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How to remove the waist button on my jeans

Updated April 17, 2017

Whether a pair of jeans is too tight or too loose, they sometimes call for alterations. If you need to remove the button in the waist of your jeans, commonly known as a rivet, and taking them to the tailor is a hassle you don't want to take on, do it yourself with some tools and a little patience.

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  1. Lay the jeans on the floor on a towel or on a low, flat surface.

  2. Weigh down the jeans by standing on them or placing a very heavy object on them. You also can use clamps or clips if the jeans are on a sewing table or a flat surface that is not the floor. Position your feet (or the clips) as close to the rivet as possible without obstructing its movement.

  3. Place the claw end of the hammer around the rivet and pull upwards forcefully. This will remove the front part of the rivet. If you remove the entire rivet from the jeans, sew any ripped areas with a needle and thread.

  4. Insert a flat-edged screwdriver between the front and back of the rivet. Tap a few times to loosen the grip between the pieces.

  5. Grip the back of the rivet with a small pair of needle-nosed pliers. Grip the front of the rivet with a larger pair of pliers.

  6. Work the large pliers back and forth and from side to side to remove the two ends of the rivet from the jeans.

  7. Tip

    If you can't pull the rivet apart, ask someone stronger to do it for you.


    You could injure yourself with the tools, so be careful.

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Things You'll Need

  • Hammer
  • One small and one large pair of pliers
  • Flat-edged screwdriver
  • Needle and thread (optional)

About the Author

Joetta Charnell

Joetta Charnell became a freelance writer in 2009. Now contributing to various websites, her previous work garnered several awards in writing competitions. Charnell earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in African-American studies and biology, both from the University of Virginia.

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