You can use these Plastic Snaps on a variety of different sewing projects. They are a great alternative to buttons or velcro. Having a box at hand with all these colors (24!) opens up a lot of possibilities. Attaching them is very straightforward and simple. They have a soft feel and are easy to open and close, even for kids, and they have a good strong hold. Use them on baby items like bibs, reusable diapers, clothing, or use them in place of velcro or buttons on duvet covers, camera straps, pouches. The possibilities are endless!
These snaps are size 20 (sometimes also referred to as T5) with a 1/2” wide diameter cap. They can be used for most general projects, and are the most popular snaps. They are easily attached using our Snap Button Pliers.
How to assemble a plastic snap
To assemble 1 snap, you need 4 pieces: 2 identical caps (front & back) a stud and a socket.
You will need special pliers with a divot and a rod with a soft plastic cover.
MadamSew's Snap Button Pliers come with everything you need: 3 different divots (1,2,3,) 2 rods (A,B), an awl to make the holes, and a screwdriver to change the parts.
Rod A has a 1/8” tip and rod B has a 3/16” tip in diameter. For standard size 20 snaps or smaller, use the smallest rod (A). The widest one is for snaps size 22. Match each rod with it's corresponding plastic cover. They appear to be the same size, but the size of the hole is different. The one with the little hole is for the thinnest rod, the other two are for the big rod.
The 3 divots are approximately (1) ½” , (2) ⅝” and (3) ¾” in diameter. With these divots and rods, you can use these pliers for plastic snaps in these sizes:
• cap size ⅜” (T3 or size 16) → (1) ½” divot + (A) small rod
• cap size ½” (T5 or size 20) → (2) ⅝” divot + (A) small rod
• cap size ⅝” (T8 or size 22) → (3) ¾” divot + (B) big rod
If you ever need to change the rod and the divot, you will need to use the screwdriver that comes with the pliers and unscrew 2 big grey screws for the rod and 1 little black screw for the divot. Detailed instructions for this are available further down the page.
How To Attach a Plastic Snap: 6 Steps
1. Mark where you want your snap.
2. Poke a hole where you will position your snap. Sometimes you can pierce your fabric with the plastic pin (the prong) of the cap but very often you will need to use an awl.
3. Put the prong of the cap through the hole from the top side of your fabric then attatch the socket onto the prong from the other side of the fabric.
4. Now, take your pliers to attach the socket and the cap: Put the flat piece of the cap inside the black tray (the divot) of the pliers–, it has to fit inside the divot–, match the socket with the other end of the pliers, making sure that the indentation is away from the prong. Make sure no part of the button sits outside of the divot. Now press down and squeeze it with both of your hands. You will see that the prong is flattened like a pancake. The pliers smooshed down the plastic prong, which secures the snap.
5. For the stud part, do the same. Make a hole, poke the prong through, place the stud part with the flat side facing down onto the fabric, place the cap in the divot. Squeeze!
6. To make sure your snaps are placed properly, there should be a clicking sound when you open and close them. “SNAP! SNAP!”
Extra tip: If your fabric is not firm enough, you can reinforce your fabric with interfacing before placing the snap.
How to remove a snap
Place the pliers on the side of the snap and squeeze to break the seal between the 2 components. Don't forget that the fabric will likely be marked by the hole you poked to attach the snap, and you will not be able to use the snap again.
How to change the rod
1. Loosen the screw that holds the rod and remove it. You can loosen the other one next to it as well, but with some practice you can leave it on.
2. Remove the plastic cover from the rod
3. Remove the spring
4. Pull out the rod
5. Slide in the desired sized rod
6. Attach the plastic cover on the tip
7. With a solid grip, push the spring down so you can place the screws back into their holes
8. Tighten the screws
How to change the divot
1. Remove the little black screw on the side
2. Pull out the divot (or push from the other side)