How To Add Magnetic Snaps To a Bag

Are you a hobby sewist and want to give your bags and purses a professional look? Adding a magnetic snaps closure is one of the easiest ways to do just that. Here's an easy, beginner-friendly tutorial that will show you how to make a bag closure with magnetic snaps. Ready to make your bag look all fancy and stylish - within minutes? Let's do it!


How to install magnetic snaps closure to any bag. A beginner sewing tutorial that will show you how give your DIY bags and purses a professional look.


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Though it may not look like a beginner project, it is pretty easy to install a magnetic snap to a bag. Actually, I find it easier to install a magnetic snap than work with buttons (and buttonholes). I could go on and on about what can go {and has gone} wrong with a buttonhole, but have not yet once managed to mess up a magnetic snap. How's that? Because magnetic snaps are EASY. 

A beginner project, really! We'll go slowly, I've taken photos of each tiny step to make it super easy for you. Interested? Let's do it!

How to install magnetic snaps closure to any bag. A beginner sewing tutorial that will show you how give your DIY bags and purses a professional look.

First things first: let's take a closer look at these 4 pieces. A magnetic snap closure set consists of two main parts: male (flat part with prongs and a nub in the middle), female (thicker part with prongs and a socket). Usually, they come with two flat washers.

The socket snap is usually applied to the body of the bag. 
The male snap is usually applied to the flap (closure tab).



You'll Need:


How to install magnetic snaps closure to any bag. A beginner sewing tutorial that will show you how give your DIY bags and purses a professional look.



How-To

PART ONE: FLAP


1) Apply interfacing to each of the flap parts to give them some weight.

How to install magnetic snaps closure to any bag. A beginner sewing tutorial that will show you how give your DIY bags and purses a professional look.



2) Add one or two scrap pieces of interfacing to the area where you intend to place the snap part, to provide stability. The scraps need to be just slightly larger than the snap part. This way, the snap will last longer and feel nicer.


How to install magnetic snaps closure to any bag. A beginner sewing tutorial that will show you how give your DIY bags and purses a professional look.
I've learnt heavy-weight fusible felt works best on heavy fabric, and mid-weight poly is great for thinner fabric. Since my poly stabilizer is very soft, I needed to place two layers under the snap's prongs: first the stiff one and then the soft one for padding.


3) Center the male snap on the closure tab at the spot you'd like your magnet.

How to install magnetic snaps closure to any bag. A beginner sewing tutorial that will show you how give your DIY bags and purses a professional look.


Firmly press the snap's prongs into the fabric and mark the tiny indentations using a pencil, sharpie, or proper professional disappearing ink fabric pen.


4) Cut along your marked lines, using your seam ripper (an exacto knife works great too, or tiny scissors). Avoid cutting too far, just make tiny slits. You can enlarge them later if they turn out to be too small.

How to install magnetic snaps closure to any bag. A beginner sewing tutorial that will show you how give your DIY bags and purses a professional look.


5) Insert the snap through the right side of the fabric.
How to install magnetic snaps closure to any bag. A beginner sewing tutorial that will show you how give your DIY bags and purses a professional look.


6) Here, the prongs are nicely visible on the back side.

How to install magnetic snaps closure to any bag. A beginner sewing tutorial that will show you how give your DIY bags and purses a professional look.


7) Slide the washer over the prongs. 

How to install magnetic snaps closure to any bag. A beginner sewing tutorial that will show you how give your DIY bags and purses a professional look.


8) Then open the prongs of the snap outwards. For best results, use pliers, and press them firmly against the surface. 

So far, I've used various 'tools' to press those prongs against the flat surface, and found out that 
a) I can do damage if I use a hammer (yep), so I stay away from it. (But maybe that's just me.)
b) a few times, I simply used my thumbs to press against the prongs (but couldn't get the prongs sit totally flat, so I don't recommend it)
c) I've used the flat side of household scissors (works great!)
d) Most reliable: pliers!

How to install magnetic snaps closure to any bag. A beginner sewing tutorial that will show you how give your DIY bags and purses a professional look.


9) OPTIONAL, but highly recommended: I apply an additional, thin layer of interfacing over the snap once it has been installed. If the washers have a bit sharp edges, these could in time damage the fabric. Adding a thin layer over them will prevent any such damage.

How to install magnetic snaps closure to any bag. A beginner sewing tutorial that will show you how give your DIY bags and purses a professional look.



