Beaker Button Tutorials

Please scroll down to find the tutorial you want. They are in order on the same page.

Beaker Button on YouTube, including video tutorials and demonstrations

PDF instructions for Crosswheel buttons for a more detailed version of the instructions below click the link. You will be able to download the file if you have adobe. The PDF may look better than the instructions below if you care using a mobile device.

Dorset Button Crosswheel Tutorial
Birds Eye Button Tutorial
Simple Sideways Shawl Tutorial
Temperature Blanket Worksheet

Instructions for making a Crosswheel Dorset Button

1 closed ring, thread, blunt ended needle.
There are four stages to making a Dorset Button on a ring. Casting, Slicking, Laying and Rounding.

Hints and tips:
If you find you are running out of thread simply thread the tail of yarn neatly through the back of the button and leave a long tail. Add new yarn by threading it back the opposite way to the first thread, leaving a long tail, and continue rounding. Hold the tails out of the way. The tails can be woven into the back of the button at the end.

When laying the spokes make sure the spoke you are laying is perfectly in the centre of the ring at the front. Don’t worry about the back as these spoke will lie off to one side until you put the two holding stitches in place at the end of the laying process. This will help to make your spokes central. If you are stitching with single ply thread it helps to twist the thread every now and then to stop it unravelling. If you are stitching with a plied thread drop the ring and hold the needle so the button unwinds. This will take the extra spin out of your thread. Do it before you think 'I'll just do one more stitch', as it's normally this stitch that tangles up!

Have a length of yarn about 100 times the width of your button. A 2cm ring will use about 2m of 4ply thread. You 'll need more thread if you are using  thinner thread and less for thicker thread.
Tie the yarn round the ring in a single knot, leaving a tail of about 1-2cm.
Stitch round the entire ring in blanket stitch, covering the tail as you go. Bring the needle towards you through the ring and pass it away from you through the loop created. Make sure to cover the whole ring, moving the stitches along the ring so there are no gaps.

The first knot                    Casting in blanket stitch                                             Slicking

Turn all the stitches so that they face inwards, leaving a smooth edge to the button. The thread should drop from the back of the button.


Bring the yarn from the back, down and towards you under the ring, then back up to the start.  This forms one spoke. Turn the ring slightly and repeat until there are several spokes around the ring.  The spacing should be even.  For this button 10 spokes looks good (that’s 5 wraps).  Each wrap will move to the left at the bottom and the right at the top.  The back spokes will not lie centrally at this point.  Make two stitches in the centre of the wheel to hold the spokes in place, being careful to catch all the threads from the back and pull them into the middle.  The first stitch comes up from the back of the button opposite the last spoke laid. I make my second stitch across my first, so they look like a cross. If your spokes are not central and you want them to be, firmly tug the middle until it’s placed centrally, using the side of the needle.


Laying stages                                                                                                                  


Back stitch round the spokes. Bring the needle up from the back. Pass it back down clockwise over the spoke.  Bring it back up two spokes anti-clockwise (include the stitch you just stitched over).  Pass it down one spoke clockwise.  Repeat this until you reach the start of your first round.  Continue back stitching rounds in this way until the entire button is filled.  To make the button more central push the stitches closest to the edge into the middle with your finger, but leave the stitches furthest away.


Completed button              Finishing off  

Use the tail to sew the button on through the middle. Thread the tail of the yarn at the back of the button into the middle and make one or two holding stitches.  Leave the yarn tail for sewing onto a garment.

Birds Eye Button Tutorial

These buttons are perfect if you can't get a ring. You need to stitch tightly, and they work better with a firm thread like cotton, if you want to use them as buttons. For purely decorative purposes you can use almost anything, and they add a lovely 3D element to any project.

Materials to make a button approximately 1cm in diameter 

Approximately 2.5m of firm thread (8 weight cotton perle is perfect), large eyed sewing needle, knitting needle or similar to wrap round. Use different size needles or widths of dowel to vary the size of the button. If you are making very big buttons or you run out of thread, add more by weaving the old thread through the stitches you’ve already made twice to secure. Join the new thread in the same way and keep stitching. Stitch over the tails as you continue working round.


