Effortless Ways to Eliminate Rivet Buttons

Are you tired of struggling with stubborn rivet buttons on your clothes? Do you want to know the most effective techniques for removing them without damaging your garments? Look no further! In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to remove rivet buttons quickly and easily.

Background Information on Rivet Buttons

Rivet buttons, also known as jeans buttons, are commonly used in denim clothing to provide a secure closure for pockets, waistbands, and other areas. They usually consist of two parts: a round button with a shank and a smaller, hollow rivet that is inserted into the fabric and crimped with special pliers to hold the button in place.

While rivet buttons can add a decorative touch to your clothing, they can also be problematic if you need to alter or repair your garments. Removing them can be challenging, especially if they have been in place for a long time or if the fabric is thick or heavy.

Tools and Materials You Will Need

Before you start removing rivet buttons, you will need to gather some essential tools and materials. Here is a list of the things you will need:

  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Drill with a small bit
  • Sandpaper
  • Scissors
  • Safety goggles
  • Work gloves (optional)
  • Replacement buttons (optional)

Make sure that you have all these items ready before you begin, as they will make the process much easier and more efficient.

Method 1: Using Pliers and Screwdriver

This method is suitable for removing rivet buttons that are relatively accessible and not too tightly secured. Follow these steps:

  1. Put on your safety goggles and work gloves if you have them.
  2. Use the needle-nose pliers to grip the shank of the button firmly.
  3. Use the flat-head screwdriver to pry the edges of the rivet away from the fabric, using gentle and controlled movements.
  4. If the rivet is stubborn, you can use the pliers to wiggle it back and forth until it loosens.
  5. Once the rivet is loose enough, you should be able to pull it out of the fabric with your fingers or the pliers.

If the button leaves a hole in the fabric, you can use a small amount of fabric glue or a patch to cover it up. Alternatively, you can sew a new button in its place if you have a replacement on hand.

Method 2: Using a Drill

This method is suitable for removing rivet buttons that are deeply embedded in the fabric or difficult to access with pliers. Follow these steps:

  1. Put on your safety goggles and work gloves.
  2. Use the drill to create a small hole in the center of the rivet.
  3. Insert the flat-head screwdriver into the hole and twist it back and forth to loosen the rivet.
  4. Use the pliers to grab onto the edges of the rivet and wiggle it until it loosens completely.
  5. Remove the rivet from the fabric.

After removing the rivet, you can use sandpaper to smooth out any rough spots or residual metal fragments around the hole.

Method 3: Cutting the Button Off

If you do not intend to salvage the button or the fabric around it, you can use this method to cut it off entirely. Follow these steps:

  1. Put on your safety goggles and work gloves.
  2. Use the scissors or a sharp knife to cut around the edges of the button, as close to the fabric as possible.
  3. Discard the button and any remaining metal pieces.
  4. Fill in the hole with fabric glue or a patch, or sew a new button onto the fabric.

This method is less precise and more destructive than the other options, so use it only if you are prepared to sacrifice the button and potentially some of the fabric as well.

Precautions and Tips

Removing rivet buttons can be hazardous if you do not take the proper precautions. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Wear safety goggles and work gloves to protect your eyes and hands from metal shards and sharp edges.
  • Work in a well-ventilated area to avoid inhaling metal dust or fumes.
  • Be patient and gentle when removing rivet buttons, as excessive force or improper tools can damage the fabric or the button itself.
  • If you need to save the fabric around the button, use the drill or pliers method instead of cutting it off entirely.
  • Practice on a scrap piece of fabric or an old garment before attempting to remove rivet buttons from a valuable or sentimental item.


Removing rivet buttons may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and techniques, you can achieve great results and preserve your clothing for future use. Whether you choose to use pliers, a drill, or scissors, make sure to follow safety precautions and take your time to get the job done right. With these tips, you can say goodbye to stubborn rivet buttons and hello to perfectly functional and stylish clothing.

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