Basic Button Making with Gina-B

Course Images

Basic Button Making with Gina-B


Learning from home at your own pace, in your own time.

This course will teach you how to make 11 different thread buttons using a variety of techniques. The buttons chosen give a good foundation for button making, covering different aspects such as changing colours, wrapping and basic weaving.

Gina’s Button Making 101 in person workshop covers as many of these buttons as there is time for - but in one day there is not usually the time to cover every one of these, plus the variations suggested here.

This is a great introductory course for complete beginners, and an equally good refresher course for anyone who has tried thread button making in any form in the past.

Each button instruction is by way of a video - shot from above, enabling you to see what is happening. Gina explains the process, and you can start and stop the videos as you require.

There are also 8 exercises - ideas for you to try once the basic buttons are successfully created. There are no direct instructions here, rather suggestions to encourage your creativity, just as if you were in a workshop with Gina.

As a bonus, all students of this course will also receive free access to an additional course - Finishing Your Buttons

Tools & Materials

The following tools and materials have been used on the course. You may of course choose a differently sized button mould or thread, but in order to follow the instructions as shown, you may find it easier to use the same materials.

A Materials pack - including threads, moulds, needles, stick and beeswax has been put together and is available in the Gina-B Silkworks shop - Basic Button Making Course Materials Pack.

Enrolled students will receive a one-time voucher code for use in our online shop at



  • Scissors
  • Beeswax
  • Tapestry needle
  • stick, awl or long pin

Optional Tools:


  • On-Demand Course

  • Beginner level

Course Content

Getting Started
  1. Introduction
  2. Tools and Materials
  3. A note on names & spellings
  4. Student's Facebook Group
  5. Course Terms & Copyright
  6. Extra information (stitches, etc)
The Buttons
  1. The Death's Head Button (right handed workers) - traditional
  2. The Death's Head Button (left hand workers) - traditional
  3. 2 Colour Death's Head - traditional
  4. Peace Button (Ottobeurer) - traditional
  5. Square Wrap Button - traditional
  6. Maze Button
  7. 6 Point Wrap Button traditional
  8. Star Wrap (6 point) Button - traditional
  9. Woven Star Button - traditional
  10. Dorset Crosswheel - traditional
  11. Dorset Basket - traditional
  12. Basic Zwirnknopfe Button - traditional
  1. Introduction to the exercises
  2. Exercise 1: variations on the death's head
  3. Exercise 2 : variations on the square wrap
  4. Exercise 3 : Variations on the Peace button
  5. Exercise 4 : variations on the 6 point wrap
  6. Exercise 5 : Variations on the star wrap
  7. Exercise 6 : Variations on the Dorset crosswheel
  8. Exercise 7 : Variations on the Dorset basket
  9. Exercise 8 : Variations on the basic zwirnknopfe

About Gina-B Silkworks

Gina-B Silkworks
Gina-B Silkworks

Gina-B Silkworks designs and produces a variety of craft kits, books, DVDs and other items with an emphasis on handwork & passementerie - decorative textile crafts. We also stock a range of tools & materials for these crafts. Gina also makes bespoke items to commission.

"Traditional Crafts for the modern maker"

About Gina -

Gina Barrett has been making reconstructions of buttons, dress trimmings and other passementerie for museums and costumiers since 1999. Her work can be seen in a variety of museums, heritage sites & stately homes including the Royal Mews, the Royal Armouries, Historic Royal Palaces, The Victoria & Albert Museum, English Heritage, Chicago Museum of Art and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. 

She provided buttons, ribbons and braid for an award-winning project at Perth Museum, and hundreds of buttons for the film “Sweeney Todd”. She has created buttons & trimmings for various series including “The Crown”, “Becoming Elizabeth” , “A Stitch in Time” as well as a few films yet to be released! 

She is the author of a number of books including Buttons, A Passementerie Workshop Manual, Dorset Ring Buttons, Thread Wrapped Buttons, Zwirnknopf Buttons and the Making Passementerie range of instructional DVDs. She appears on the Create & Craft channel with demonstrations of passementerie techniques, representing her company Gina-B Silkworks. Gina is the contributor for the Passementerie entry in the Encyclopaedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles of the British Isles c. 450-1450 (Brill). She has also co-authored Tak V Bowes Departed: A 15th Century Braiding Manual Examined and 6 booklets on medieval narrow wares, and regularly produces how-to articles for magazines, as well as papers and essays on other forms of passementerie.

Gina has been involved in textile research projects with groups around the world, and is a founder member of Soper Lane, a group begun in 1999 to research the lives and work of the medieval London silkwomen. 

Gina is a trained illustrator, with a background in historical and diagram illustration and graphic design. Her passion for textiles grew from studying historical costume for her illustrative work.

Read more about Gina-B Silkworks