Teaching your kids to sew not only gives them valuable life skills, but it’s a great bonding experience – and fun!
Learning the art of button sewing is a great place to start with your kids – and it’s one of the most useful sewing basics they can learn!
Why Teach Your Child to Sew?
Learning to sew is not only fun, but it can really benefit your child in a lot of different ways!
- They will learn useful skills that they can take with them through the rest of their life. I mean – everyone should know how to sew on a button, right?!
- It helps young children to develop their fine motor skills. Practicing guiding a needle through fabric in the correct spot helps to develop steadiness and dexterity in your child’s hands and fingers.
- Patience might be a side effect. Sewing requires patience and focus – both great qualities to help your kids to develop! But do be careful not to overdo it and let the child put the project down if they get too frustrated. It’s a balance between encouraging focus and patience, while not creating a lifelong hatred of sewing!
- You will get quality time with your child. Teaching your kid a new skill and working on a project together will provide lots of opportunity to bond and spend constructive time together.
Materials for Teaching Your Kids How to Sew a Button
Sewing with very young children is different than sewing with adults. For one, you probably don’t want to start your kids with sewing on a sewing machine. It can be overwhelming, difficult to control, and dangerous for a child.
But even when hand sewing, the small, sharp needles that you would normally use could be hazardous for a young child without well-developed fine motor skills. No one wants to be stabbed in the finger with a needle – even a kid!
If your child is less than about 5 years old, or has difficulty working with their hands, I would recommend using large, blunt tapestry needles rather than regular hand sewing needles. These big needles aren’t very sharp and are easier for little kid hands to control.
When teaching a kid how to sew a button using a large tapestry needle, you will need to use jumbo buttons or shank buttons, which should have holes large enough to accommodate a big tapestry needle. If your child is old enough to use a regular hand-sewing needle without fear of hurting themselves, you can use any kind of button you (or they!) like.
How to Sew a Button
Once you have the right materials, you can start teaching your child the art of button sewing!
There are 2 main types of buttons – shank buttons and sew-through buttons – which each require a different method to sew them on.
Sew-through buttons are the typical, everyday buttons that you see on many garments. They are flat buttons with holes in the surface to sew through.
Shank buttons, on the other hand, don’t have holes in the surface. Instead, they have a small metal or plastic loop at the back of the button that can be sewn through. Usually shank buttons are more rounded and decorative, rather than flat.
For full instructions on how to sew each type of button, check out these tutorials:
Sewing Projects for Kids with Buttons
The best way to make learning the sewing basics fun – including learning how to sew a button – is to use projects to teach your child each skill. Here are a few sewing projects for kids that will help them to learn all about sewing buttons.
Buttons and Shapes Toy
This is a great project for really young children less than 5 years old.
Cut a large-ish piece of felt into a rectangle, or really any shape your kid might like. Then, have them sew several large buttons to the felt. Let your child choose their favorite buttons and help them to sew them wherever they like on the felt. This really allows them creative freedom to make the project their own. Next, cut a smaller felt shape with a slash down the center to pair with each button. Make these shapes fun – circles, triangles, stars, hearts, or whatever else you can think of. Ask your child to button each shape onto one of the buttons using the slash down the center as the “buttonhole.” This becomes a fun toy – each shape can be buttoned on or off and the shapes can be moved around to different buttons.
This project is fun for any age but will be easiest for kids around 5 or older.
Draw a fun shape that your child would like onto a piece of canvas or felt fabric. Next, place the fabric into an embroidery hoop with the design centered. This will help to keep the fabric taut and easy to sew buttons onto. Collect a range of buttons in various colors and shapes for your kid to choose from. Then, have your child sew buttons onto the design, filling it in with whatever buttons they like. It’s basically like coloring in a page from a coloring book – except with colored buttons and fabric!