DO UP YOUR BUTTONS - button tufting tutorial

My tools of destruction.
The wing on this chair was loose.
So I repaired it with a screw and some glue.
Time to make a pile of rubble.
New under pad on the seat and back.
I painted the frame then distress the frame.
I also antiqued it with a dark stain.
Cut a new piece of foam for the seat and
continued to upholster the seat and the arms.
Then upholster the front of the back
The trick to button tufting is to have something
solid at the back to secure the buttons to.
I relied on the wood uprights on this chair.
There are other methods including:
tieing around cotton, or a second button on the back side.

Here are my nifty supplies and tools.
  • Used upholstery buttons
  • Flexible wire
  • My homemade upholstery needle
*your needle must be sharp and strong*
  • Tape - because my needle doesn't have an eye

Recover the buttons with new fabric
I used the same fabric as the chair,
you could choose a complementary fabric.
 Make sure the back loop is exposed.
 Cut your wire to approx. 12inch

Thread your cut wire through the button loop.

 Using your large needle
skewer your upholstery from front to back.

Now tape the wire to the end of your needle.
Try to keep the thickness as thin as possible to get it
through the layers of fabrics smoothly or else it will
get caught up and the wire will seperate from the needle.
You want to get it thru the first time, everytime.
I had to start skewering at the back because
holes were already drilled in the wood.

Now gently pull and wiggle the needle and wire through.
Once thru remove the needle and push the button
firmly into your upholster to a desired depth and twist
your wire at the back. (an extra thumb is helpful to push)
Oh George !!! ......
If you were working with upholstery that was already tufted
there would be something in place to tie the wire to.
For 2 of these buttons I wrapped it around the wood
frame then tucked it safely out of the way.

For the lower 2 buttons,
I used 3 staples to secure the wire to the wood.

My PARLOUR chair had ridged burlap running from
side to side that the wire poked thru then twisted
around small nails. The burlap seen in this chair
was too soft and flexible to use that way.

Once you have all your buttons in place and secured,
finish upholstering the back of your new furniture.

You can do as many buttons as you like,
but I prefer just the 4 on this chair.

If I missed anything plz ask.

For an indepth upholstery tutorial on a slipper chair
plz check out GINA's
ongoing upholstery chronicles:

I've shared this tutorial at:
Designer Garden

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  1. Awesome tutorial - thank you! I could never work out how the button tuft thing was done. I recently revamped a little French stool. After I reupholstered it I thought it would look better with buttons. So I had no idea how to do this when once it was already done. So I got my air staple gun and stapled through the top of the fabric to the timber board at the back. Then I used hot glue to put the buttons in. Yes - I'm a CHEAT! But now I have no excuse. Finally I know how it's done!
    Megs :)

  2. Great tutorial!!! Love the chair!

  3. OH I'm so happy I found you!! I'm taking an upholstery class right now!! I love seeing different peoples approaches to upholstery! I love the classic white. So chic. Pop on by if you want to see the chair I'm working on!

  4. LOVE this post your blog (and the chair) now I just need a how to on the rest of the upholstery ;)

  5. Thanks for linking this up to my VIP party! I just adore upholstery projects! This turned out so nice. I cannot wait to do another chair I've had in the garage for the past 9 months! Thanks for inspiring me!

  6. Found you on Designer Garden. I reupholstered a chair similar to this one. You can check it out at I can't wait to dive further into your blog!

  7. This was absolutely great and I am so going to try this. Thanks for taking the time to make this awesome tutorial.


  8. Thanks for the wonderful tutorial! You make reupholstering seem much less scary. :)

  9. Oh my I am so glad you did this post!! I have 2 of those exact same chairs! They have country blue plaid fabric which is still in excellent condition but of course not what I am wanting! With those tucks in the back of the chair I was totally not wanting to tackle trying to recover them but this looks so do- able!!!

    Love the fabric you picked too!

    bee blessed

  10. Great job! I've tackled tufting. It can be hard work.

  11. Wow! Your chair looks awesome. What a great job you did and a great tutorial!
    be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  12. What a lot of detail you put into that chair! Very nice.

  13. You are not going to believe this, but I have that exact same chair. I found it on the side of the road years ago and rescued it. For a while now I have been planning to recover it myself, but didn't know where to begin. Your tutorial will help me more than you know. I'm going to use painter's canvas and paint it white as well. Glad I found you.


  14. Hi lovely lady, I love the way you did this chair so Beautiful you did a Great job sweet lady !!!! Im your newest follower on your blog now ~~~ I would love for you to come see and join my Tavlescapes ~~~ I hope you and your lovely family have a Great Day !!!!

  15. Kristy! Thank you so much for linking to me! That's so sweet! I love how your chair turned out! I hope mine turns out as nice as yours! <3

  16. I can't wait to try this! Thanks for posting!



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