Yarn Dorset Buttons are a fun crafty idea that anyone can make. No knitting required! I love that it’s both a yarn stash buster and an upcycled craft project. These yarn Dorset Buttons look great on knitted items, as well as a way to spruce up old fashion items. A purse, jacket, sweater, pillow… the possibilities are endless.
The Dorset button originated in the 18th century in Dorset, England. At that time, they were made on a disc cut from the horn of a Dorset Horn sheep, which was covered with needle-worked thread. But today, we are going to use recycled metal rings and scrap yarn. Something old is new again… and super cute!
In my example demonstrated below in both my video and photo tutorials, I am using three different yarn colors to best show off the three different steps: Ring Wrap, Spider Web, and Backstitch Weaving. Of course, feel free to use three, two, or even just one color of yarn for your buttons.
MATERIALS for Yarn Dorset Buttons
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My samples were created with split key rings and bulky weighted wool yarn. Feel free to use any sized rings and yarn for your creative project.
- Yarn – Any stash yarn of your choice
Sample: Worsted Weighted Wool Yarn Cascade Superwash 128
- Rings of Any Size – Split Key Chain Ring Clips work great
- Tapestry Needle – Clover Chibi Jumbo Bent Tip Darning Needle Set
- Scissors – Gold Stork Crane Scissors
CRAFT TECHNIQUES for Yarn Dorset Buttons
• Slip Knot
• Blanket Stitch
• Backstitch Weaving
3 STEP INSTRUCTIONS for Yarn Dorset Buttons
Step 1 – Ring Wrap
The split key rings work perfectly for this project because they easily hold your yarn in place during this first step. If you’re using just a regular ring as your base, go ahead and hold the short yarn tail down with your finger.
Work the blanket stitch all around your ring. Bring your tapestry needle up through the ring and over, then thread it down and through the resulting yarn loop. Keep repeating this blanket stitch, making sure to wrap over that yarn tail to help keep it securely in place.
Once you’ve completely covered your ring, thread your yarn through the knots a couple times to secure it, then cut it off.
The knots from the blanket stitch will be on the outside of your ring. Using your fingers, gently guide them to be within the inside of your ring instead, so the wrapped yarn is on the outside.
Step 2 – Spider Web
Cut a second piece of scrap yarn to about 20″ in length.
With it, create a Slip Knot from the center of your piece of yarn.
Place your ring within the slip knot.
Wrap your yarn ends around the ring to create a total of 8 equilateral radial spokes from the center, wrapping and tying your yarn off in the back.
The two strands of yarn tails can be used to hold your new button in place for the next step, as well as sew the button in place onto your selected garment.
Step 3 – Backstitch Weaving
Cut the third piece of scrap yarn to about 20″ to length and thread it through your tapestry needle.
Work the backstitch to weave this third strand of yarn through your spider web spokes.
Starting close to the center, begin by wrapping your yarn over the spokes.
Then, round and round, go back over the one spoke and under two. Repeat this process until your ring is full of stitching.
When you have finished weaving the yarn to your satisfaction, fasten the yarn in the back with a few stitches and knots.
Clip off the yarn tails from the third strand and you are done!
KNITTING BUTTONHOLES for Yarn Dorset Buttons
If you are a knitter and plan to add your new yarn buttons to your knitwear, you will need to learn how to make buttonholes, of course!
Make sure to check out my complete knitting video tutorial, along with the written instructions, to knit up your buttonholes, too!