Sew On Snaps

Want to Fasten Your Splendid Sewing Career in No Time? Try These Sew On Snaps Clothing Fasteners

Sew on snaps have the potential to create situations for romantic ‘comedies of errors.’ Dealing with fasteners―that even a child can undo―can put us in hilarious social circumstances.

Historically, we have always been using buttons. Solutions such as sew on Velcro or sew on snaps are relatively new. 

That doesn’t mean that sew on snap fasteners aren’t extremely popular and handy! 

On the contrary, these fasteners are a noted detail in American Western wear.

You can also hear people calling them:

    • press studs, 
    • dome fasteners, 
    • poppers, 
    • snaps, or 
    • tiches;

Sew on snaps
Image source: Pinterest

Sew on snap buttons―What are they?

We use sew on snaps sewing supplies most commonly in place of traditional buttons. 

They are interlocking discs, a duo closure system which comprises: 

    • a stud/ a ball, and 
    • a socket;

(And a few more, but we will get to it later).

Like its “usage cousin,” sew on Velcro, sew on snaps are among the best sewing tips and tricks in this industry. 

They come in handy in plenty of clothing situations.  

Stress free snaps
Image source: Tilly and the Buttons

“Although a snap mechanism has less holding power than a hook and eye application, they are much easier to open and close, and often used along the entire opening edge of a garment.”―we learn from Doina Alexei

We can make snaps of:

    1. metal, or 
    2. plastic;

and come in a variety of:

    • diameters, 
    • depths, and 
    • shapes;

Snap components sewing
Image source: House of Pinheiro

According to Gold Star Tool, sew on snaps sewing is easy and serves many purposes and materials. Take, for example:

    • tote bags,
    • coats,
    • purses,
    • leather goods (leather garments, belts, saddles),
    • clothing,
    • luggage,
    • footwear,
    • animal leashes,
    • canvas (including sails),
    • attaching the fabric to a non-fabric object (for example, to wood);

On Super Label Store, you can read what various types of fabric are there. 

Snap scarf tutorial
Image source: Delia Creates

Sew on snaps anatomy

The whole idea couldn’t be simpler: A circular lip under one disc fits into a groove on the top of the other.

It’s worth getting to know their elements before we get to using plastic or sew on metal snaps to our advantage. 

Here are a few words about the anatomy of sew on snaps by House of Pinheiro:

A part of sew on snaps

Description How to place it?

Capped or snap cap

This smooth, outside bit is the “cap” and is often decorative. We can see it on the right side of the fabric when the system is closed. 

We place this component at the pliers (tiny spikes) base with the prongs facing up.


Socket appears when you flip the cap over. It’s keeping it in place. 

As a piece, it looks similar on both sides. However, the side with the eight slits on the inner ring should face up on the pliers.

We referred to it as the “female” side. This part attaches to the capped/open prong with the raised side of the socket towards the fabric.


The socket connects to a stud. At the end of the application, the stud “snaps” into the socket.

We call it a ‘male’ side; it attaches to the silver open prong ring with the dimple protrusion facing up. 


We refer to it also as a stud eyelet.

The post attaches through the garment fabric. A post holds a stud in place. 

Open prong ring

It’s on the backside of the fabric.

This is the snap component that is secured to the sewing fabric. It’s closest to the body.

Once assembled, these elements start working together to create a secure closure. It’s meant to keep fabrics (or other items) together.

How to sew on snaps
Image source: Tilly and the Buttons

How to sew snap buttons?

We know what they are and what they are composed of; it’s time to get to grips with how to sew on snaps. 

LTRL Trend – Fashn Guru is great at explaining why and how we should learn to sew on snaps. Check her out in the video tutorial below:

Are you one of these people that never get enough of new sewing tips? 

Then follow these golden pieces of advice regarding sew on snaps by Tilly and the Buttons:

Tip category

Description Extra advice

sewing tools

There are several ways to install snaps:

    1. a good old hammer,
    2. industrial snap press machine (read on Sew Guide),
    3. a specialist snap tool,
    4. magnet (Sew Guide explains),
    5. sewing;

It’s easier to use a snaps tool than a hammer, and it’s a lot quieter. So invest in one if it’s acceptable for your budget and if you plan to deal with snaps often in the future. Otherwise, go for a sew on snaps technique (which is also our favorite).  


It doesn’t matter if you memorize the names of snap elements correctly. However, it’s advised to check the back of the box and learn instructions. 

Make sure you give them a read and understand the process thoroughly. Advanced sewing techniques are more manageable with above-average reading comprehension skills. 

When installing snaps, ensure that the correct bits are matched together.

To make it easier to find elements you need, you can label separate boxes (for caps, sockets, studs, and posts). It will make the sewing tools organization crystal clear.

On the YouTube channel SewVeryEasy, you’ll find a brief explanation of putting on snap with a snap plier. 

According to Digital Commons, fasteners and closures should follow a couple of industry standards. It counts both for snaps and traditional or trouser hook and eye, as well as various others.

    1. They sit flat, with no puckers.
    2. They suit the design of the garment.
    3. They keep the garment securely shut without slippage or bulk.
    4. An appropriate thread is used (discover sewing thread types and tips).
    5. Stitches are neat, secure, and aren’t visible on the right side of the fabric (unless this is the project idea).

Check-in with Doina Alexei for the comprehensive guide through the sew on snaps sewing experience. 

