How to Embellish a Cardigan with Fabric-covered Buttons

comments (14) January 12th, 2016     

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kaytet kayte terry, contributor
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This button-covered cardigan is perfect to wear on chilly spring nights.
Pretty covered buttons in stripes, solids, and florals.
The before sweater: cute but a little blah.
This button-covered cardigan is perfect to wear on chilly spring nights.

This button-covered cardigan is perfect to wear on chilly spring nights.

Photo: Kayte Terry

I love cashmere sweaters, but I rarely have the money to buy them new. Enter my local Salvation Army: While other thrift stores seem to have figured out that cashmere warrants a price markup, I routinely find pretty, soft sweaters at the SalvA for less than five bucks. On a recent cashmere bender, I picked up a little cardigan in a lovely shade of lavender. It was soft and fit well, but frankly, it was kind of boring. Obviously it was time for a little embellishing!

Here's what you'll need:

  • Cardigan sweater
  • Covered-button kits in a few sizes (I used five kits total)
  • Scraps of fabric
  • Ribbon in a few colors no longer than 9 inches
  • Fabric scissors
  • Needle and thread
embellish a cardigan with buttons
This is the before sweater complete with Salvation Army tag. It's pretty cute, but it could be a lot cuter!


How to Make a Covered-Button Cardigan
Choose a color story that really pops against your sweater.

1. Decide which fabrics you want to cover the buttons with. I went with a purple/mustard/salmon color story with a little pop of blue.

How to Make a Covered-Button Cardigan
A selection of some finished covered buttons.

2. Follow the manufacturer's directions to cover the buttons. Button kits come in two different types: Either you pull the fabric over the button top and secure the fabric in its prongs, or you use a plastic piece from the kit that helps you take care of that step. The latter is easier for beginners, but the former doesn't use plastic! Your choice.

How to Make a Covered-Button Cardigan
Cut a bunch of ribbons in varying lengths.
How to Make a Covered-Button Cardigan
Plaid fabric helps tone down the sugary sweetness of the cardigan.

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Comments (14)

CHL writes: you have given me a great idea for a small moth hole on one of my cashmeres!!!!
Posted: 7:20 pm on February 17th
sophiecai writes: so cute....great it
Posted: 8:55 am on February 17th
MissBeadAlot writes: this is so cute!
Posted: 10:19 am on April 11th
Sweet_Dee writes: Perfect to revamp old sweaters!
Posted: 1:45 am on April 1st
mscraftypants writes: Love it! I am a cardigan nut- so of course I must make one!!! Thanks for the post. The ribbon really adds a nice touch to the covered buttons.
Posted: 1:49 pm on March 18th
Toffy writes: Sassy,Sassy,Sassy Sweater.....Well done my dear. Nice choice of cloth for the covered buttons. This gives me lots of ideas for re-vamping some outta date stuff living in my closet. And Sassing them up beats tossing them out, or parting with them. Thanks a bunch for the idea's...
Posted: 11:03 am on March 15th
gokatgo writes: yay! i love this and have a cardigan that is waitng to be sassed up!
Posted: 12:43 pm on March 14th
Janesdesigns writes: OOOooooowww!! I love the look! Great job.
Posted: 12:43 am on March 14th
kaytet writes: thanks ladies!
ooh half price cashmere sweaters!!! sign me up!
Posted: 10:53 am on March 13th
JennieC writes: SA is my favourite thrift store, too! The cashmere sweaters are usually $4.50 - but sometimes half-price!
Posted: 12:08 am on March 13th
susanbrownknitting writes: Lovely cardigan. Even uncovered buttons work well like this. I have a cardigan that was attacked by moths and just stitched random pearl and shell buttons on it. Not as stylish as this wonderful design, but extended the life of a garment which darning would have ruined.
Posted: 10:26 pm on March 12th
Average_Jane_Crafter writes: This is fantastic and so fun! I love the way you grouped them and added the ribbons. Adorable! :)
Posted: 6:56 pm on March 12th
erika_kern writes: Man that's pretty, Kayte!
Posted: 6:47 pm on March 12th
susanstars writes: so, so cute! I love it.

covered buttons forever!
Posted: 6:00 pm on March 12th
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