Dorset buttons

You will need

  • Scissors
  • Embroidery needle (large eye & rounded point)
  • Embroidery thread
  • Closed ring
  • Safety pin


Before you start watch this excellent video about ‘How to make a Dorset Crosswheel Button‘ on Youtube.

  1. Using a long thread (for the 20mm dia. ring we used about 2 metres but will depend on tension of stitch and size of ring) Start looping around the ring using blanket stitch. Do this by passing the needle through the ring and over your thread.
  2. You will start to see a ridge of knots forming along the edge. At this stage enclose your loose end inside the stitches so it doesn’t come loose.
  3. Continue around the ring until it is completely covered. Twist your knot ridge to the backside of the ring.
  4. Now start making the spokes. Pass the thread straight down the back of the ring.
  5. Pass the thread up the front.
  6. Holding firmly rotate your ring slightly anti-clockwise and pass the thread across the back and straight up to the top.
  7. Repeat until you have at least 6 passes on the front.
  8. Tidy up your spokes and make sure they cross at the centre with stitch (come up between two spokes pass over the centre and down the opposite side)
  9. Repeat a couple of times to tidy your spokes.
  10. You should now have a mini wheel!
  11. You are now going to fill in the centre of the ring with a back stitch. Pass your needle up between 2 spokes.
  12. Bring the needle back over the stitch towards you (back stitch) and return it down by over the spoke.
  13. Pass under 2 spokes and pass your needle up.
  14. Make a back stitch down. Repeat this all the way around until you have filled the centre of your ring.
  15. Fasten off the thread at the back of your button.
  16. Your finished button should look something like this.



Other tips and ideas

  • Add a safety pin to the back to make your button into a badge
  • Once you have got the hang of stitches. Try using a contrast colour thread for the centre fill
  • Add beads to your centre spoke.
  • Visit our Pinterest board for more ideas!


Download Dorset button activity sheet (PDF)