How do you sew magnetic snaps onto a purse or handbag?
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
Make sure everything is nice and snug and repeat to install the
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
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!