10) Now with the magnetic snap installed, place one piece of the flap fabric onto another, right sides facing.

How to install magnetic snaps closure to any bag. A beginner sewing tutorial that will show you how give your DIY bags and purses a professional look.


11) Stitch them together, I usually use a 3/8 inch seam allowance with pieces like this one. Leave the 'bottom' part open, for turning.

How to install magnetic snaps closure to any bag. A beginner sewing tutorial that will show you how give your DIY bags and purses a professional look.



11) If your flap has curves, trim them for a nice finish - take care not to snip into any stitches. If it has edges, trim those too.

How to install magnetic snaps closure to any bag. A beginner sewing tutorial that will show you how give your DIY bags and purses a professional look.





12) Turn right side out. Topstitch around the closure tab, again leaving the bottom side open and unfinished.

How to install magnetic snaps closure to any bag. A beginner sewing tutorial that will show you how give your DIY bags and purses a professional look.

How to install magnetic snaps closure to any bag. A beginner sewing tutorial that will show you how give your DIY bags and purses a professional look.

Your flap may be a different form and size, but you get the picture.

Craftsy

PART TWO: BODY OF THE BAG


Now, we'll install the other half of the magnetic snap into the bag's body. Since you already know the procedure, this will go even faster:

How to install magnetic snaps closure to any bag. A beginner sewing tutorial that will show you how give your DIY bags and purses a professional look.


1) First, apply interfacing (stabilizer) to the wrong side of the bag body where the second part of the magnetic snap is to be installed. Add an additional layer of interfacing to strengthen the area. Usually, I use a larger scrap piece of interfacing, something like 5 inch x 4 inch, as shown in this photo:


How to install magnetic snaps closure to any bag. A beginner sewing tutorial that will show you how give your DIY bags and purses a professional look.

Then you'll sew the body of the bag as instructed. Usually, the right time to install the snap is just before you close the turning opening on the bag body. Here, for example, I needed to install the second magnet when the bag (a clutch actually) was nearly finished, so it was pretty easy to find the 'sweet spot':

How to install magnetic snaps closure to any bag. A beginner sewing tutorial that will show you how give your DIY bags and purses a professional look.


2) Mark the exact spot where you want the second part of the magnetic snap.

How to install magnetic snaps closure to any bag. A beginner sewing tutorial that will show you how give your DIY bags and purses a professional look.



3) Reach through the unfinished opening into the body of the bag/clutch, keeping the outer and inner (lining) layers apart.

Using a seam ripper, make 2 tiny slits into the outer shell at the marked spots – BUT DON'T CUT THROUGH THE INNER LINING of the bag.

How to install magnetic snaps closure to any bag. A beginner sewing tutorial that will show you how give your DIY bags and purses a professional look.

Insert the snap through the right side of the fabric. 

4) Then slide the washer over the prongs, open the prongs of the snap outwards, and - optional - apply an additional layer of thin interfacing over the prongs.  

How to install magnetic snaps closure to any bag. A beginner sewing tutorial that will show you how give your DIY bags and purses a professional look.

Here, you've just added magnetic snaps to your bag or purse. How cool is that! And now when you how to insert magnetic snaps, chances are that you'll never want your bags closures made in a different way.

How to install magnetic snaps closure to any bag. A beginner sewing tutorial that will show you how give your DIY bags and purses a professional look.


For those wondering where this tutorial came from, I made it when sewing one of my own designs, the Ultimate Diaper Clutch. I love it for its convenience and beginner-friendly sewing procedure.

Also, because I've just sewn two of them and made two moms really happy :) (My No 1 present for new moms from now on!)

You can get your own pattern here.


the ultimate diaper clutch pdf pattern. Get it on Craftsy.




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How to install magnetic snaps closure to any bag. A beginner sewing tutorial that will show you how give your DIY bags and purses a professional look.


Happy sewing!

2 comments:

  1. Ten out of ten for a well-instructed tutorial. Anyone can follow it and get a perfect job. I'll be using these fixings on the next bag I make!

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  2. I have put in magnetic snaps and even though I was scared to try to use them at first, when I did, I was surprised at how easy it was. Now my confession. When I saw you use the seam ripper I thought "DUH, why didn't I think of that". I used scissors and that was the only part I had trouble with was that little cut. Thanks for the tip. That just goes to show that yes, even old dogs (me) can learn new tricks. Haha

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