Remove the Buttons on Denim Garments

Woman wearing denim jacket
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Have you ever wanted to remove the two-part stud buttons from a denim jacket or a pair of jeans but wondered how you could do it? These two-part stud buttons are not like the usual buttons that are attached by a thread and are easily removed simply by clipping the thread. 

The studs present a real challenge that is going to take some tools and elbow grease, but it is possible to remove them.

Anatomy of a Two-Part Stud Button

The buttons consist of two parts; the button on the front and the stud on the underside. When they were installed, the two parts were securely punched together, with the plan that they wouldn't come apart for the life of the garment.

The secure attachment also leaves a larger hole in the fabric. While you might be able to remove a button attached with thread and leave ​little trace, you are going to have a more visible hole after removing a stud button.​

Get the Tools for Removing the Stud Button

Using two pairs of pliers is one recommended toolset for removing these buttons. Another option is to use one pair of pliers and a screwdriver. If you lack hand strength, you may want to enlist someone in your household who likes proving their strength. It also can best be done as a two-person job, so asking for help is a good idea.

Safety is a consideration. You may want to use eye protection in case the stud flies off. You're going to be using some force, and when the stud lets go, it can end up anywhere. It's best to do this in a room where there are no children or pets.

Two Pliers Method

Grab the back portion firmly with one pair, then grab the button portion with the other pair. Twist one side of the button up to release the front and back from each other.

Screwdriver and Pliers Method

Insert the head of the screwdriver in between the back of the rivet. Work it around a little to help loosen the rivet. Now use the pliers on the rivet top; twist it up and down to release it from the bottom of the rivet.

Wire Cutters Method

Some sewers have reported that they use a pair of heavy-duty wire cutters to cut the stud off. The method is to work at the inside end of the stud, work the blade into the post, and cut it off there.

Repairing the Hole

The hole in the fabric where the stud used to be can present a problem for adding a new stud. You can use matching thread and zigzag back and forth over the resulting hole to close it. If the hole is too large to close well by that method, you might want to reinforce it by sewing a scrap of fabric to the underside.

Now you are ready to add a new button or stud.