Button Tufting Explained

Button tufting is a simple way to add a chic and decorative touch to upholstery projects or decorative cushions. Different materials, such as foam or loose fill, and your upholstery fabric, will all affect the finished look. The examples shown here will help you through your DIY tufting project.

Lesson highlights include: how to set buttons, how to prepare foam for diamond tufting, button tufting twine and more!

A threaded tufting needle

A tufting needle is anywhere from 8” to 12” long. After it has been thread, it is pulled through to the back of a piece and then tied off. If you are adding buttons to a cushion on both sides, run the twine through the shank of the second button and then tie three or four consecutive knots.

Button twine

This is the only product that should be used to tie off buttons. It is made of nylon, extremely strong and capable of extreme pressure. For throw cushions made in lightweight fabrics you can split the twine and use a thickness of twine relative to your fabric. This twine should never be split in any upholstery application.

To set a button on an upholstered piece of furniture the shank must pass through the fabric. Carefully snip the fabric below the shank until the shank nestles below the fabric. (the cut in the fabric is represented by the red “x”) You can then draw the cord tight to set the depth of the button.

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