Purses and Handbags

How do you sew magnetic snaps onto a purse or handbag?

User Avatar
Wiki User
2010-04-17 04:27:34

There are a couple of different types of magnetic snaps but the

most popular type is the prong type. One set comes with a female

part (its magnetic with a dimple in the middle), a male part

(non-magnetic and fits in the female part), and two washers to

secure the parts in place.

The instructions really depend on where you decide to install

this snap. In general, make sure that you only intend to have the

magnetic side showing as the opposite side looks very unappealing.

Most people install these into the lining of the bag so if you do,

make sure to install these before you sew the lining on.

First, you need to determine where you want to install the

snaps. To do this, align the washers on the fabric where you want

your snap and place a mark on the back side of your fabric. These

marks are where you will make slits so that the prongs of the snaps

can fit in place.

Second, make slits on the marks you made. I suggest making the

slits smaller than necessary because if you make them too large,

your snaps will move around and will not be so secure. Also, many

people apply different techniques to prevent ripping of the slits.

(The tear is caused by the pulling apart of the strong magnetic

snaps - the tear is usually at the bottom of the slit). Some people

treat the slits as button holes and sew the slits that way. If you

do this, make sure that sewing you do cannot be seen and is hidden

behind the snap.

Other techniques include applying interfacing (I suggest the

iron on). If you do this, I suggest ironing the interfacing on and

then cutting the slits.

I've also used plastic canvas as support. I cut a piece of

plastic canvas that is larger than the washer and stick the piece

in between the fabric and washer.

As the previous author suggested, Fray Check could also be used.

Just make sure that you don't end up gluing the wrong things


Third, install the female or male part by placing the piece on

the good side of your fabric so that the prongs end up on the back

side of the fabric. Then, place the washer over the prongs and fold

the prongs toward the center. I suggest using pliers to fold the

prongs over.

Make sure everything is nice and snug and repeat to install the

second part.


At this point I add Fray Check so there won't be a chance of

your fabric fraying once it's been cut. You can also add a heavy

interfacing like Timtex to help the fabric withstand the pressure

of opening and closing the purse. Now carefully slit the fabric

where your marks are and insert the prongs through the slits and

bend the prong inward one over the other. If you bend them outward

the prongs go beyond the area of the snap and could put additional

pressure on the fabric when it's used. These magnets are VERY

strong so they *could* pull through a lightweight fabric. Repeat

with the other side and you're done! Have fun!

**NOTE These snaps cannot be glued. They will not hold because

the magnets are extremely strong. The method mentioned below is

not recommended.

Another method

A home sewer might expect to have to glue the snaps onto the

hand bag since there is usually not a strong pull on the snap

itself. There are wonderful glues to be found at WalMart or your

local fabric store. The directions will tell you if they will work

with metals and fabrics. You could also go to an on-line store like

Nancy Zieman, of "Sewing With Nancy. Her catalog is on line and if

you call, they will help you as well. Happy sewing!

Copyright © 2020 Multiply Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply.