How to install a magnetic purse snap

19 September


This tutorial will show you how to install a magnetic snap in any bag you are making.

The magnetic snaps come in wide variety of sizes and shapes.  Some even come in a little pouch that you can sew on – but that is a tutorial for another day!  The type of snap I am showing in this tutorial has prongs on the back side of the snap pieces.  Your snaps should come with male and female parts as well as a couple of washers. magnetic snap
The first thing to consider is the placement of your snap.  I am adding the snap to the lining of my Spectrum Tote so I know just where the snap is going to be…spectrum tote in grey But in case you are creating your own design you may not know exactly where you want it to go.  Most likely, search  you will want it in the center of the bag and near the top. You can find the center of the lining by simply folding it in half width-wise.  When determining it’s position from the top of the bag, health take into consideration how wide the seam allowance is because you will probably be sewing the lining to the exterior of your bag later.  I like to put snaps anywhere from 1 1/2″ – 2 1/2″ down from the seam allowance at the top.

In the case of the Spectrum Tote, the snap is located  2″ down from the top edge and 9 1/2″ from the sides.  So I measure that out on the right side of both of my lining pieces and make a mark. By the way, it’s likely that your lining will be interfaced on the back, but for illustration purposes, I have left the interfacing off.

magnetic snap placement

Now, fuse a small piece of medium-heavy weight interfacing to the wrong side of the lining just opposite the mark – this will help stabilize the fabric under the snap.

interfacing on lining

Turn the panel back over to the right side, and place one of the washers on the lining directly on over the mark.  Make sure you can see the mark through the center hole of the washer.  Use a pencil to mark the slits on both sides of the washer.

 washer on lining

mark fabric

Cut along the slits with small scissors.  I sort of  puncture the fabric with my scissors more than cut, but you have to be careful not to use too much pressure or the slit will end up too large. You might want to take a little seam sealant to the slits if you think your snap is going to endure some extra wear and tear. Now insert prongs of one of the snap pieces into the slits from the right side – here you can see the prongs sticking out on the wrong side of the lining.

insert prongs

In additon to the interfacing, I like to use a small piece of plastic canvas behind magnetic snaps.  Push the plastic canvas onto the prongs  – you may need to snip the plastic canvas a little to do this.insert prongs in plastic canvas
Now, if you decided to not use the plastic canvas, take a washer and put it over the prongs.  If you have used the canvas you can just throw the washer away, I have found you really don’t need them.  Then all you need to do is fold the prongs down over one another and repeat to put the other part of the snap on your other lining panel!
 fold prongs down

Now, wasn’t that a snap?!

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