How to Sew a Button on Pants for a Beginner

There are times you may wonder how to sew a button on pants if you are a beginner. You are already running late for your meeting, and there it is – your pants have a broken button.
how to sew buttons on pants for beginners
Most people, especially men, are not very familiar with the art of sewing.
However, knowing some go-to sewing tricks can come in handy in many situations.
Sewing buttons on your pants is a pretty easy task. Once you are familiar with the steps and supplies, it’ll be a cakewalk for you.
I’ve created a step-by-step guide to explain how to sew a button on pants for a beginner. This article also tries to answer other questions you might have about the process.
Have you never sewn before? Don’t worry! This tutorial is just right for beginners.
Before we move on to the actual sewing process, it’s better to familiarize you with the fundamentals.
You have to make the buttonholes before stitching the buttons to get the placement right.
You also have to use tailor-tack stitches or chalk to mark the placements.
Here are the fundamental rules of how to sew a button on pants for a beginner.
IntroductionIntroduction to the importance of knowing how to sew buttons.
Choosing the ButtonsGuidelines on how to choose the right button for your pants.
Choosing the ThreadsImportance of using durable threads for sewing buttons.
Interfacing or NotExplanation of when to use interfacing based on fabric type.
Types of Buttons For Sewing On PantsDescription of flat buttons, shank buttons, and studs.
List of Supplies for Sewing A Button on Pants For A BeginnerListing of required supplies to sew a button on pants.
Method 1: How to Sew a 2-Hole Button on Pants By HandStep-by-step guide to sew a button by hand.
Method 2: How to Sew a Button on Pants With Sewing MachineStep-by-step guide to sew a button using a sewing machine.
Alternative Button TypesDescription of alternative button types: Snap Buttons, Jeans Buttons, Sew-On Hook and Eye Closures, Toggle Buttons.
Correct Position for Buttons on PantsGuidelines for determining the ideal placement for buttons on pants.
Some Helpful Tips to Sew A Button on Pants For A BeginnerUseful tips for beginners sewing buttons on pants.
Tips To Fix Common Button MistakesSolutions for common mistakes made when sewing buttons.

Choosing the Buttons

how to sew a button on pants for a beginner

You first have to choose the type of button your want to stitch on the pants. The sew-through buttons have two or more holes and are flat. To attach these buttons to the fabric, you loop the thread.

Even with the flat buttons, you will have a wide array of choices. There are various shapes, colors, sizes, etc.
One rule of thumb while selecting buttons is that they should be according to the pant’s fabric.
The heavy material requires a heavy button. On the other hand, for delicate fabrics, it’s better to use small buttons.
You can also add a contrasting button to create a unique design.
Generally, on denim pants, you have metallic color buttons. However, for other pants, try to match the exact shade.
In case you don’t have a specific color, you can also opt for a darker shade.

Choosing the Threads

Many amateurs commit the mistake of using regular thread for sewing buttons. Using button threads will make sure that your button doesn’t come off quickly. These threads are more durable and robust.

Regarding the thread colors, we recommend you use the same color as the pant’s color. If you are hand sewing the button on the pants, you can make the threads more malleable by wax coating them.

Interfacing or Not

Not all pants have equal thickness. If you are sewing a button on denim pants, there’s no need to interface. However, if the fabric is fragile, it is better to add a piece of interfacing.

The button will probably add a lot of strain on the delicate fabric, and it may even tear it. Nevertheless, you can prevent that from happening by interfacing.

Therefore, if you are dealing with delicate material pants, it is a good idea to add an interface.

Types of Buttons For Sewing On Pants

There are two types of buttons – flat buttons and shank buttons. The method of sewing will depend upon which button you’re using. However, for pants, the more common type is the flat buttons.

buttons for pants Flat Buttons

The flat buttons generally have two or four holes. These are the most common type of buttons for all clothing. As the name suggests, these buttons are flat from the top and back.

Unlike the shank buttons, the flat one has no protruding loops on the back. You can sew the flat buttons either by hand or by sewing machine.

Shank Buttons

The other variety that you can sew on your pants is the shank buttons. Unlike the flat buttons, they do not have holes on the top. They have a barrel-shaped loop on the back for attaching the thread.

If you plan to use shank buttons on your pant, you can only do it by hand sewing. The shank buttons are an ideal choice for thicker materials.

Shanks buttons have a protruding look on the garment. They will leave a pretty elegant look on the pants. However, sewing the shank buttons is quite different than sewing a flat button.