Have a length of firm thread approximately 2.5m long. Tie the thread round a knitting needle in a single knot, leaving a tail of about 1cm. Wrap the thread round the needle 20 times, over the same place each time, covering the tail.


Tie thread round needle               Wrap needle 20 times

Slide the needle under the wraps and draw through. Make a blanket stitch by picking up the thread before you draw the whole tail through. Pull tight. Pull the whole lot carefully off the needle.


Needle through wraps        Blanket stitch                     Pull off needle

Stitch round the entire bundle in blanket stitch. Bring the needle towards you through the hole in the centre of the wraps and pass it away from you through the loop created. Cover the whole button, pulling your stitches tight. Take care to make sure they lie next to each other, as close as possible. Make a stitch into your first stitch to secure the thread when you reach the end of the round.


Stitch round wraps     Stitch into first stitch to secure                            Stitched around

Make a shank for the button. Thread the needle through the back of the button either side of the hole. Blanket stitch round the shank in the same way as you did for the button.


Make a shank                                                           Blanket stitch the shank

To finish off, on the back of the button, thread the tail through at least half the stitches around the inside of the button to secure, and trim.


Thread the tail                                                      Finished button

Simple Sideways Shawl

This shawl is worked from point to long side using a simple increase. Tension isn't really important. I used 4mm needles for both the shawls in the photos. I'd recommend knitting the first few rows and seeing if you like the fabric you produce. If it feels a little to holey then start again with smaller needles. If it feels a little stiff then try again with larger needles.

Cast on 3 sts.
Row 1: With yarn in front knit row (1 st inc). This will give a nice loopy edge to the top of the shawl.
Row 2: Knit.
Repeat two rows until nearly out of yarn.

Cast off loosely (I used Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Sewn cast Off). This cast off is done using a long tail of yarn and looks very similar to long tail cast on. It matches the garter stitch edge to the shawl nicely too, which is why I used it here. Thread the tail onto a yarn needle. Pass the needle purlwise (as if to purl) through the first two stitches on the knitting needle. *Pull it so the slack is taken up but not to tight. Remember we're loosley casting off. Then pass the needle knitwise (as if to knit) through the first stitch on the knitting needle and pull through so the slack is taken up. Drop the first stitch off the knitting needle. Pass the needle purlwise through the next two stitches on the knitting needle.*Repeat from * to * until all the stitches have been cast off.

Elizabeth Zimmerman Sewn Cast off 1 
Pass the needle purlwise                                     Pass the needle knitwise

Block shawl to shape. You can either make a right angle triangle using blocking wires at the base of the shawl and pin, which will give you more depth, or stretch the top as far as it will go and pin, which will give it more length. 


Temperature blanket, shrug or scarf

Each day you work 1 or 2 rows of colour, dictated by the temperature at 12pm in the area where you are currently situated. You can knit, crochet, Tunisian crochet, weave or any other crafty skill where you create rows. The choice of stitch is yours, and you can vary the stitch or stick to one stitch as you like. The important thing is to work the same number of rows each day and to stick to the colours in your chart. Below is a colour chart for you to fill in. Below that is a chart with suggested stitch count, based on an average tension, needle size and what you want to make. This is only approximate as it will depend on what stitch, needle size, personal tension etc. The shrug is worked as a large rectangle and the sleeves sewn up when it’s finished. I would avoid doing the shrug in thicker yarns as it may get very long!

Share on Beaker Button Facebook page as and when you like. There is also a dedicated Facebook page for a wider audience at

where you can share your project and get ideas.

Temperature in Celsius at 12pm

yarn and colour used

below 0

0 - 5

6 - 10

11 - 15

16 - 20

20 - 25

26 - 30

Over 30


Yarn weight

stitch count blanket (1m approx)

stitch count shrug

(50cm wide approx)

stitch count scarf

(20cm wide approx)


lace weight






























If you want to be more accurate work a square in one of your chosen yarns using your chosen stitch, measure across 10cm and count the stitches. You can then work out your own stitch count. You can also see if you like the stitch, yarn etc. You can do this for crochet, weaving, Tunisian crochet or anything else you fancy making.