Teach the kids how to sew a button by sewing an apple tree made of buttons! Sewing a button apple tree is a fun beginning sewing project for children, teens, and even adults.
Learning how to sew a button is a valuable skill that everyone should know. If your child has never tried sewing before, start with Teaching Kids to Sew Using Burlap and Yarn.
Related: Apple Button Tree Craft for Kids
How to Sew a Button Apple Tree Beginning Sewing Project
My daughter and I began this beginning button sewing project 2 years ago.
When we began, I sewed the trunk for her and was ready to teach her how to sew a button when we discovered that the large, safe blunt darning needle we were using would not fit through all of the buttonholes… Bummer!
I did not feel that my 3-year-old was ready to handle a smaller and slightly sharper darning needle at that time so we put our button apple tree away for a later date. Now that she is 5, and has had a little more experience with sewing, I decided to dig it out of our sewing box to finish it. She loved it!
We worked in short stints together so she would not learn to hate sewing buttons. Each time we got the project out we sewed about 6-8 buttons and then put it away for another time. I held the loom on my lap and guided through the process as she worked.
By the time she had sewn her first 10 buttons, she no longer needed my guidance, but she still wanted me to hold the embroidery loom and support her as she worked.
She is now a pro at the basics of sewing buttons AND we have a beautiful hand sewn piece of art to hang on our wall! I think it was well worth the wait, don’t you?
Button Tree Supplies
- Wooden embroidery hoop
- Light or dark burlap
- Brown or brown variegated yarn
- Green and red embroidery thread or floss ( the last link is a complete set of colors including red and green)
- Darning needles (not all sizes fit through the button holes – we found this collection to have blunt needles that work)
- Assorted green buttons (try THESE or THESE)
- Apple buttons (We used THESE, or you can try THESE)
- Disappearing ink pen (optional)
- Sewing scissors
- Glue gun with glue sticks
How to Sew a Button Tree Directions
How to Start Sewing a Button Apple Tree
1. Place a piece of burlap in a wooden embroidery hoop. We used a 10-inch hoop. Make sure the piece of burlap is large enough to fit inside the hoop with 1-2 inches of overhang.
2. Draw a tree on the back of the project to use as an outline. You only need to draw the trunk of the apple tree. If I were to do it again today, I would use a pen with disappearing ink. Yes, they really work!
4. Use brown or brown variegated yarn to sew the trunk of the apple tree. We used a combination of satin stitch and running stitch in a diagonal pattern. Start at the bottom corner of the tree trunk. As your stitches grow larger and longer you can use a satin stitch to create the trunk on the front, and a running stitch to save yarn on the back. Tie it off on the back.
Related: How to Sew a Pocket Pet Mouse
Teach Your Child How to Sew a Button Tree
1. I had my daughter watch the video below before we started. The large button and clear directions made it really easy for my daughter to understand. For this apple button tree project, it is not necessary to add a shank or tie it off after each button unless you’d like to. You can sew several buttons with the same piece of embroidery thread before tieing it off in the back and starting with a new piece of embroidery thread.
2. Next, invite your child to thread the needle and give sewing buttons a try! You can start by showing them how to do it by sewing the first button if you wish. Instead of tieing a HUGE knot to keep each piece of embroidery thread from pulling through the burlap, we secured each thread we started by tieing it to a piece of exposed yarn or embroidery thread on the back.
3. As mentioned above, you can sew several buttons with the same piece of embroidery thread before tieing it off in the back and starting with a new piece of embroidery thread. We worked with two needles and one long piece of green and one long piece of red embroidery thread at the same time to match the button colors we were using. Be careful to keep them separated if you decide to do it this way. To do this, we wound up the thread that we were not using and used the needle to gently secure it out of the way on the back of the project.
How to Finish Sewing a Button Tree
1. Sew green buttons and red apple buttons onto the burlap above the trunk one by one to create the crown of the tree. Allow your child to choose which buttons they would like to use and where they would like to sew them on the button apple tree. When you and your child are happy with how the apple tree looks tie the remaining strands of embroidery thread off in the back.
2. Use sewing scissors to trim off the excess burlap so that it is only 1/2-1 inch larger than the embroidery hoop. Next, use a glue gun to secure the remaining burlap to the inside of the hoop on the back of the project.
When you are finished, hang it on the wall or give it your child’s favorite teacher as a beautiful handsewn gift!
You may also like this Apple Button Tree Craft for Kids.