How To Install kam Snaps

Learn how to install KAM snaps. What are KAM snaps? These are plastic snaps that are really easy to insert and can be used on practically anything you sew that needs to be closed. Think coin pouches, diaper clutches, cloth diapers, bandana bibs (a free bib pattern here), lunch bags and even belts, use them in place of buttons and on hanging bins. In short, you can use KAM snaps on nearly any sewing project! Learn how - in less than 10 minutes!
How to install kam snaps and add snaps to any of your sewing projects

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First, for those of you who like video tutorials, I've made a video slide-show just to make it easier for you. Check it out:

KAM snaps are fun and colorful: since they come in a gazillion of colors, they are really fun to use with any easy sewing projects. Best for kids items, and an ingenious source of crafty hacks for your home.
How to install kam snaps and add snaps to any of your sewing projects. Easy and quick!


- quick and easy to install
- colors!
- plastic - easy to care for
- a fantastic choice for many easy sewing projects (check some of them here!)

Pros - all above. Cons: only one: you'll need to order KAM snap pliers before you're able to install them. So don't just get the snaps, order them in a set with the pliers. (I paid for mine less than $14, prices for the same product vary quite a lot.)

KAM Snap Sizes

KAM snaps come in several sizes and shapes.
kam snaps diy tutorial

As to the size of the KAM snaps, yes there are several sizes, commonly referred to as T3, T5, T8, etc, as well as several shapes in addition to the classic circle - heart, stars etc. If you want to use the different sizes, make sure to get KAM pliers that come with the corresponding 3 or 4 sizes of ends called 'plastic dies'.

Make it easier? I usually just purchase the most commonly used size, T5 also called Size 20, with the snap cap approximately half an inch (12.4 mm) in diameter. Feel free to experiment and see what works for you.
How to add kam snaps

Do I need table KAM snap pliers? No, manual will do just fine if you're not planning on an assembly-line-like business. I got myself these, and am very satisfied. Fully functional for an occasional installation of a KAM snap here and there. Definitely better than I expected!

One KAM snap - 4 pieces!

This is a plastic KAM snap set. It comes in 4 pieces: two of them are caps, actually the back of the snap that's visible on the outside. They are flat.
  • 2 caps. They will be installed on top of the outer fabric layer. See the image below.
  • 1 socket piece (use on the body of your project)
  • 1 stud piece (use on the flap piece of your project)
You'll recognize the stud piece as it is flat on one side.
    How to install kam snaps - AppleGreen Cottage

    Now, let's see how to install one.

    You'll Need:

    • your finished sewn project that needs KAM snap closure (I used this coin purse)
    • one set of KAM snaps pieces (4 pieces: 2 caps and a socket and a stud piece)
    • KAM snap pliers (best get them in a set)
    • an awl

    How To Install KAM snaps - TUTORIAL

    1) You'll need your finished sewing project. One of the good sides of KAM snaps: no need for installing when you're only half way through the project. It's way easier to see where a snap needs to go if you've got a finished item in front of you.
    sewing tutorial - how to install kam snaps
    2)First, make sure you have all four parts of a KAM snaps set. Now, get your KAM pliers and the awl ready.
    How to install kam snaps
    3) Mark the placement of the snaps. Use your awl and pierce a tiny hole through all layers, just to allow the cap prong through.

    How to install kam snaps
    4) FLAP: cap+stud piece
    First, push the cap pin from the front side to the back through the hole. Then place the stud piece onto the cap pin from the other side of the fabric.

    How to install kam snaps

    6) Take your KAM pliers. Where does which part go? You'll place the cap into the black die tray. Make sure it sits there nicely. The other part, i.e. the stud will be placed under the white rubber pressing head on the other side of the pliers.

    kam snaps on AppleGreen Cottage

    7) Using your KAM pliers, press the two pieces firmly together. The plastic cap pin will get flattened, holding the snap together.

    add snaps to any of your sewing projects

    8) Repeat on the body of the bag or case, this time using a cap + socket piece. DOUBLE-CHECK now: the stud and the socket should be facing. The two caps should be facing AWAY from each other. Is it so? Good, go on!

    diy kam snaps

    9) Place them together, align, and squeeze using your KAM  pliers. Here, finished! Your finished pair of plastic snaps should look like this.

    install kam snaps

    Now choose your next project and - happy crafting!

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    How to install kam snaps and add snaps to any of your sewing projects. Easy and quick!

    Want More Free Patterns+Tutorials?

    Get email updates and never miss out on new patterns, printables and tutorials. If you sign up at THIS link, you'll also get the Fabric Hanging Basket Template for FREE, right now. A cute and easy-sew!

    free pattern for a fabric hanging basket

    Feel free to check out my popular coin purse pattern that is just an ideal project to test out your KAM snaps - the ZIP Pocket Coin purse. Recognize the fabric? Yes this KAM snaps tutorial was made in particular for this one.
    sewing pattern for coin purse with zipper
    Get This Pattern HERE.


    1. Thank you so much for this post! Your tutorials are the best.

    2. Lovely! Really helpful tutorial. Can I just ask you what are the fabric used in this project? They are lovely!!!!

      1. Hi,

        thank you. I got the fabric in my local fabric shop. Unfortunately, I do not remember the designer and have no fabric left (I'm sure there was a designer mark on the selvage). But I'll check next time I visit the shop and get some more of this print.

    3. Thanks for the written tutorial in addition to the slideshow. I prefer having something written out although I also enjoyed your slideshow.
      I get inpatient with so many of the video tutorials on youtube. I want to scream "stop playing music and get to the point!" Just venting....

    4. I really must get over my fear of snaps and buy one of those gadgets. I used to install them with a hammer, and it wasn't always successful. Featured today...

    5. I feel exactly the same way!!!

    6. Help! The plastic cap pin doesn't get flattened enough with my set up. What am I doing wrong?

      1. Pat
        hi, a great question. When installing the KAm snap, make sure to squeeze the hand pliers really hard, and keep it pressed for like 10 seconds. (I press, then count to ten.) - It always works for me, the pin should be flattened. Hope this helps!