How to Make a Nail Button


Sometimes an upholsterer needs to make a nail button. Although there are various other ways to make nail buttons, this method uses a standard button die to make the button.

Tools Needed

  • A button press
  • Button dies
  • Dykes
  • Hammer
  • needlenose or fine tip pliers

Supplies Needed

Upholstery cardboard or cardboard strips

button tops and bottoms roofing nail (1" to 1 1/2")

To make nail buttons, you need the top and bottom button dies, a roofing nail of the correct length (aprox 1") and a cardboard strip (or other upholstery cardboard)


Cut the middle of the loop

cut back

Pull out the loop pieces

Center Roofing name inside button back

Hammer nail through center only part way ....

.... just enough to get nail through

Push nail through the rest of the way

Cut 3 pieces of cardboard to fit inside of back

Put into button press.

Center 3 layers of cardboard into press.

Put button cap and fabric into press.

Use press to make button.

Take out the finished "no dent" nail button.

Now you nail button is ready to nail onto your furniture

Making Edge Roll

IMG_6295-warmann.JPGHave you ever been in the middle of a job and realized that you needed the some edge roll for the front of your spring deck on the sofa job? It would take several days to order it in, and it is holding up the whole job. What do you do? Put the job aside and work on another job? Should you call other upholsterers in the area to see if you can scrounge some up? Why not just make your own. It's fast and easy, and you probably have all the supplies at hand. There are a number of ways to create edge roll. The type and size of edge roll you need will depend upon your project. Here is what I used here:

Tools and Supplies needed.

  • Webbing
  • Cotton padding, or other hard filler
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors

Step 1



Cut webbing a few inches longer than needed for edgeroll. Cut, or tear, strips of cotton. How wide the cotton strips should will depend upon how big you want the edge roll to be. For this project I made the cotton strips about 4" wide. To keep the edge roll a consistent size, cut your padding an even width.






Step 2

While sitting at the sewing machine, starting at the end, roll the cotton tightly in a roll





Step 3

Place the cotton roll in the center of the webbing strap and fold the webbing over the cotton.

Edgeroll making 04IMG_4122.JPG



Step 4

Pushing the rolled cotton firmly into the, place the two loose edges of the webbing under the foot of the sewing machine.




Step 5

Sew about 1/2" from two edges, closing the cotton into a webbing tube, wrapped around the filling.



Step 6

Take the webbing edgeroll out of the sewing machine and cut it to the desired length.


Now fasten it in place. Enjoy! You have saved yourself a trip.


Any type of firm filling (i.e. horse hair, etc.) can be used in place of the cotton for the stuffing. Just use whatever quality filling you have on hand.

Another type of Edge Roll



Some types of edge rolls can be made as part of the burlap spring cover. Click on the picture and you will be taken to the album showing pictures of how it is done. If you would rather see it as a slide show, click here: Slide Show: Edge Roll for a chair.



Replacing a Button

If a button comes apart off your upholstered furniture, I would suggest that you have another button made at an upholstery shop or at a do-it-yourself fabric shop. You will need some of the fabric, which you can sometimes get from an armcover, or from somewhere under the sofa. (you may have to take some of the dust cover loose to find a piece of fabric big enough to cut off. Another possibility is to carefully take the old button apart and use the old material from that button to make the new button. An upholstery shop would probably be more able to help you with that. The new button will probably have a loop on the back side, so you will also need to get a button needle and some button twine.

Zipper Slides

Putting a Slide on a ZipperZip-1 Align slide

 There are at least three ways to put the sliders on zippers. You can put the slide on the zipper before or after the zipper is sewn.

  • Method One: Put Slide on closed zipper
  • Method Two: Put slide on Partial open zipper
  • Method Three: Put slide on fully separated zipper

Any of these three methods can be done before or after the zipper is sewn to the fabric.

Method One

This is the method that I generally use on metal zippers and some plastic zippers, such as the YKK plastic zipper.

Zip-1 Cut V



1A. Cut V on end: Chose the end that the arrows point towards. Cut a V shape on the end, at the metal teeth, cut carefully between the teeth.





  Zip-1 Align slide



1B. Align Slider with teeth on zipper. Put teeth of zipper inside the rear of the slider until they stop.





  Zip-1 Starting the slide


1C. Engage Slide Onto Zipper: Hold onto the two pointed ends of the zipper and pull them both outwards <<<  >>> (sideways) until you hear/feel a "tiny" click (which indicates that the zipper has started to separate).





Zip-1 Slide up


 1D. Move Slide Onto Zipper: Continue to pull the two sides apart. If the zipper doesn't move down, then continue holding onto one of the pointed ends, and with the other hand move the slide down the zipper. (If need, to get the slide to move down the zipper, you might hold onto both pointed ends (as shown in 2E below) as you move the slide down.)





Method Two

Although method shows using a #5 aluminum zipper, this way is especially useful when the slide won't go on the other end of a plastic zipper.


Zipper, Cutting V

2A. Notch the end: Start by cutting a V out of the end of the zipper, as shown by the arrow in the picture. Since we will be putting the zipper into the front (double opening) side of the slide, cut the V at the end at the opposite end as the Red arrows are pointing.




 Zipper - open end


2B. Separate the ends of the zipper about 2 or 3 inches. (or, if you prefer, you may fully separate the zipper)





 Zipper - Align slide







2C. Align Slider with Zipper: Put the ends of the zipper teeth into the front (double opening) end of the zipper slide until the teeth come together and stop at the back of the slide.



 Zipper - slide on







2D. Pull Slide on Zipper: Grab hold of the two pointed ends of the zipper tape while you pull the zipper slide up the zipper. Sometimes you may have to wiggle the slide some, but it should go on without much  trouble.



 Zipper - Sliding up


2E. Sliding Up: Pull the slider up the zipper. As you move the slider, the zipper usually unzips in front of the slider. You may slide it all the way to the other end, or stop at any position. If needed or desired, you may pull the rest of the zipper, in front of the slider, apart.





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