As you probably already know magnetic snaps come in different sizes and are available in different metal finishes. They are not recommended for use on anything which will come into contact with computers, laptops or audio equipment because of the possibility of upsetting or even scrambling/destroying hard disks and other delicate computer electronics.
On non-techy items though they provide a secure, unobstrusive closure which are relatively straightforward to apply and add a professional finish to bags and purses, particularly when combined with other matching metal hardware.
Not an easy photo - they kept 'snapping' together!
A magnetic snap set comprises four parts; one half of the snap is magnetic, the other part of the snap is metal and is 'attracted' to the other. They click together to make a closure.
There are also two backing discs or ' washers', with holes in which are fixed on the other side of the fabric to the snap parts. They fit over the snap prongs which are pushed through holes in the fabric. The backing discs or 'washers' are then placed over the prongs which are folded back to neatly and securely attach the magnetic snap.
I mentioned a while ago in a previous post that I apply magnetic snaps to my bags in a slightly different way to many. so, I thought I'd show you how I add magnetic snaps to my bags, books covers and anywhere else where they seem useful.
Here, I'm adding a magnetic snap to the lining of a small tote bag.
- 14mm magnetic snap set (these instructions apply to any size of snap) Link
- 2, 4 cm (approximately 1 1/2 inches) squares of interlining or something to protect the fabric of the lining from the movement of the metal magnetic snap.
- 2, 5cm (approximately 2 inches) squares of interlining or fleece
- removable fabric marker - I used tailors chalk
- a few pins
- seam ripper - or a way of making two small holes in the fabric
- tape measure
Step 1-Mark the position of the snap on both lining pieces.
I want this snap to be positioned about 2.5 cm (1 inch) below the top edge when the bag is completed. So using the centre mark as a guide, measure down approximately 3.5 cm (approximately 1 1/2 inches) from the top edge and make another mark.
Step 2-Mark position of the snap
Using the washer (the back of the magnetic snap), as a template, lay it down on the fabric and mark where you need to make 'tiny' little holes to be able to insert the magnetic snap prongs easily through the fabric. Use these marks as a guide to where you need to make tiny incisions with your seam ripper. Go carefully now! It's just a little snap.
Can you see where I've marked the centre of the lining and then marked how far down I want the snap positioned? I use the 'washer' as a template to mark where the incisions need to be.
Step 3-Marking the interlining backing
Take one of the 4 cm (approximately 1 1/2 inch) squares and using the washer (back of the magnetic snap) as a template mark the position of the side slots using your fabric marker. Make small incisions in this with your seam ripper.
Can you see the marks through the slots showing where to make the slits.
Step 4 - Insert the snap through the slits in the fabric.
Push the prongs of the magnetic snap through the incisions in the fabric to the wrong side. Place the backing fabric/interlining over the prongs.
Step 5 - Apply the Washers to the Snaps
Push the washer onto the prongs and ... this is where I differ slightly from other tutorials you may find.
Some people like to fold the prongs outwards which keeps the snap neatly and securely in position. I have found that where the prongs stick out proud of the area occupied by the snap the fabric wears. I've sadly lost a few favourite bags this way so now I fold the prongs inwards. You may need to use a pair of pliers for this. It can be hard on the fingers otherwise.
It is of course your decision how you fold the prongs. Inwards or outwards?
Are you an 'inwards' or 'outwards' magnetic snap kinda person?
Step 6 - Adding a fleece cover to protect the snap from rubbing on the bag exterior
Take one of the 5 cm (approximately 2 inch) squares of fleece or interlining and place it over the back of the snap.
Using a couple of pins, pin the fleece or interlining in position over the back of the snap from the right side of the fabric and take it to your sewing machine. The photograph probably makes this clearer.
In order to hold the fabric, the interlining and the snap securely together I machine sew around the magnetic snap. This is an optional step, you can just hand sew the fleece backing into position behind the magnetic snap to the interlining which will serve the purpose of protecting your bag from wear and tear from the metal snap parts. I like to sew around the magnetic snap because I think it adds a 'finished' look to the bag lining.
Sewing around the magnetic snap is not difficult if you take a little time.
Attach your zipper foot to your machine and have the needle positioned so that it is sewing on the side furthest away from the snap. It may be clearer in the photograph. Sew two or three stitches then lower your needle, raise your zipper foot and pivot.
It doesn't take long to do and I quite like the look of it. You can of course sew a square around the snap but I find that more difficult to do well than sewing around in a circle around the snap.
Click on the photograph for a closer look.
This is what it looks like when you've sewn the circle. Looks good doesn't it?
And on the back - ends tied off and snipped off ...... It's now all wrapped up in a fleece blanket.
All wrapped up in a blanketty bed! Keep your prongs off my bags!
Thinking about how many different ways everyone seems to interline their bags I'm wondering how many different ways we apply magnetic snaps? Go on, be brave, how do you add your snaps?