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Tips & Techniques > No-sew snaps

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Posted by: Diana M

About Diana M star
Member since: 4/19/04
Reviews: 66 (tips: 13)
Skill level:Intermediate
Favored by: 11 people
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Posted on: 9/14/04 11:03 AM
Review Rating: Helpful by 2 people   Very Helpful by 10 people   
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Anyone who puts in a lot of snaps will no doubt want a snap-setting tool, but here's how to put them in if you don't have the tool. I just noticed that the directions on the back of the Dritz package are woefully skimpy.

You need a firm surace with padding (washcloth on a table), a hammer, a pencil with a good eraser, a spool (the small Coats brand works for me), and some chalk.

Mark your installation points as you would buttons and buttonholes. Make sure that you understand which of the four parts of the snap goes where:
1-- Decorative part with prongs, right side of the fabric, on top of the placket or opening (where the buttonholes would be)
2 --Flat circle with a ring, underneath the decorative part
3-- Circle with the stud, right side of the fabric on the underside of the placket (where the button would be)
4 -- Open circle with prongs, underneath the stud part -- next to the skin.

Begin with the underside, non-decorative part of the snap.

Place the prongs, sharp points up, on a firm surface, lay the fabric on it and use the pencil eraser to firmly and smoothly push the prongs completely through the fabric. Center the studded circle over the prongs, making sure you get ALL the prongs into the groove. Hold the spool on top of this, with the little stud in the center hole, and hammer firmly. Check for tightness -- if you can get get a thumbnail in between the snap and the fabric, hammer again!

When all the studded halves are installed, put chalk on the studs. Very carefully, press the other side of the opening over them to chalk-mark where the other half of the snap goes.

Install the decorative part the same way. If you are using a pearl snap, the padded surface is very important -- that pretty surface can crack!

I hope this makes sense.

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Lrowens said... (7/20/10 11:42 AM) Reply
Just yesterday I was totally confused on how to attach a few no sew snaps. Thank you for taking the time to explain it so well. With Appreciation, Linda
LuvSewing2 said... (1/3/09 1:28 AM) Reply
Diana, THANK YOU for such great directions! Dritz failed miserably to give decent directions and you saved my project! The spool idea is fabulous! Bless you!!!
Dana Smyth said... (11/3/08 9:58 AM) Reply
Diana - I've just started making bibs using this snap and am having trouble getting the pearl side to install properly. Can you tell me more aobut the tool? I'm using the Dritz 7/16" pearl snap. I greatly appreciate any help you can give. Thanks, Dana
tammyc said... (10/4/04 5:01 PM) Reply
Yes, it does make sense. I needed to replace a snap that fell off my little boy's romper and this helped a great deal.
2smiley said... (10/2/04 11:58 PM) Reply
I have broken lots of Pearl snaps. Thanks for sharing this tip. Now I will be sure to pad my surface.
PVA said... (9/26/04 5:25 PM) Reply
Thanks for this review! Anyone who hasn't tried the Dritz too, DON'T! Just beg, borrow or steal Snap Source supplies, even if you have to go online to do it. Saves you hours of frustration/aggravation! Not to mention the stress management classes you'll have to attend! This tip is wonderful, & with a little practice you'll be as good as a pro! (Just be sure to get the setter from the Snap Source!)
meli88a said... (9/15/04 6:08 PM) Reply
oooh, glad you posted this. i once bought snap pliers. what a waste of money! they didn't work, and i was so frustrated that i ended up sewing snaps in by hand after all. i wish i'd known this then.
Leslie in Austin said... (9/15/04 11:43 AM) Reply
Hey, thanks for this Diana. Using a spool is a *great* idea! I keep a small piece of soft wood--like pine--and a rubber mallet for pounding my snaps. The wood provides a nice firm surface, but is malleable enough to keep the snaps from bending or marring your table.
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