How to Make Buttons out of Anything with Sugru

How to Make a Button

How to Make Buttons Out of Anything

Sometimes you want to make a button but you only have, say, a toy dinosaur. Or an interesting coin. Or a pinback. Here’s how to make buttons out of basically anything you want.

Using sugru, this freaky moldable, adhesive, flexible silicone rubber (that I received for free so that I could play with it), I turned some custom pinback fronts, made from vintage dictionary pages, into shank buttons. Here’s how to make buttons with sugru.

How to Make Buttons

How to Make a Button1. I made myself some pinback fronts. I have this American Button Machine that I use to make pinbacks out of comic book pages and vintage dictionary pages. I made these buttons out of dictionary pages, using an animal theme for my kid’s “Junior Ranger” vest.


2. I molded a shank button back using sugru. Until it cures, it’s moldable just like play dough. I filled in the back of each pinback with sugru (it’s supposed to be able to bond to some metals, some plastics, plus glass and wood) and then used a bamboo skewer to hollow out a shank buttonhole:

How to Make a Button

I did this for all three buttons, and then left them to cure.

3. Sew it on! After about a day, the sugru has cured into a strong but flexible solid. It’s got a little bit of a give to it, which should be handy for my rough kid buttoning up her vest with fumbling fingers, but it’s sturdy enough to be a good choice for all the hard outdoor wear it’s going to get, and it’s machine washable. I sewed it on by hand, and made buttonholes to fit:

How to Make a Button

Now my kid’s got a vest done up with custom buttons made from vintage paper and a shank that matches her fabric!

How to Make a Button

Although sugru itself isn’t made from any especially eco-friendly components (mind you, it’s not going to kill you, either, but you know what I mean), it’s pretty darned awesomely handy in a couple of especially eco-friendly aspects:

  1. It helps you turn random stuff, like toy dinosaurs or coins or pinback fronts, into useful stuff like shank buttons.
  2. It helps you make your stuff last longer by assisting in some formerly tricky, now dead easy repairs. I wrapped another package’s worth of this stuff around the frayed part of my Dyson vacuum’s power cord and Boom! It’s now 100% mended, and totally insulated.

And it was as easy as playing with play dough.

[I received some sugru for free, because people know that I like to play with stuff.]

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Written by Julie Finn

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now.

Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life, and my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties.


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