DIYdiy projects

diy project: fabric-covered thumbtacks

by Grace Bonney

jessica jones is a diy project goddess. i’m always ooh-ing and ahh-ing over her tutorials (and her new fabric line) and was thrilled when she gave me the ok to share one of my favorite projects of hers over here. i’m the sort of girl who loves little fabric details on just about everything i own (the team at also probably wanted to kill me for wanting to constantly add more fabric details to the d*s site redesign) so these lovely vintage fabric-covered thumbtacks showed up on her site last year i instantly bookmarked them for a future weekend project. now that i’m preparing to head to seattle and portland next week i thought it would be fun to work on while i try to calm my nerves about flying. and these little thumbtacks are just the ticket. the perfect small-scale project for calming nerves and using up extra scraps of fabric, these thumbtacks are easy to make and there’s a full tutorial on them right here. jess’ directions are repeated again below the fold, click here for the full post. [thanks, jess!]


Fabric-covered Thumbtacks Project, by Jessica Jones (Jess’ post right here):

1. Start with a pack of “Wedding Gown Size” (size 20, 1/2″) metal buttons to cover (available at fabric stores for about $1.50). Pull the loops off all the button backing pieces with a pliers or wire cutter. Cut your fabric scraps into circles slightly larger than a quarter, or use the circle template printed on the back of your button package. (Since the edges get tucked in under the metal backing, you don’t have to be a careful cutter.)

2. Following the package directions, use the “pusher” tool that came in the pack to cover your buttons with fabric. This step is easy and the most fun! Then use a generous amount of hot glue to attach a tack to the back of your button. A standard tack should fit perfectly. Your cork board will thank you.

3. POST SCRIPT: You can buy buttons to cover that have flat backs so you don’t have to yank off the wire loops! Get some here at J Caroline Creative. I did NOT know this when I made mine. Shoot. Could have saved myself some work.

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  • Super cute!
    Now I can do something with all those swatches of Liberty that I love but can’t afford @ $40/yd!! :-)

  • These so appeal to my “attention to detail” side…not that that side has been showing itself much recently ;) But these are so cute and seem so easy! Love ’em!

    Hope you have a great time in my town (Seattle) and my almost-hometown (Portland). If you need or want any suggestions lemme know! Though I bet you’ll get plenty. My two cents…Trophy Cupcakes & Party. SO delicious (and aesthetically pleasing – the perfect combo)! Oh and Le Pichet! I’ll stop now. :)

  • Oh man… Those are so great! I normally don’t like cluttery things like bulletin boards, but for these I’m going to have to go ahead and change my point of view! So cute!

  • ooooooo i love your fabrics…i bought some of these button cover things a long time ago, i think i will get them out and use them on my greeting cards….thanks for the inspiration.

  • I have so many old fabric covered buttons that I have collected over the years. They don’t sell well on ebay, but this could make them useful again!

  • I made this!!! And I didn’t know how, I could spare the trouble of finding so many ways, it’s great and apparently not so original but I love them, ajajaa It seems it was a worldwide idea

  • Im going to use this except that I will use magnets on the back – I have a metallic whiteboard at work and this way noone will steal my magnets…or rather, I will know who has stolen them and take them back (cause Im sure they will get stolen)
    Thankyou so much

  • I went on a crafting binge with a friend today. We spent 4 or 5 hours shopping then 3 or 4 crafting. These were super easy, fun and cheap to make. The end result is so satisfactory and I LOVE them. I cannot wait to make more!

  • where can I buy these buttons to cover? I look at hobby lobby, jo-ann’s fabric store.. help!