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How to Replace a Metal Button on Jeans

If the metal button falls off your jeans, don’t despair. The fix is quick, easy and one that you can do yourself.

If you prefer an even easier fix, you may prefer my tutorial ‘No-sew: Fix a Metal Button on Jeans‘. The only down-side to the ‘no sew’ method, however, is that you have to compromise on the button position, which may put extra pressure on the zip. But the repair should otherwise be as solid as this one and serve you just as well.

The repair shown below is my favourite, though. It’s hard wearing, won’t compromise the zip and is still a fast and simple fix.

Here is a video version (photo tutorial below):

You will need:

  • A replacement button, available from most fabric or haberdashery stores
  • Hammer
  • Denim, approx 3″ x 1.5″ (7cm x 3.5cm)
  • Needle and thread or sewing machine. I prefer to use a sewing machine because I don’t trust my hand stitching, but either way is fine


  1. Fold your denim patch in half and place it over the hole on the inside of the jeans (illustrations are below).
  2. Attach the patch by sewing around the hole (this won’t be visible so don’t worry if it’s a bit messy). Then trim the edges, but leave room for it to fray a little over time.
  3. Take the stud from your new button and push it through the fabric patch, into through the hole where the old button was.
  4. Place the new button head face down on a towel and on a firm surface. The towel will stop the button from getting scratched while you attach it.
  5. Line up the stud with the hole in the button. Using a hammer, hid the stud from the inside of the jeans, down into the button until it is firmly fixed.
  6. All done!


Sewing Designer Jeans


  1. Catherine

    Thanks for this it comes at just the right time as Mr 8 lost a metal button yesterday

  2. So that’s what you do! Thanks for sharing – I’ll actually attempt fixing these now 🙂

  3. Pingback: Aeropostale Hailey Flare Size 9/10 Regular Women’s Jeans | bizzebizzmall

  4. Just a word of caution – from my experience with jeans buttons. Make sure the ones you use have a metal centre. Some have a cheap plastic bit that the little screw thingy goes into at it can split quite easily. I ‘cheated’ recently. I made my husband a pair of jeans out of very heavy denim and was nervous about doing the button and buttonhole myself so I paid the local repair shop to do it for me – cost $17, but it was worth it for me.

  5. This was extremely helpful. Now I can go to the sewing store and mend my old pair (here’s hoping!), instead of trying on new jeans (the horror!). 🙂 Can one do the sewing without a machine? I’ll have to do it by hand…

    • I hate shopping for new jeans too. It takes months to find the right fit! Yes, you could do it by hand. A thimble may be handy in pushing the needle through thick fabric without hurting your fingers, if the denim is heavy.

  6. Lisa

    How do you hammer it in straight? I keep getting it at an angle and so it won’t go in completely and the screw breaks off. So frustrating!

    • Hi Lisa. It’s a lot like hammering a nail into a wall. Just try to keep the main button part as stable as you can and tap the screw gently into place while holding the button straight. If the screw is breaking off, you could be using too much force at the beginning. It shouldn’t need a solid hit until right near the end when it’s almost in place. Hope that helps!

  7. Robin Rock

    Hi, could you tell me what tools I would need to move a metal tack button (I am not sure if that is the official name but it is like a rivet) on my blue jeans and would it leave a hole that would ravel. They not located in line with the zipper which is probably why it was on clearance. I would like to move or remove it and replace it. I like the way you explain these topics, you really make easy to understand. Thank you.

    • Hi Robin. Yes, removing the existing button will leave a small hole, but I’ve never had one unravel once I’ve patched it as described in the tutorial. Denim will fray a little on a raw edge, but generally won’t unravel as such. To remove an existing button, I use two bullnose pliers (or something similar). Grip the button at each end and pull while bending the button downward and it should come apart with a little brute force. I hope that helps and thanks for reading!

  8. I hope you don’t mind – I tried this out at home on a pair of my Dad’s jeans and made a post about it on my new blog. I did include a link to this post saying where I got it from. I never would have thought to just fix the button myself, so thank you for posting this. 🙂
    Here is the link to my blog, please don’t hesitate to email or comment if you’d like me to change or remove my post.
    ~ Kimiko of Andromeda Crafts

  9. Pingback: No Sew: Fix a Metal Button on Jeans | Offsquare

    • Hi Micheal. It depends on the state of the pieces, but I would say no. Usually they are too damaged for reuse.

  10. Rachel

    I have the original button and tried hammering it back through the original hole but it won’t stay. If I buy a new button is it essential to sew in the denim patch or can I use the small original hole? Thanks!

    • Hi Rachel. I’d recommend buying a new button for sure, but if the hole is still small and the fabric isn’t damaged, then by all means put the new one through the same hole. You’ll probably have to buy a pack with more than one button anyway, so if you find the new one just pops through the hole, you’ll be able to attach a new one with a patch at that stage. Good luck!


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