Tutorial: How to sew buttons on so they look like a flower…

I never dreamed I’d get so many comments and emails about my “flower buttons” that I showed in THIS post. Apparently everyone was intrigued enough that several of you asked me to show how it was done. It’s really very simple and I’m sure many of you have already figured it out. For those who were waiting for directions, I’ve got a few pictures to show you. Now mind you, I was doing this in my lap and trying to snap pictures as I did it, so my pictures aren’t perfectly lighted.

As a reminder, these are 2 pictures I showed with the buttons done so they look like a flower…



So here’s how you do it…

You have to use a button with 4 holes…and usually a light colored button works best to show off the stem and leaves and the flower part. You can use embroidery floss, silk ribbon, flower thread, or any kind of thread you might have. Pick your floss to match the green in your fabric if there is green and then match up the predominate color for the flower head.


Next find a needle with a fairly large eye so 6 strands of floss will go through it. You only need about 8-10 inches of floss. Don’t double your floss…If you don’t know how to sew with just one end of the floss knotted, only use 3 strands of floss and then tie both loose ends. You want a total of 6 strands of floss going through your button.


For instruction purposes, we’re going to say the holes in our button are top, bottom, left and right. Now take your needle and come up where you
want your button to be. Slide the bottom hole of your button onto the needle and then take your needle and poke it down into the top hole. When you have your thread pulled down, take a pin and slide it under the threads and let it rest across the button. This gives it some play when you actually have it going through a button hole. It would be too tight if you didn’t do this, and your fabric would look pulled and puckered.


Next take the needle and come up in the bottom hole again and take it over the pin and into the right hole. Then you’re going to want to come up in the bottom hole again and go one more time into the right hole. This makes the leaves a little thicker than the stem. Do the same thing for the left side hole…come up from the bottom hole, over the pin and into the left hole… 2 times.


Take the needle and floss to the back side and catch it a couple of times, knotting it. Then clip your threads.


Thread your needle now with the color of floss that will be your flower head. Again a total of 6 strands of thread for this. Bring your needle through the top hole…


Now this is where it gets a little tricky as I only have 2 hands and am trying to take pictures with one as well. What you want to make is a French Knot. If you know how to do that, you just make one and then go back down in that same hole. I generally wrap my needle 3 times but you can do 2 or 4 wraps if you like, depending on your thread.

Okay, so for those of you who don’t know how to do a French Knot, what you actually do is take the thread and wrap it around your needle and then holding the thread taut out to the side, take your needle and go back down in the top hole. It’s a bit hard to explain but it’s very very simple to do. I took a picture of the directions for a French Knot from 2 different books I have, so maybe if you look at this illustration, you’ll get the idea. If you just can’t get it, you can probably Google French Knots and find a YouTube video of how to do one.

Here is one I found that is simple and to the point…

French Knots YouTube video





Okay, so this is what your French Knot should look like…or something close to this…


Now you can remove your pin and sort of pull your button up, making your threads stretch just a bit…it snugs them up.


You can also do the flower button with a bead if you like. Do the stem and leaves the same way, but when you get to the flower head, thread a bead onto your needle and use that for a different sort of look. I probably shouldn’t have used red as it’s hard to photograph, but it’s what I picked so you’ll just have endure the glare of the red fabric.




Here is a flower button I did, only I made 2 French Knots as the flower head. Do it just like the pink one I showed you, only make 2 French Knots in the top hole of the button.


Here are all three buttons for you to see…Now see, wasn’t that easy? I expect to see lots of flower buttons on your doll dresses.


I got a kick out of one email I got today from subscriber Bobi. This is the exact quote from her email… “I’m SO glad to hear you’ll do a button sewed on like a flower…woohooo!! (wait til the next time my husband needs a button sewed on one of his work shirts)” Oh dear…what the men have to endure when their wives sew!

Thanks everyone,
See you tomorrow,
Blessings, Jeanne

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  1. Linda Doyle says:

    Jeanne, thank you so much for showing us how to make these darling buttons, or rather how to sew them on! I must admit, among all things I like to do least, sewing on buttons has to rank at #1!!! It always happens when you are dressing, or in a rush, and then you have to stop everything and put the dang thing on!! But these are adorable, and something even I could do! I used to do all kinds of stitchery, thanks to my 4-H and Home Economics classes, but it has been awhile! French knots, oh yes! I haven’t done one of those in eons, I guess.

