Make Custom Polymer Clay Engraved Buttons for your Knitted Items


I have been looking for the “right” buttons for a sweater. I can’t find what I want so I decided I would play around and see if I could create some.

I thought of trying polymer clay. I bought a neutral color because I wanted to embed the design into it, and then bring it out with paint.

First I purchased some Polymer Clay


I made 3 simple buttons by:

Warming the clay up until it was pliable and made a flattened piece of clay, like you would a sugar cookie, approx. 1/4 inch thick.

I think used a sharpie pen, (the fat kind) as a rolling pin to even it out and make the top portion smooth.

I used a bottle cap (from some body lotion) to punch the button out.

A cuticle stick to make the button holes.


I also used the cuticle stick to try and scrape a design into the button. I wanted to make a bamboo like design.

(I made the design first and then punched the holes), Go into both sides of the button with your stick for the holes.


Now bake according to the instructions on your clay package.


When I took mine out, (this is the first time I have ever used polymer clay) it was still soft. I discovered it hardens when it dries.

Let dry overnight. (you may not need to let it dry this long?) The next day it is hard and feels like a ceramic button.


I then used an acrylic paint and Cream coat varnish/gloss.

Mixed them together. I used a small amount of paint to gloss. My plan was to “antique” the button.


I then rubbed the paint/gloss into the button well, getting it down into the lines that I had scraped.


After this dries, I put a coat of gloss on it to make it shiny.


Yay, now I have three custom made buttons for my sweater! Not too bad for a first try at handmade buttons.

I also made three plain buttons to paint a design on, more on that later!

-Knit Fast, Dye Yarn
"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass... it's about learning how to dance in the rain."


  1. Very cool idea! You could also make buttons and stuff to sew on art quilts

  2. I love those buttons! I've got polymer clay but I haven't done anything with it yet. I don't need buttons, but your ideas would work well for other projects as well.

  3. I just read that polymer clay is machine washable, kudos!!!

  4. Thanks for this. I have everything needed to start working with polymer clay but haven't taken the leap yet. Your buttons turned out very nicely!

  5. Nice! Buttons are so hard to match when I finish a project - it's nice to be able to make ones perfectly for a project.

  6. I always wondered how to make buttons. Thanks! So simple! I never knew. Yours are beautiful!

  7. Well.... aren't you just the nifty one! I love this idea. Never used polymer clay. How durable is it?

    This is great... got me thinking about making buttons - and other stuff - too!

  8. Dear Vicki,
    What a multi talented woman you are!! Your sumie(yes, banboo is so good), cartoon, knitting are all amazing. Now, you do more and made the bottons. I...admire you!!!
    Cheers, Sadami

  9. Thanks so much for the instructions for making buttons. What an awesome idea.

  10. Jo-Ann's has polymer clay on sale for 50% off so I bought some last night to try this. I got 20 buttons out of one bar. I need to work on the edges but OMG so amazing! I went back and bought a few more colors to match some sweaters I am working on now. So much nicer!

  11. I am in the same boat. My sweater has a chevron pattern, so I'm planning on making triangular buttons. This is very exciting stuff. Hand made for hand made. I like it.

    1. Good luck, I would love to see your results! It is not hard at all & I have found myself even looking at expensive buttons and making a very similar one!
      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, I appreciate it!
      Take care


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