Snaps are one of our favorite closures. They’re small yet sturdy, like a cute little Corgi dog. But there’s not always a lot of variety from which to choose. You can usually find nickel or brass, and the Western favorite: pretty pearl head snaps, every once in awhile, maybe a rhinestone alternative. But that’s where the decorative options usually ended. So when Babyville snaps hit the market a few years ago, their bright colors and cute cover designs were an instant hit. They were immediately snapped up for their decorative flair. We’ve used them on several Sew4Home projects, and now we have a full tutorial dedicated to showing you just how easy they are to insert.

If you’ve used metal snaps before, and uttered words your mama wouldn’t like to hear, you’ll find these Babyville versions easier to work with. But, to make sure you’re well-rounded (and mama’s happy), you may want to review our handy tutorial on inserting metal snaps. It will take a lot of the frustration out of the process. We also have a handy summary article with our top ten closure tutorials, featuring snaps and more.

Our thanks to Babyville for providing us with a selection of their snaps and tools. You can find the full line of Babyville products at in-store and online retailers everywhere, from these snaps to super-cute PUL to buttons, elastics, appliqués, and more.

And remember, Babyville is not just for babies. Several of their design groups would work for any age.

Follow the easy steps below to begin your snap-o-mania. Yep, it’s addicting. Soon, everything will be in need of a snap!

The snap parts

A complete snap assembly has four parts: two covers, the socket, and the stud. Because Babyville snaps use a finished cover on both halves, the snap set is reversible.

We like how the snaps are packaged with the sockets and the studs each in their own mini bags inside the main bag that contains all the covers.

You can select from a wide variety of covers – both plain colors as well as cute embossed designs, from hearts and flowers to turtles and robots.

Sizing

The majority of the Babyville snaps come in the most common size 20, which equates to just under ½” (12mm) in diameter.

The all-purpose white snaps are also available in two additional sizes: size 16 (apx. ⅜” or 11mm) and size 24 (apx. 9/16″ or 15mm).

The snap pliers

The Babyville Snaps must be put in with the Babyville Snap Pliers. These pliers have been specially designed to work with the plastic snaps to allow for easy, secure insertion without damage to the surface of the snap covers.

The pliers themselves come factory-set with the shank, rubber pressing head and die tray in place for the most common size 20 snaps.

You also get die trays for both size 16 and size 24 snaps, as well as a thicker shaft set up with the pressing head for size 24 (the shank and pressing head for the size 20 snaps will also work for size 16).

In addition, there are two extra rubber pressing heads (one in each size), an awl for poking holes, and a screwdriver to use when changing the shank.

We are not addressing how to change the shank here, but there are full directions within the plier packaging. It’s a quick and easy process.

Preparing your fabric

  1. Gather up your elements and let’s get snapping.
  2. If you are using just a single layer of fabric and/or a lighter-weight fabric, it’s best to add a bit of interfacing to strengthen the area and provide stability for repeated snapping and unsnapping.

Marking your fabric

  1. Decide on your snap placement. If you’re using a pattern, the snap positioning will likely be specified. If not, simply measure based on where you want the center point of snap cover. As when working with buttons, don’t forget to base your final spacing on the full width of the snap cover to insure you’ve left enough room between each snap.
  2. Using a fabric pen or pencil, mark the center of each part of the snap. For extra accuracy, you may want to make these centering marks on both the front and back of your fabric.

Installing the snap socket

  1. Using the provided awl, gently poke a hole through the fabric at the marked center point.
  2. Insert a pronged cover through the hole, working from the front through to the back.
  3. Place a socket over the exposed prong.
  4. Slip the snap halves into the pliers. The cover should sit against the black die tray and the socket should face the rubber pressing head. You will hear a “click” as the cover drops into the tray; this lets you know it has been properly seated.
  5. Squeeze the pliers together. Remember, you are working with plastic not metal. You don’t need super-human pressure; just press the handles all the way closed.
  6. Remove the fabric from between the pliers and you’ll see the prong has been squashed down, securing the socket in place.
  7. Continue in this manner to place all the sockets needed for your project.

Installing the snap stud

  1. The opposite half of the snap inserts using the same method. The most important step is marking.
  2. Place your completed socket half in its finished position – this likely means it will be overlapping the fabric panel into which you’ll be inserting the studs. Use the socket as the guide for the placement of the stud.
  3. You can simply “eyeball it” (one of our favorite methods). Or, you can press the socket into the opposite fabric until it creates an impression, then place a mark at that impression point before it disappears. We’ve heard of some folks who like to place a tiny bit of ink on the socket before pressing down to create that impression in the opposite fabric. This gives you an easier way to clearly see the marking.
  4. As above, make a hole at the marked center point, insert the cover prong through the hole from front to back…
  5. place the stud over the prong…
  6. … insert into the pliers, and press closed to secure. As above, the cover is against the black tray, the stud is facing the rubber pressing head.
  7. Repeat to place all the stud halves of the snap sets.
  8. Snap together and you have pretty covers on both sides.

