much fun!

Button bases, threads and more available from

If you cannot find a good range of craft materials locally try for a list of suppliers.

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2019