Three Ways to Make Button Holes – Crochet Basics

I feel like I should have titled this “All About Button Holes” for the simple reason it sounds like something from a PBS show.

In reality, these are just three ways of making button holes that I’ve figured out through trial and error. I’m sure there are many more methods out there, and some may be better than what I’ve been doing.

These are just what have worked for me for various projects in the past.

Yes, those are kitties in the background. I didn’t feel like hauling fabric out for the background, so I just used my office chair pillow.

Decrease Method
When I know I’ll be working with small buttons, I’ll sometimes use this method. As you can see from the picture, the hole ends up being very small, and is easily hidden with the rest of the fabric.

While this is a good idea for a garment or accessory that can be used as effectively without all of the buttons fastened, it can be a little hard to find the hole in a pinch.

Step 1: Crochet until you’re two stitches away from where you’d like to place the button hole.
Step 2: Decrease those two stitches into one.
Step 3: Chain two new stitches.

Step 4: Without skipping any stitches, decrease the next two stitches into one stitch. This will form the tiny hole.
Step 5: Finish the rest of the row, and continue on to the next one.
Step 6: When you get to the hole, stitch two stitches into the hole instead of the chain. I’ve found this makes for cleaner edges.

From there, just continue the pattern as instructed, and attach buttons once everything is blocked.

Skip Stitch Method

This technique forms a slightly larger hole. It’s also relatively well hidden, but it accommodates slightly larger buttons, and is very easy to do.

Step 1: Crochet up until the stitch before where you’d like to put your button hole.
Step 2: Chain one stitch.
Step 3: Skip next stitch.

Step 4: Continue crocheting according to the pattern.

One of the nicest things about this technique is that you have full control over how wide you want the hole to be. One stitch makes a tiny hole, but when you chain on and skip more stitches, you can create a wider hole for bigger buttons or latches.

DC Method
When you want a taller, more obvious button hole, I’ve found the dc, or hdc for a slightly shorter hole, works nicely.

Step 1: Crochet until the stitch before your button hole.
Step 2: DC (or hdc) one.
Step 3: Chain one stitch.
Step 4: Skip one stitch.
Step 5: DC (or hdc) one stitch.

 Step 6: Continue pattern as directed.

Unless you’re planning on using a huge button, or you’re working with a type of yarn that doesn’t stretch well, I’ve found this technique works for the majority of buttons I’ve come across. It’s easy to find when you’re ready to fasten the button, but won’t detract from the piece as a whole.

If you’d like to share your favorite button hole techniques, feel free to leave a comment below!

For more Crochet Basics, check out the following links:

Four Basic Crochet Abbreviations
What are yo, dc and hdc?
Learn How to Crochet a Magic Circle or Ring
Weaving in the Ends
Blocking Crochet Work

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