Studs are more commonly present in denim. They are strong and can easily bear the heavyweight of denim. Other than denim pants, you can even use them on denim jackets and denim shirts.

However, it is not possible to sew the stud buttons by hand or by sewing machines. You have to press the stud buttons together so that they do not fasten out. After installing them, it is challenging to take them out.

List of Supplies for Sewing A Button on Pants For A Beginner

Before you start with the process, make sure that you have all the supplies with you. We’ve listed all the supplies that you’ll need to sew a button on the pants. Check out the list here:


Try to choose a slim needle for sewing the buttons on pants. It is because the thin needles can easily pass through the buttonhole. Also, keep two needles for you as a backup.


For sewing a button on pants, you’ll require at least 8-12 inches of button thread. Try to choose a matching thread color for the pants. Also, please use a button thread for the process.

However, in case of an emergency, you can make peace with a regular thread.

Buttons (Definitely!)

If you are putting the button on a fresh pair of pants, you have the liberty to choose any kind you like. However, if you are replacing lost buttons, we advise you to get something similar to the older ones.

Cutting Tools

Whether you are sewing by hand or by machine, you’ll need a couple of cutting tools. The list of cutting tools includes only a knife and a pair of scissors.

Sewing Machine

In this tutorial guide, we list two methods to sew a button on the pants. For the first method, you do not require a sewing machine. However, for the second method, you’ll need a sewing machine.

Before you start sewing, make sure that the machine is running smoothly. Before running the machine, try a couple of sewing rounds on a waste piece of cloth.

Ways to Sew A Button on Pants For A Beginner

You can learn to see a button on pants in two ways in this guide – by hand and through a sewing machine. We take a step-by-step approach to explain both methods. You will also find the pros and cons of each technique.

YouTube video

Method 1: How to Sew a 2-Hole Button on Pants By Hand

Here are the steps to sew a button on pants by hand:

Step 1: Threading the Needle

Regardless of the type of button, you have to thread the needle. The first step in the process is to thread the needle. Cut 8-12 inches of thread and double it through your needle. Don’t forget to knot the end.

However, if you are using a button thread, you don’t need to double it. You can also use a needle threader for this process.

Step 2: Marking the Position

The next step is to mark the position of the button. If you are replacing the button, this step will be more straightforward. For sewing patterns, you have to place a dot or cross.

Step 3: Stitching the Button On

You have to thread the needle only through one button side. Also, ensure that the button is centered correctly. In the next step, you have to take the needle back down through the opposite hole. Stitch through the holes a few more times for a more strong stitch.

Step 4: Knot Off

Get the needle up to the top to make a knot. In this step, you have to wrap the button head around the stitches. Pass the needles through the sides and tie the knot. Don’t forget to cut off the extras once you tie the knot.

Hand Sewing for Shanks

The first and second step for hand sewing shanks is the same as for the 2-hole buttons. However, in the third and fourth steps, there is a minute variation. Once you complete the first two steps, follow these steps for sewing shank buttons on pants:

Step 3: Threading the Shank

To thread the shank button, you have to use the underside. For this step, the button should be on the center of the mark. Put the needle down and bring it to the top to make stitches.

Step 4: Knot Off

In the last step, you have to get the needle to the top. But don’t do it through the bottom. You have to pass the needle through the side and make a couple of knots. Cut off the remaining thread.


  • It is easier to learn.
  • This method is more suitable for button emergencies.
  • Sewing a button by this method offers more precision and control.


  • The hand sewing method is time-consuming.
  • The results from this method might be inconsistent.

The Bottom Line

Sewing by hand is a daunting task. However, once you finish up, you’ll be proud of your work. Besides, the learning curve with hand sewing has more possibilities. Another advantage of learning hand sewing is that it is feasible during emergencies.

Moreover, this method is feasible for both flat buttons and shank buttons.

Method 2: How to Sew a Button on Pants With Sewing Machine

Sewing a button on pants means coming in terms with technology. Today, the majority of the sewing machine comes with advanced features to make your task easy. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on sewing a button on Pants with a sewing machine: 

Step 1: Positioning the Button

The first step is to position the button under the foot. You have to keep the button steady so that the machine can sew it properly. If you are using a small button, you can also apply some glue underneath to prevent it from moving.

Step 2: Insert Button Spacer

Now, it’s time to insert the button spacer. The button spacer creates space between the machine and the button.

They help in improving the visibility of the buttonhole. You can also carry out this step with a plastic scale or a toothpick.