No sew snap tutorial
Image source: House of Pinheiro

For sew on snaps tutorial, reach out to this Professor Pincushion video. 

When sewing on snaps, go slowly and double-check everything. You want the outcome to be perfect, not just good. 

By the way, what else can you do to ensure your new clothing project is impeccable and looks professional?

For starters, here are “10 Sewing Mistakes That Will Make Your Clothes Look Homemade” by Katrina Kay Creations. Avoid them if you want to feel that what you’re doing in fashion is top-class.

It may also be a proficient idea for you and your innovative clothing projects to invest in different types of woven labels.

They’ll help you see your garments from an entirely new perspective!

Companies used to reserve the pleasure of having a customized label attached to clothing for brands until now. 

But Super Label Store opened its doors to passionate sewers, DIYers, and fashion startups. The goal is to ensure everyone finds something for themselves.

You don’t have to order wholesale; purchasing several custom labels will do as well!

Super Label Store offers a wide and satisfying selection of labels:

Try it and spice up your fashion efforts!

Another part of Tilly and the Buttons list of suggestions is equally inspiring:

Tip category

Description Extra advice


While each of us sometimes feels like diving straight into and inserting snaps all over the place, we should all just slow down. 

Before you get yourself in the game, practice using sew on snaps on a spare snap or two. Learn how to sew it and finesse the technique with no rush.

When practicing, interface the fabric and practice on the same number of layers as the actual garment. Make sure you’re happy with all the settings: the force you need to apply and the way you do it.


The thing is: you’re dealing with four different bits of a snap and a hammer (or plier tool)! Do you know what we’re getting at? 

Accidents happen, and inserting one of the snap pieces the wrong way round occurs among expert sewers more often than expected. 

Don’t forget to double-check when inserting each snap before the socket and studs click.

When using the snap pliers, the cap sits in a smooth bowl-shaped attachment (which isn’t held in place firmly). Flip the garment, so the cap is on the bottom and the socket on the top. Analogically, with studs―it sits on the bottom, and you apply the force on the top to insert.


Have you marked the fabric in chalk pencil or washable pen to indicate where to put your beloved snaps? Before starting the actual “operation” on your garment, make sure you’re still happy with the positioning. 

Begin with snaps on the outside of the garment. Close the garments and mark where the other studs and posts will go to ensure everything will work perfectly.

Keep in mind that in this branch of the sewing business, mistakes are challenging to fix.

Check if the two parts of your snap are on the correct side. Control if the prongs are facing the outside of your project.

Sew on snap buttons
Image source: Cindy Rice Designs

What else can you do to ensure a smooth go into snaps kingdom?

    1. Use snap components from the same manufacturer.  
    2. Interface your fabric for more stability.
    3. Learn to recognize when snaps are adequately set. 

It’s when they grip tightly into the sewing fabric and don’t pull apart. Also, tweezers cannot be forced between the snap and fabric.

    1. If during the application something goes wrong, changing the prongs may be necessary.

Prongs in snaps get damaged easily, and if they do, they can’t secure the snap correctly anymore.

How to set snaps in clothes
Image source: Tuesday Stitches

With these tips by Tilly and the Buttons, you can fully appreciate the adventure with sew on snap fasteners.

Another helpful video instruction, “How to Attach Sew-On Snaps,” is a handy tutorial explaining how to sew snaps. 

Your DIY

will thank you later!

Check out this video and get yourself to a higher understanding of how to sew on snaps.

In the paragraphs below, we tackle recommendations for “snapping” particular pieces of clothing.    

How to sew a snap closure
Image source: Doina Alexei

How to sew on snaps tutorials

If you’re here, you have probably already started making your own clothes. 

If not, find this quick guide for total DIY sewing beginners on Heart Zeena. She presents her passion for fashion in such a disarming way that it’s hard to resist following her leadership. 

Consider also upcycling clothes if you feel inspired by the content of your wardrobe. Upcycling fashion is intensely trendy these days. 

How to sew snaps by hand
Image source: Doina Alexei

How to sew snaps of a scarf

One of our favorite clothing examples with decorative sew on snaps is this “Leather + Flannel Snap Scarf Tutorial” by Delia Creates

You’ll need several heavy-duty snaps and a leather needle to roll this project. Yet, the author claims it’s worth the effort. 

How to sew snap buttons
Image source: Delia Creates

How to sew snaps on a shirt

While using snaps for sewing may be tricky, it’s also gratifying.

Just look at this tutorial ‘Enlarge a t-shirt neck by adding shoulder snaps’ by Sewing.Craft Gossip.

It doesn’t take much time to introduce this tiny detail to your garment. 

Yet, it totally changes the last appearance of an outfit. 

Shoulder snap tee
Image source: Ellos

Apart from being used for decoration, snaps on sleeves can be super helpful for people during the recovery period after surgeries. See this simple example at U Buy.  

Customizing snaps

Sew on snaps can be colorful!

According to Tuesday Stitches, there are several options for having fun with fancy snaps. 

A snap cap can come in:

    • as solid metal, 
    • in powder-coated colors,
    • as pearls;

Whilst an open prong can have:

    • a color, or 
    • plain metal;

“You can also adorn your snaps with customized colors and designs by using enamel paint. […] You can use this technique on both metal and plastic snaps. The inlayed snaps offer a controlled area while applying the paint, and the metal edge helps protect snaps from chipping.” ―read how to do it on Seam Work

Sew on snaps sewing
Image source: Seam Work