Liberty Hello Kitty fabrics… and DIY covered button hair ties

I am not a huge Hello Kitty fan. I mean, I prob­a­bly was when I was 8 or so, and all the lit­tle girls in Japan loved every­thing with Hello Kitty on it. I know the Cat has since become an inter­na­tional icon of cute­ness, but I never quite under­stood why.

So when I first saw Hello Kitty fab­rics from Lib­erty of Lon­don (was it a few years ago?) — I didn’t get it. To me, Lib­erty of Lon­don tana lawn meant top-quality, lux­ury fab­ric for grownups. These fab­rics are super expen­sive, and frankly, just too good for chil­dren who’d smear spaghetti sauce on them. And Hello Kitty meant… well, “child­ish trin­kets” comes to mind when I think of it. Lib­erty and Hello Kitty just didn’t seem to mix.

Until I saw this fabric.

Liberty Hello Kitty Art fabric

Wow! So beau­ti­ful and cheesy at the same time. The design is so clever in that, while the cats are every­where, they are well-blended into the over­all pat­tern — you prob­a­bly wouldn’t even notice the cats when look­ing from a dis­tance. Instead of being the main thing, Hello Kitty has become dots, flow­ers, and colors.

When I learned that these fab­rics are only avail­able for sale in Japan in lim­ited quan­ti­ties, I had to order some right away. Never mind the exor­bi­tant price tag.

Hello Kitty Liberty fabrics

And these arrived yes­ter­day. I love, love, love them. The silky qual­ity of Lib­erty Tana Lawn fab­ric, com­bined with the detailed and crisp print, and the silly cute­ness of colour­ful cats every­where, is a win­ning com­bi­na­tion — even for a grownup I might say.

Hello Kitty Liberty fabrics - selvedge

 

Here’s what the selvedge looks like: Printed in Japan, and for sale only in Japan. It’s not allowed to make prod­ucts out of this fab­ric for sale.

Now the dilemma was, on one hand these fab­rics were too pre­cious to cut into. On the other hand, I was dying to play with the kit­ties because they were too darn cute. Hmm… The solution?

Hello Kitty Liberty covered button hair ties

Cov­ered but­tons of course! Made into girly hair ties! These were so easy and sat­is­fy­ing to make — and require only a tiny amount of fab­ric. Would you like to give it a try? Here’s what you need:

Materials needed for covered buttons

You can buy cov­ered but­ton sets from a craft shop, or online. They are pretty cheap in bulk and come in dif­fer­ent sizes. Each set has a rounded, outer but­ton and the back­side panel. Make sure they come with the mould tool, or buy it sep­a­rately. I bought mine here.

Step 1: Make a tem­plate with clear plas­tic so you can “fussy cut” the fab­ric. The but­ton kits I had are about 1 1/8″ in diam­e­ter. The tem­plate should be a cir­cle with about 2 1/8″ diam­e­ter. I marked the cen­ter of the tem­plate, so it’s eas­ier to place a desired object — say, a Kitty face — right in the mid­dle of the button.

Step 2: Place the tem­plate onto the right side of the fab­ric, and trace around it with a pen.

covered button DIY - cut fabric

Step 3: Cut the fabric.

covered button DIY - cut fabric

Step 4: Sand­wich the fab­ric between the mould and the rounded outer but­ton. Make sure the right side of the fab­ric is fac­ing the mould side. Press the but­ton into the mould.

covered button DIY - setting the button

 

If you have a clear mould, you can check from the other side if the pat­tern is placed where you want it. You also have to be a lit­tle care­ful with very light­weight fab­ric like Lib­erty tana lawn, because the fab­ric can get stretched out of shape — and the pretty face of the cat could be dis­torted. If you are not happy here, you can take the but­ton out the mould and start again, till you get the result you want.

covered button DIY - place fabric on mould

Here the fab­ric is pushed all the way in.

 

covered button DIY - back of button

Step 5: Press the back of the but­ton into the mould till it clicks in. I just use my fin­gers here, even though the mould comes with a lit­tle tool for push­ing the back panel in (it’s the lit­tle round blue thing you see in the photo above).

 

Step 6: Pop the but­ton out of the mould, and that’s it!

Step 7: Thread a nar­row, com­mer­cial hair tie through the loop hole in the back of the but­ton, and you just made the world’s pret­ti­est hair tie for your lit­tle girl — or for yourself.

covered button DIY - threading hair elastic

You can also buy cov­ered but­ton kits with a flat back, with­out the loop hole. You can glue them onto DIY hair slides, or mag­nets, or lit­tle pegs… the pos­si­bil­i­ties are endless.