Step 3: Zigzag

Next, set your sewing machine for zig-zag stitch. Additionally, you have to adjust the width of the machine. For example, you can start the width with zero and then leave a trail. Then, you can begin the next stitch with a 3mm width.

Step 4: Next Stitch

To perform the next stitch, prepare the buttonhole and pass the needle through the holes. You have to make at least 2 to 3 stitches like this. 2-3 stitches will be adequate for a 2-hole button. To stitch a 4-hole button on your pant, you have to make around four stitches.

Step 5: Knot!

Once you are done with the thread, take its tail at the back of the fabric and tie a sturdy knot. The knot will ensure that your button doesn’t loosen. Also, you have to cut the extra material after the completion of the process.


  • This one is a faster and more efficient process.
  • The method ensures consistency.


The Bottom Line

Sewing a button on a pan by this method has both pros and cons. However, if you are looking to attach multiple buttons, this is an ideal method. However, a sewing machine is not there to accompany you during an emergency.

Alternative Button Types

While the article primarily focuses on sewing flat buttons and shank buttons, there are several other types of buttons that can be used to secure pants and add a unique touch to garments. Here are a few alternative button types that you may consider:

  1. Snap Buttons: Snap buttons, also known as press studs, are a convenient alternative to traditional sew-on buttons. They consist of two separate parts that snap together when pressed. Snap buttons are commonly found on jeans and denim garments, providing a secure closure.

To attach snap buttons, you’ll need a snap fastener tool or pliers specifically designed for snap buttons. These tools allow you to easily install snap buttons by pressing them together, eliminating the need for sewing.

  1. Jeans Buttons: Jeans buttons, also called rivets, are typically used on denim pants and offer a sturdy and decorative option. They are designed to withstand heavy use and add a rugged touch to jeans and other denim garments.

Attaching jeans buttons typically requires a hammer or a specialized tool for setting rivets. The process involves punching a hole in the fabric, inserting the button through the hole, and then securing it by flattening or crimping the back.

  1. Sew-On Hook and Eye Closures: Hook and eye closures are a practical choice for pants that require a discreet fastening method. These closures consist of a small hook on one side and a corresponding loop on the other. They are often used in conjunction with zippers to provide additional security and prevent gaps.

To sew on hook and eye closures, you’ll need a needle and thread. Simply stitch the hook and eye securely to the fabric, ensuring that they align properly for a seamless closure.

  1. Toggle Buttons: Toggle buttons are distinctive and often used in outerwear, such as coats and jackets. They consist of a looped cord or strap that is passed through a larger decorative button or knot. Toggle buttons provide a unique and stylish closure option.

To attach toggle buttons, you’ll need to sew a looped cord or strap to the fabric and thread it through the button or knot. This creates a secure closure that can be easily fastened and unfastened.

Remember to consider the fabric, style, and purpose of your pants when selecting alternative button types. Each button type offers a different aesthetic and functionality, so choose the one that best suits your garment and personal preference.

Correct Position for Buttons on Pants

The correct position for buttons on pants can vary depending on the style of the garment and personal preference. However, there are some general guidelines that can help you determine the ideal placement for buttons on pants:

  1. Waistband Closure: For pants with a waistband closure, the top button is typically placed at the center front of the waistband. This button is usually positioned slightly above the natural waistline. The subsequent buttons are evenly spaced below the top button, creating a clean and symmetrical look.
  2. Fly Closure: When it comes to pants with a fly closure, such as jeans or trousers, the buttons are typically located on the fly facing. The top button is positioned at the desired height, usually just below the waistband, and subsequent buttons are evenly spaced down the fly facing. The number of buttons on the fly can vary depending on the style and design of the pants.
  3. Button Placement for Comfort: It’s essential to consider comfort when determining button placement. Buttons that are positioned too close to the center may cause discomfort or restrict movement. Aim to place the buttons in a way that allows for easy fastening and unfastening without pulling or straining the fabric.
  4. Experimentation and Adjustment: The position of buttons can also be influenced by personal preference and body shape. Some individuals may prefer buttons to be positioned slightly to the left or right to accommodate their body proportions or provide a better fit. It may be helpful to try on the pants and experiment with different button placements to find the most comfortable and flattering position.

It’s important to note that the button placement can vary based on the style of pants, such as high-waisted or low-rise, as well as the specific design details of the garment. Some pants may feature decorative button placement, asymmetrical designs, or unique closure methods that deviate from the traditional guidelines.

