How to Install Snap Fasteners

    by Pat Olsen

    About the Author

    Pat Olsen has over 35 years of experience as a professional journalist in California. She attended San Francisco State and Pacific College. Olsen has several published books, is a staff writer for Mill Creek Living Magazine, and currently writes for Demand Studio. She is a retired educator who still teaches twice a week.


    As easy as it is to snap a jacket closed, installing snaps to garments is not much more difficult. With a variety of different snaps available, you'll find a snap to fit various applications. Snaps make good alternatives to both zippers and buttons and buttonholes and you need nothing more than a a few standard tools to install snaps in clothing.

    Things You'll Need

    • Magnetic snaps
    • Post snaps
    • Prong snaps
    • Practice material
    • Batting
    • Hammer
    • Snap fastener kit (optional)

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    Examine a magnetic snap to find two parts -- a female and a male part, held together by magnets. These snaps parts fasten together at both the top and bottom. Cut small slits in the fabric to fit the four snap prongs. Push the prongs of either snap part through the fabric. Cut a small circle of batting and slit it to fit the prongs. Push the batting up snugly against the fabric, install the washer over the batting and push the prongs to the outside to secure the snap. Repeat the same process with the other half of the snap.

    Install post snaps by making a small hole in heavy fabric to accommodate the posts of each snap. The shorter post closing unit inserts through the fabric hole and the socket fits over it. Tap the post lightly with the hammer to secure the socket tightly. Insert the capping post with the longer prong on the other side of the fabric using the same process.

    Insert the prong-closing snap style in lighter weight fabrics using the same technique as post-style snaps. The prong-style cap will penetrate light fabric easily when you tape it with a hammer, making additional holes in fabric unnecessary.

    Use snap installation kits to simplify snap installation. The kits consist of hard plastic holders that stabilize the posts and sockets when you install the snaps. Each of the holders shows marks for the socket and posts or caps for fast installation. Snap kits are especially beneficial for projects that require many snaps.

    • Snaps on your child's garments make it easier for him to dress himself. Heavy snaps can also replace zippers in pants.
    • Magnetic snaps are most appropriate for purses or wallets.
    • Do not mix post and prong snaps together. They may appear to hold, but could fail with much use.

    Photo Credits

    • Hemera Technologies/ Images