    And Bobi’s comment about sewing her hubby’s buttons on with little “flowers”, had me in stitches! So funny!

    You are getting me to want to try out some of the new things you are showing us, more and more each day!

    • Hi Linda,
      My #1 thing I like to do least is replace zippers!
      Thanks for your compliments on my tutorial… okay some morning when you get up at “3:00 a.m.” I want you to get some thread and practice your French Knots…”
      That’s what I’m here for …to motivate and inspire you all! Nice to see it’s working!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  2. Great job Jeanne!!!! Love you!

    • Hi Cindy,
      I tried to call you twice yesterday…both times I had my phone in my hand ready to call you and I got another call. I’m now doing the decorations for the singles Valentine party for Chi Alpha on Friday night!
      Love you, Jeanne

  3. Jeannie B. in TX says:

    Jeanne, I am using the word, AWESOME again !!! When I saw those buttons yesterday I thought, ‘that woman has no end to her imagination’. You are absolutely a creative whirl-wind!! Love these buttons!! and yes, I was one of those who was trying to figure it out.
    Thank you for the instructions and pictures. Jeanne, you NEED to write a book !!!
    When I get done sewing this spring for the Butterflies AG dolls they will be the best dressed dolls in all of ABQ. I can just hear the elder Butterfly saying, “oh, that is so adorable”.
    Easter dresses here I come !!!!!

    • HI Jeannie,
      Oh good… inspiration has hit Texas in a big way! Practice makes perfect and this is something you could easily do with your little butterflies! They would love it!
      I think all my subscribers Easter Dresses will have Flower buttons on them!!
      Thanks Jeannie,
      Blessings, Jeanne

  4. Thanks for the tutorial, Jeanne. I like it when you show us how to do something.
    My dh wears dress shirts everyday, Bobi, what do you think about a different color for each flower/button?

    • Oh Jevne,
      I can just see Bobi’s hubby’s shirts with a pink flower, a blue one, a red one, and a green one… I’ll be sure and post a picture if she “actually” does it!
      I’m glad you enjoyed the tutorial.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  5. Love, love, love those buttons!! And the material they are on. The red material looks like the material from a Molly dress you had on Ebay last year. I lost out on bidding near the end of that dress’s auction because my computer froze!
    I agree with everyone above concerning your talent. It sounds like a broken record but your expertise never ceases to amaze me.
    Have a great day, Jeanne.

    • HI Paula,
      That red fabric was from Nyssa’s dress. I think the one you lost out on was one that had sort of a geometric feel to it, sort of like in squares.
      Thanks so much for your sweet comments on my work. I LOVE to sew and hope it shows!
      You have a great day too!
      Blessings, Jeanne

  6. Linda Doyle says:

    Jeanne, me again, but what is up with the time I supposedly wrote comments on your blog? Mine says 10:22 a.m., and I distinctly remember it being 3:22 a.m.! What time zone are you on, anyway??? 🙂

    • Hi Linda,
      I don’t know what it is with the time thing on here either. I’ve tried to change it twice, but it keeps going back to about 6 hours off. Maybe I’ll ask my webmaster how to fix it…
      Yes, 10:22 a.m. for you is almost nap time, isn’t it?? Sorry… I couldn’t resist! :o)
      Thanks, Jeanne

      • Okay Linda, I changed it to the time zone in Chicago… maybe it will be right now…
        YAY! I think I did it!!!
        ~ Jeanne

        • Hey, thanks, Jeanne. I didn’t know this could be changed. I’ve been on Australia time since Day 1.
          BTW, thanks for taking the time to make this tutorial. Your buttons looks so cute!

  7. Linda Doyle says:

    No, Jeanne, 10:22 is more like time to think about LUNCH!!! 🙂

    • Yes, Linda, I guess it would be closer to lunch time!
      I’m sure you are already in bed by now, but sweet dreams!
      blessings, Jeanne

  8. That’s got to be the best sewing technique I’ve seen in a long time! I can’t wait to try it out–I’m thing it would be cute on dresses for the granddaughters. Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

    • Hi Carolyn,
      Yes, do it on little girls dresses. I have before. Thanks so much for your kind comments.
      Blessings, Jeanne

  9. Jane Miller says:

    Hi Jeanne,

    I sent this post link to several of the doll groups I belong to…boy, were they excited! I think there will be a whole garden variety of buttons out there soon. Folks thought you were the cleverest seamstress and I think they are right!

    Thanks so much for being so generous!

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