Ultimately, the correct position for buttons on pants will depend on the specific garment and individual preferences. Taking into account the style, comfort, and overall aesthetic will help you determine the ideal button placement for your pants.

Some Helpful Tips to Sew A Button on Pants For A Beginner

Though the methods above clearly describe the process, a few tips can offer extra assistance. You can take a cue from these tips to finish your button sewing project successfully!

  • Make sure that you pull the thread correctly after each stitch. By doing this, you can avoid tangling and knots.
  • Before you discard any old clothes, make sure to detach the buttons and store them. It’ll help you to build your button collection. Moreover, these can come in handy during a button emergency.
  • You can also coat the button threads with a wax candle. This trick will make it effortless for you to pull the thread through the fabric.
  • Pick a thread color that matches the color of your garment. If you are unsure about the color, take your garment to the sewing supply store.
  • Avoid using a regular thread for sewing buttons. Most of the professionals use button threads for sewing buttons on pants. Button threads ensure proper and tight fastening. The thread is very thick and robust.

    Tips To Fix Common Button Mistakes

    1. Loose Buttons: If you find that the buttons on your pants are becoming loose and frequently falling off, it may be due to insufficient thread tension or inadequate knots. To fix this problem, ensure that you are pulling the thread tightly when sewing the button. Additionally, make sure to tie secure knots at the back of the fabric to prevent the buttons from loosening over time.
    2. Misaligned Buttons: Sometimes, buttons may appear misaligned or crooked after sewing. To correct this issue, carefully remove the button by cutting the thread and reposition it in the desired alignment. Take your time to ensure that the button is centered and level before sewing it back on. Using tailor’s chalk or marking tools to make precise placement guidelines can help prevent misalignment.
    3. Buttonholes Too Tight: If you find that the buttonholes are too tight, making it difficult to fasten and unfasten the buttons, you can gently stretch the buttonholes using a blunt object like a knitting needle or a buttonhole awl. Insert the tool into the buttonhole and carefully apply pressure to stretch the opening. Be cautious not to tear or enlarge the buttonhole excessively.
    4. Buttonholes Too Loose: In cases where the buttonholes are too loose, causing the buttons to slip out easily, you can reinforce the buttonhole with additional stitching. Using a needle and thread, sew a few extra stitches along the edges of the buttonhole to create a tighter hold. Be careful not to sew through the button or make the buttonhole too small in the process.
    5. Button Threads Getting Tangled: If you find that the thread is becoming tangled while sewing the button, it may be due to improper thread tension or using a thread that is too thick. Ensure that the thread is smoothly passing through the buttonholes without getting caught. If the thread is consistently tangling, consider using a thinner thread or adjusting the tension on your sewing machine.

    Remember, practice and patience are key when sewing buttons on pants. If you encounter any problems, take your time to carefully assess the situation and make the necessary adjustments. With a bit of troubleshooting, you’ll be able to sew buttons securely and confidently onto your pants.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Fix Missing Buttons On a Pair Of Jeans?

It is easy to lose the button on jeans. If you are having troubles with a missing or loose button, follow these steps:

  • Place your jeans between a flat surface like chopping boards.
  • Use a hammer for hammering the denim buttons. Make sure that you do not damage the buttons in the process.
  • Now hammer the jeans button so that it secures its position.

What Can I Use Instead Of Buttons?

Only a button can do the job of a button. However, in emergencies, you can always use alternatives. You can choose hook & eyes, snap tape, velcro, and snaps during a button emergency.

Is It Easy to Sew Buttons on Jeans?

Yes. Once you get hold of the process, it’ll take you only a couple of minutes to sew the button. Sewing buttons is one of the fundamentals of stitching. Most beginners will learn to sew buttons with a few days of practice.

How Can I Reattach a Button Without a Needle?

There are numerous ways to reattach a button without a needle. One of the most efficient ways is to use a paper clip.

To use the paper clip as an alternate to the needle, you’ve to bend it. Make it U shape and move the clip through the holes. Then, turn it again to secure the button.

Wrap Up

What’s the best part of using these methods? You can not only use them for sewing buttons on pants but also a variety of other clothes. Also, now that you’ve successfully learned to sew buttons on a pant, you no longer have to rely on others.

Wasn’t the process of sewing buttons on pants an easy peasy task? See, we already told you. However, if you want to get good at this, a couple of rounds of practice is all you’ll need.

You can save yourself from minor wardrobe mishaps. Well, with this tutorial, you’re one step close to being self-sufficient. With this newly acquired sewing skill, you can button and move ahead to a happy day!



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