Covered Button Magnet Tutorial + Other Last Minute Gift Ideas

I’ve been working on some handmade gifts for Christmas, including some adorable fabric-covered-button magnets. These are such a quick and easy little project, (and no sew) so I thought I share how to make them in case you want to make some as well.

How to make your own custom fabric covered magnets. Perfect for fussy cuts.

I’ve always loved the look of these covered buttons – they’re so perfect for showing-off cute fussy-cut prints – but I always thought they looked a little intimidating. And then someone showed me how to make them and I thought, “Seriously? That’s it?!” They’re that easy.

Here’s your supply list:

First of all, you need a Fabric Button Kit. Dritz makes them and they’re available from stores with sewing notions such as JoAnn’s, Walmart, etc. They come packaged in a set of 10 and include a template for tracing and the mold and pusher for assembling the buttons.  (You can also find the metal shells and backs in bulk -and cheaper- here if you’re looking for a large quantity.)

In addition, you’ll want a pencil, some good fabric scissors, fabric (of course), craft magnets (also available from any craft store), and glue.

I’m using the main print from my Gretel fabric collection – and I’m going to admit, I partially designed this print with this project in mind. It’s so fun to finally see them come together in real life! (You can find this fabric here, here, and here.)

The Dritz kits come with flat disk metal backs and metal backs with a shank for sewing on garments (bottom right). For making magnets, I used only the flat back metal diskes. (The bulk kits come with flat backs OR shank backs. Make sure you order the one you need.)

For this project I used the Size 45 (or 1 1/8″) kit because they were just the right size for fussy cutting my circles from Gretel, but there are many different size buttons to choose from.

First step – center the plastic template on the fabric and use the inside circle to line up with the desired image. Use a light pencil or pen to trace around the outside of the template. Cut out on drawn line.  And, as you can see, it’s okay if the edge is a little raggedy. You want plenty of fabric to go over the edge of the button form, but it’s going to be hidden.   

Next, center the metal button shell over the back side of the fussy-cut fabric (top left) and carefully press them into the mold. Fortunately, many of the new molds (at least in the Dritz kit) are clear plastic so that you can make sure your image is centered and re-adjust if necessary.

Carefully fold down the fabric edges and insert the flat-back metal disk inside the plastic mold, with the lip of the back turned up. Press down firmly with the pusher tool until you feel the metal back snap into place. Remove covered button from mold and carefully glue a craft magnet to the back.

Yep! It’s that easy! Look at the fun variety of buttons I’ve started making. I need some practice centering the images on the smaller size, but I think they still look cute.

I’ve been working on a few more handmade gifts behind the scenes. For years I’ve been collecting Christmas fabric that I bought on clearance after the holiday for the purpose of making pillowcases. I decided this was the year to crank them out; finally give that fabric a purpose (and clear that fabric out of my sewing room!)

So far I’ve got 5 done and 10 more cut and ready to assemble. I’m using a couple of different tutorials: my favorite quick process for making a pillowcase is the Burrito Method. There’s a really clear tutorial here. This method is so slick and gives the cuff a nice, clean finish.

If you’re using fabric with a directional print, then I recommend this version of the Burrito Pillowcase method for directional fabric.

I’m also making a few of my favorite Fat Quarter Bags (tutorial here). These are SO quick and easy and a fun way to use up favorite fabrics. (Updated picture to come.)

If you’re looking for other quick, last-minute handmade gift ideas, you can find a bunch of them here.

Last week I shared a little of the behind the scenes painting going on at our house. This week we finally got everything cleaned up and furniture put back in place + Christmas decorations out. Hooray! (Quilt is my Modern Improv Tree pattern – aka the Holiday Patchwork Forest quilt. I got the quilt ladder on clearance from Magnolia in September. It looks like it’s back in stock.)

Here’s an updated shot of the new white (Simply White by Benjamin Moore) in the front hall and light gray (Classic Gray – also Benjamin Moore) in the front room. I’m in LOVE with the updated feel of the house now. The white especially is so fresh and clean and pretty.

Here’s a before shot of the brown we lived with for too long. (Some browns are pretty. This brown just wasn’t.) My only regret is waiting so long to make the update.

The only trouble now is I’m having a bit of a “If you give a mouse a cookie…” feeling and I want to start updating more and more… but I’ll wait until after the holidays as I’m already buried neck-deep in projects I’m trying to finish for Christmas. I have a feeling I’m not alone. Good luck to all of us!

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  • Reply
    lynn bourgeois
    December 16, 2018 at 3:21 am

    Enjoyed your post today Amy. I can feel the Christmas sewing rush you are into. We all want to get a little more done for others. Wishing you and your loved ones a Christmas filed with peace, joy, and love. Merry Christmas!

  • Reply
    Reynalda Schroeder
    December 16, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    Thank you for all your ideas and patterns. Most of all for sharing with us and being such an encouragement. Have a
    Merry Christmas and a Blessd and prosperous New Year!

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