I remember what it was like inserting my first magnetic snap. I was sweating bullets! It’s one of those last steps when making a tote or bag or other project. All I could think of was how was I going to fix it once I messed it up?! But you know what, all the worry was really over nothing. Anyway, I’ll show you how to insert a magnetic snap, no sweat, promise.
+ Supplies +
- sharp scissors
- some kind of fabric marking tool (I used a water soluble pen)
- scraps of fusible interfacing
+ Interfacing +
One of the little tricks I’ve come up with for myself is having those little scraps of fusible interfacing ready to go. Whenever I’m cutting interfacing and I have a few smaller pieces, I’ll take the time and cut them into little 2″ squares. I stuff those squares in a baggie with my magnetic snaps so the next time I’m ready to insert a snap – it’s ready to go! Most frequently I keep Pellon SF101 (a fusible woven) and Pellon 81F (a fusible fleece) and I use them in combination.
+ Size/Type +
Now I should mention that you’ll want to make sure you have the appropriate size magnetic snap for your project. Most patterns/tutorials call for a certain size. I do like to use a smaller 14mm size snap for pockets. Some even have a lighter magnetic strength which is nice if you’re sick of trying to pry open a pocket for the millionth time. I also really like working with a sew-in magnet (which is sandwiched between exterior/lining layers), they seem to hold things together nicely, but at the same time are really easy to open. I can save that for another post though if you’re interested.
+ Where to Shop +
I now carry 18mm magnetic snaps in my shop in both Antique Brass and Nickel finishes (available in a 3-pack). I also find smaller sizes on Etsy. My favorite shop is BeingBags, I’ve always had good luck and they have a great selection of bag hardware. Usually you’ll need to buy more than you need for one project, but then I always like tucking in snaps when I’m sending sewing friends a package, share the love, right?!
So we’ll start off with a little project in progress. For this example I’m using a front pocket from my Super Tote. I’ve assembled the pocket (pocket exterior, piping, and pocket lining).
Mark snap placement. Using whatever marking tool you’ve got around. a pencil works great too. Make a mark in both of those little rectangles.
Cut slits where you marked to insert prongs. Make sure to use a sharp scissors! And try to cut as small of a slit as possible. I’ve also seen where people make small buttonholes where the prongs will go. If you’re worried about fraying you can always dab on a little Fray Check.
Insert snap. Push prongs through the slits from the right side of the fabric. You can then take out the prongs and fuse on a layer of fusible interfacing. It helps stabilize everything and holds up better for wear and tear. I’ve fused on SF101 and then fusible fleece on top (gives the snap a little extra padding). You can either then push the prong back through the slits or snip through the interfacing carefully.
Push the prong back through.
Slide washer over prongs. Using the edge of your scissors blade, bend over the prongs. I’ve seen where people bend them inwards too, I haven’t noticed a difference either way, so I usually just bend them outwards.
Fuse on more interfacing. Yep! Go ahead and take another scrap of SF101 and lay it over the top of everything and give it a good press.
Repeat steps 1-4 for installing remaining half of snap on project. Marking placement, cutting, inserting prongs, interface, bend over prongs, adding more interfacing and that’s all!
You’re all set! I love to sit and open and close snaps (and zippers) when I’m done, it’s so fun and feels like a pat on the back. You did it! And I should mention, if this kind of magnetic snap isn’t your cup of tea, there are some really cute sew-in style snaps that I definitely want to try. They seem like they’d make a really nice handmade touch to a project. Okay, if you have any additional tips feel free to leave them in the comments. ♥