Practice first

With snaps, it’s not uncommon to get less-than-perfect results the very first time. Make sure you have extra snaps in the size you’ll be using for your project. Take a scrap of your project fabric, fold it and add interfacing just like you would for your project.

  1. For example, in the test below, we made a sample “strap.” First we placed test sockets.
  2. Then secured them with the pliers.
  3. And, inserted the studs.
  4. Because all the snaps fit together perfectly, so you can even mix and match colors for a decorative effect.

After you’ve successfully installed a few tests on your scrap, go ahead and install on your actual project.

Now… snap to it!

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Susiebee
Susiebee
2 years ago

I have followed all of the

I have followed all of the directions and when I attach the snap cap and stud the stud keeps coming off even though the caps prong is smashed down. What am I doing wrong? 

Susan Espinosa
Susan Espinosa
2 years ago

The snaps are really hard to

The snaps are really hard to unsnap.  I am using them on baby bibs.  Any suggestions?

Nancy DeRodeff
Nancy DeRodeff
3 years ago

I just tried the snaps for

I just tried the snaps for the first time.  I am using the size 20 that came with the pliers.  They have gone on beautifully.  Trouble is I find them very hard to unsnap!  I am wondering if they will be okay on a baby drool bib if they are that hard to unsnap.  I worked them more than 10 times, but they still are hard to unsnap.  I wonder if anyone else has had this problem.

Marilyn Dayton
Marilyn Dayton
2 years ago
Reply to  Nancy DeRodeff

I have the SAME problem.  

I have the SAME problem.   The snaps went on easily and I can’t unsnap them.  I thought maybe I pressed them on too tight.  

Cindy Colburn
Cindy Colburn
3 years ago

I have made MANY diapers and

I have made MANY diapers and now that I’ve added the mate on the wing of the diaper, very many of them will not snap.  I followed all directions and am SO disappointed after all this time, effort, and money.  What can I do to make them work?  Four members of my family have tried and we can’t figure it out.  I’m starting to think I wasted my money!

Kayla Walker
Kayla Walker
3 years ago

It’s amazing, I forgot to

It’s amazing, I forgot to insert snaps last time, but now I am ready with great little snaps. It really makes baby clothes attractive. I am trying this.

Dianne Hudson
Dianne Hudson
3 years ago

I find the snaps easy to put

I find the snaps easy to put on but find them hard to snap together.  Is there something I’m not doing right?

Dianne Hudson
Dianne Hudson
3 years ago

Thanks for your reply.  I

Thanks for your reply.  I just tried what you suggested and they won’t go together.  Must be a fault in the package I received 

Laura17
Laura17
3 years ago

I keep mushing the smaller

I keep mushing the smaller side of the snaps with the pliers, and then I have to pull them out and re-do them, sometimes multiple times! The pliers smash down the outer ring, not just the inside “plug” part. What am I doing wrong?

hummingbird2630
hummingbird2630
3 years ago

Does each part of the snap

Does each part of the snap set have the smoothe round circle?

Rena Bryce
Rena Bryce
3 years ago

Hi can these snaps be used on

Hi can these snaps be used on baby knitted items such as in knitted rompers to make it easier for the mummy to change nappies

MTP
MTP
3 years ago

Can these snaps be used with

Can these snaps be used with the Kam Snaps pliers?  They look so much alike.

Sally Jo
Sally Jo
3 years ago
Reply to  MTP

The pliers for kamsnaps can

The pliers for kamsnaps can be used with babyville and vice versa.  I use it all the time fir both.

Yanachka
Yanachka
3 years ago

Great tutorial. I like snaps

Great tutorial. I like snaps better than buttons as I find them easier to attach.

Dianna Loftis
Dianna Loftis
3 years ago

I am on board with these

I am on board with these great little snaps. I have used them in several projects and  not one has been a baby item. Love them. 

Roseanne
Roseanne
3 years ago

I purchased snap kit and

I purchased snap kit and found it very easy to use, and tried it on vinyl, works great! I made a dog back pack and put red snaps for name tag. Daughter loved it, takes her dog to work twice a week, needed a work bag for her furry-kid.

quiltflute
quiltflute
3 years ago

Very cool! I have avoided

Very cool! I have avoided putting in snaps, but with Babyville, I just may get the snaps and pliers and give it try.

Thanks so much!

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