Make Beads into Decorative Buttons

Learn how to use different beading techniques to embellish buttons that can be placed on clothing or made into jewelry.

Related To:

  1. Crafts
  2. Jewelry Making


Materials and Tools:

8" piece of solid-color cotton fabric (match color to overall beads)
6" plastic embroidery hoop
Dritz Half Ball Buttons-to-Cover, # 213-60, 1-1/2" (size 60)
fabric pen
short beading needle
craft glue
Nymo D or Silamide beading thread to match fabric color
seed beads in various colors and sizes (15, 11, 8)
1/8" bugle beads
glass leaves and flowers, approximately 8x10mm
small charms or other goodies
small scissors


1. Stretch the fabric over the hoop and secure it so it's taut but not pulling.

2. Cut the form pattern out from the back of the button package and trace it onto the fabric.

3. Lay the front of the button on the center of the circle and trace around it. This is the area you will be beading.

4. Draw a few directional lines in the circle to indicate a loose pattern for the beads.

5. Thread the needle and knot one end. Bring the needle up from the back of the fabric, pick up a large bead and go back down through the front. This is a seed stitch.

6. Bring the needle up right next to the large bead and pick up five size-11 beads. Lay them flat around the edge of the larger bead, making sure they lie taut and flat, and go down through fabric at the end of that row.

7. To do the backstitch, bring the needle back up in the middle of that row and go through two or three beads from the end through the beads. Don't go back down through the fabric.

8. Pick up four or five more beads and continue around the bead to surround it.

9. Continue surrounding beads in this manner, following the directional lines to fill in the entire surface of the button.

10. When the circle is covered, release the fabric from the hoop and cut out the edge to the outer circle.

11. Put a dot of glue on the button surface and center the fabric over the button form. Let the glue dry.

12. Follow the directions on the package to assemble the button, making sure that the beaded area lies flat on the form.

13. There will be uncovered edges around the sides that need to be covered with buttons. Thread a needle and knot one end. Bring the needle through an area that is missing beads and continue to cover that area with matching beads, using either the seed stitch or backstitch.

14. Additional embellishing can be added by stringing a short row of beads in a stack. Take the needle back through the entire row, holding the last bead strung as the anchor. Go back through the fabric and pull tightly.

15. Bring the needle up at another point and continue for the desired amount of fringe.

Note: Anytime you use a bugle bead, string a seed bead onto either end so that the sharp edges of the bead do not cut the threads.

Copyright © 2006 Myra Wood (

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