How to Insert a Magnetic Snap with 3 Helpful Tips

Title photo - How to Install a Magnetic Snap: 3 useful Tips

Hello Sewing Friends! Today we are taking the mystery out of installing a magnetic snap in a handbag. It is waaaay easier than you think it is! I'll walk you through the process and give you my 3 favorite tips that I discovered while installing hundreds of these little things. Lets go!!
The photos in this post are from my Flip Zip Wallet Pattern that is a free download when you sign up for my newsletter.

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How to Insert a Magnetic Snap in a Handbag the easy way

Where do you buy a magnetic Snap?

Most Quilt shops or fabric stores sell them in their hardware/notions section. You can get really nice quality ones that come in a lot of different finishes. But they can get pricey. I usually buy magnetic snaps in bulk from Amazon. (affiliate link)

What comes with a Magnetic Snap?

For each magnetic snap you'll get 4 parts: a male side with prongs, a female side with prongs, and 2 metal disc with holes in them that slide them over the prongs. The package won't tell you this, but you’ll need to cut an extra disc that is a little bigger than the metal disc. This extra disc prevents the metal disc from cutting into the fabric as you open and close the snap during use. I like to use a piece of a plastic folder. It's thin and flexible. 

Tip #1 ALWAYS cut an Extra Disc bigger than the metal disc!

You can also use  cereal box cardboard, shelf liner, felt, or a scrap of thick interfacing. You may ask.... What if I already used interfacing on my fabric? Add this extra disc anyway, trust me. It is the worst when you've spent all this time making a bag just to have the magnetic snap rip out after a couple of months of using the bag.

Parts of a magnetic snap - How to Install a Magnetic Snap: 3 useful Tips


Step 1. Mark Snap Placement

Use a pencil to mark the center where you want the snap to be installed. The pattern you are using should give directions or a template to follow.

Center marking - How to Install a Magnetic Snap: 3 useful Tips

Step 2. Mark the Slit Lines

Place the mounting disc that comes with the snap over the center marking and use it as a template to draw two lines inside the slits in the disc.  Make the same lines in the center of the extra disc as well.

Mark the slit lines -  How to Install a Magnetic Snap: 3 useful Tips

Step 3. Cut the slits 

Cut the fabric along the  drawn slit lines. This can be tricky because you need to make sure you don't overcut these lines or the snap won't be secure. You can use a pair of sharp pointed scissors but if you don't have a pair grab your seam ripper!

Tip # 2 - Use a Seam Ripper to cut the slits!

Just stick the seam ripper into one end of the line and out the other just like you are putting in a pin, Then gently push the seam ripper and it will cut your fabric. Try it! it works so well. Cut the same slits in the extra disc with the seam ripper as well. Just stab it in and push along the line!

Cut the slit lines -  How to Install a Magnetic Snap: 3 useful Tips

Step 4. Slide the Snap Prongs into the Slits

Now for the easy part! Slide the prongs of one half of the snap into the cut slits from the Right side of the fabric.

Slid in the snap -  How to Install a Magnetic Snap: 3 useful Tips

Step 5. Place the Extra Disc

Slide the extra disc over the prongs from the inside of the fabric. Unless you cut the slits perfectly you may have to bend the prongs a little to get it started. This happens to me all the time.

Place the extra disc -  How to Install a Magnetic Snap: 3 useful Tips

Step 6. Place the metal Disc

Slide the metal disc over the prongs to lay on top of the extra disc

Place the metal disc -  How to Install a Magnetic Snap: 3 useful Tips

Step 7. Bend the Prongs 

with Tip #3 - Use a handle to bend the prongs

Sometimes when you buy a magnetic snap that is really high quality the prongs are really hard to push open. Grab the handle of your scissors or the handle of a screw driver and apply pressure between the prongs to get them started. It makes it easy and saves your hands.

Bend out the prongs -  How to Install a Magnetic Snap: 3 useful Tips

Now just repeat all those steps for the other side of the snap and you are done!

I hope you found these tips helpful to use on your bag making adventures. Let me know in the comments below if you already use these tricks!

3 Handbag Patterns that use Magnetic Snaps:

Happy Bag Making!!

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