Eye Spy A Button-Down DIY

Cute! Add Eye Design to Your Buttonholes (click through for tutorial) Ha. The post title just makes me laugh. Anyway, I saw a photo of this really cute button-up shirt that had lashes embroidered over the top of each buttonhole, and I thought it would be such a fun DIY to add to my own shirt! Rather than embroider the lashes, I decided to use some good ol’ fashioned fabric puff paint (remember those puffy paint days??) to get a clean thick line for the eye shapes, and I love how it turned out!

Cute! Add Eye Design to Your Buttonholes (click through for tutorial)Supplies:
-white button-down shirt (I used this one)
fine point fabric puff paint
fine point fabric pen or washable marker
blue buttons (same size as the ones you are removing from the shirt)
-black thread
seam ripper and needle

Cute! Add Eye Design to Your Buttonholes (click through for tutorial) First, use a seam ripper to remove the existing buttons on your button-down shirt. You can leave the very top one or make that into a pattern too. I left mine alone because the area around that button is pretty small. If you can, choose a button-down that has a wider placket (that’s the panel of fabric that runs down the middle of the shirt where the buttons are sewn) so you have some room to make your eye design.

Once your buttons are removed, use your black thread and a needle to sew on your new blue buttons. I used black thread so it looks like a pupil, but you can match the button color if you want it to be more subtle.

Cute! Add Eye Design to Your Buttonholes (click through for tutorial) Leave your shirt unbuttoned and use a thin fabric pen (or a washable fabric pen) to trace your eyeball and lashes pattern around the buttonhole area. You can use a scrap piece of fabric first if you want to practice your design a few times before drawing it on the real shirt.

Cute! Add Eye Design to Your Buttonholes (click through for tutorial) Once each hole has an eye drawn, use your fabric paint to carefully trace your pen design, and allow the paint to fully set. Like, wait a really long time. Probably overnight at least. If you get all these perfectly drawn eyeballs, the last thing you want is to smudge them trying to check and see if they are set yet. Once you are sure your lines are solid, throw that puppy on, grab any other eye-themed accessories you have, and head out the door!

Cute! Add Eye Design to Your Buttonholes (click through for tutorial) Cute! Add Eye Design to Your Buttonholes (click through for tutorial) Seriously though, how cute is that?! And super easy too. You could also just do the “button/puff paint eyeball” design on a plain white shirt or dress (without being around a buttonhole) to make a cool eye pattern as well (pair with an eye accessory like this purse for extra fun!). Wearable DIYs are one of my favorite things to do, but I guess this one should be called a “D-EYE-Y”? 😉 xo. Laura

Credits//Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with the New A Beautiful Mess actions.

  • Hi Ashley!
    That’s so great that you know the designer! I know that there are lots of different viewpoints on taking inspiration from other projects and I’m certainly not trying to take business away from your pal. The shirt is obviously adorable but at $200 it’s not something I would ever be even close to being able to personally afford (although I would buy it in a heartbeat if I could) and I think it’s the same for a lot of our readers too. For me, sometimes DIYing is trying to reimagine and tweak more luxe items to make them more accessible for people who don’t have the funds for the real thing, but I do understand your thoughts as well. Thanks!

    Laura 🙂

  • How do you, creative geniuses, even come up with these ideas?!? I LOVE it! *runs out to the craft store to buy textile marker*

  • The $200 inspiration is actually designed by a friend of mine. I read ABM daily and was disappointed to see this DIY. I find knocking off small businesses and designers in poor taste.

  • This is too cute! Handmade but stylish- you guys are such an inspiration for my own fashion DIY blog!!!

  • While I think that both shirts are adorable, I can’t help but see the resemblance to a previous DIY on another blog: http://www.thesurznickcommonroom.com/2017/01/button-up-eye-shirt.html

    I can totally see it being coincidental because its so cute, but just wanted to mention it. It’s a great DIY, because that originial shirt is PRICE-Y.

  • Yes, I looked at her post today and we both used the same $200 shirt as our inspo I I guess we both made the same decisions to make that pink shirt doable/affordable/different and then they ended up being crazy similar to each other. Total coincidence (which happens in blog world with trends more often than you’d think!) but great minds DIY alike 🙂


  • It’s fabric paint so just wash according to the paint instructions for whichever paint you use!

    Laura 🙂

  • Not my style but super cute! I can see a lot of people rocking this. ^_^

  • This is so unique! I own so many similar button up shirts that I could do something like this to. It would really help personalise my wardrobe, too. You have such a creative mind!


  • Now that is a super cool idea, what an eye-catcher!

  • I love the simplicity of this, but it looks so edgy! How cute!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • This is just adorable!!! And so easy too! Definitely going to try this out! Thanks for sharing!

  • This is so cute! x
    Izzy |http://www.pinchofdelight.com

  • This looks like a designer item, absolutely love it!

    x Stasja daydreamdancing

  • The eye trend is just not my thing, but Laura, your puns always crack me up! Love it.

  • THIS IS PERFECT!!!! I’ll be trying this out, looks just stunning!

  • This is so cute and easy! A statement shirt for sure. 😉

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