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Part 4 of Recovering Lawn Chair Cushions – Making Matching Buttons

Recovering Lawn Chair Cushions – Part 1

Part 2 – The Faux Piping

Part 3 – Sewing the Back and Seat Together

When I was removing the buttons from the cushions prior to taking the cushions apart, I started thinking about where I was going to get new buttons that would match the new fabric.   I checked out the price of new plastic buttons and also those fabric button making kits, but quickly realized that with the number of buttons I needed (40), that was way more money than I wanted to spend on this project.

The solution turned out to be very simple and inexpensive.  I removed all the old buttons from the lawn chair cushions and covered them with the same floral fabric I used for the main part of the cushions.

Onto the back of scraps of the floral fabric, I traced 40 circles large enough to cover the front and most of the back of the button.  (The top from a spice container turned out to be the perfect sized template.)

Trace circle on back of fabric

Next I hand sewed a gathering stitch around each fabric circle.

Sew running stitch around edge of circle

Then I placed a button in the center of the gathered circle.

Center button in circle

I pulled the thread as tight as I could without breaking it and then knotted it firmly.

Pull thread tight and knot

Pictured below are three of the 40 buttons that I covered with fabric.

Three completed buttons

Installing the buttons:

In order to correctly position the buttons on the back of each lawn chair cushion, I placed the paper pattern over the completed back cushion.

Place a pin at each dot on the pattern piece

When making the paper pattern, I had transferred the positions where the old buttons had been onto the paper pattern.   I placed a pin at each of these points and then lifted the pattern away.

Then I carefully flipped the cushion over and repeated the process on the other side of the cushion back.

Flip over and place pin on back of cushion

Then I sewed a button front and back at each position using heavy duty thread and a long doll making needle by bringing the thread back and forth several times through each button shank and the cushion and pulling the thread tight on each pass through.

This also turned out to be a two person job and our son wasn’t available that day to man the camera, so unfortunately we don’t have photos of the actual sewing on of the buttons but if you look closely at this before and after shot you can see the fabric covered buttons blend beautifully on the newly recovered lawn chair cushion.

One of the old cushions that didn't get taken apart to make the pattern but did have it's buttons salvage to be covered and reused. And next to it the beautifully recovered lawn chair cushion complete with covered buttons.
One of the old cushions that didn’t get taken apart to make the pattern but did have it’s buttons salvage to be covered and reused. And next to it the beautifully recovered lawn chair cushion complete with covered buttons.


I would be so pleased if you chose to share by clicking on one of the buttons below!


  • Ruth L
    May 27, 2013 1:15 pm

    I have the EXACT same set of “Martha’s” chairs and they have been well used for over a decade! I have been waiting for a great sale on outdoor fabric to recover the cushions and now I have your awesome tutorial on how to re-cover them! Thanks so much!
    Warm regards,
    ps – I also have my mothers heavy-duty Singer and know exactly what you mean about multi-layer seams on a modern machine!

  • Sandra :)
    March 5, 2012 1:47 pm

    Do you know … I only found out very recently that you could make covered buttons without buying the kits – I had no idea, lol! And I have several kits downstairs – I could have used the money on scraps or remnants instead! 😉 Your cover certainly turned out gorgeous!

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