How to add Snaps to your Homemade Bibs or other Projects

Yesterday, I posted a tutorial. I showed you how to make some super absorbent homemade bibs for babies like mine that spit up everything you feed them. The bibs are a gift for my sister-in-law and her new little baby due in April. They are also doubling as shower decorations next month.

How to add snaps to a homemade bib or other projects. How to use snaps. How to sew snaps.

This is a follow-up post illustrating the steps to install a snap onto the bib. I had never worked with snaps before this project, and I will admit that I had some frustrating results. They weren’t as simple to use as I expected.

I had my husband help me with trying two different tools and two varieties of snaps before concluding which ones we liked better. If you don’t want to read to the end of the post, know that these pliers coupled with these snaps were what we liked best.

We first used the metal snaps. We bought a simple snap attacher set that comes with a black button type tool and a metal dowel of sorts. (like you see here, except we had one made for smaller snaps.) You use a hammer to bend the prongs of the snaps to secure it to the fabric. See below.

1. There are four pieces that make up a set to create the snap. Two pieces with prongs. And two pieces that fit together to make it ‘snap.’ (called the stud and the socket.)

How to add snaps to bib or other projects. Snap tool. Sewing. Snap attacher instructions.

2. Take one of the sharp pronged pieces and push it through the fabric. Push down on the fabric until you at least see the tips of the prongs poking through.

How to add snaps to bib or other projects. Snap tool. Sewing. Snap attacher instructions.

3. Line up the stud with the sharp tips of the prongs.

How to add snaps to bib or other projects. Snap tool. Sewing. Snap attacher instructions.

4. Set the black button type piece over the stud. This piece is hollow in the middle and should fit over the snap.

How to add snaps to bib or other projects. Snap tool. Sewing. Snap attacher instructions.

5. Hammer on the snap. The black button is protecting the stud (or nipple) from being hammered down. The hammering is securing the prongs. It’s driving them into the ring around the stud.

How to add snaps to bib or other projects. Snap tool. Sewing. Snap attacher instructions.

6. Start the process over again on the other side of the bib. Be sure to think through which way the prongs go in so that the socket will eventually line up with the stud.

Push through the piece with the prongs.

How to add snaps to bib or other projects. Snap tool. Sewing. Snap attacher instructions.

7. Lay the socket over the prongs.

How to add snaps to bib or other projects. Snap tool. Sewing. Snap attacher instructions.

8. Using the metal dowel or using a hammer, pound the socket until it is well secured with the prongs.

How to add snaps to bib or other projects. Snap tool. Sewing. Snap attacher instructions.

Your bib should snap together.

Here is the problem we ran into, though. Sometimes the prongs bent the wrong way. Do you see that in the picture below? For some reason, we couldn’t get the snaps to consistently go on flawlessly.

Do you see anything we were doing wrong? (Leave a comment and let us know if we were doing something wrong.)

How to add snaps to bib or other projects. Snap tool. Sewing. Snap attacher instructions.

Since I didn’t want to risk ruining the bibs I had already sewn, we did a bit of research and bought another tool for adding snaps to the bibs.

How to add snaps to bib or other projects. Snap tool. Sewing. Snap attacher instructions.

We stopped at JoAnns and bought the Babyville Boutique Snap Pliers and Snaps. Great purchase! After doing a few trials, Peter and I decided it was a good decision to forego the original method.

(Here they are on Amazon: Babyville Pliers and Babyville Snaps.)

1. Here are the four parts to the set. Two pieces with points, the stud, and the socket.

How to add snaps to bib or other projects. Snap tool. Sewing. Snap attacher instructions.

2. Take the awl that comes with the pack. Carefully stick it through the fabric where you want your snap.

How to add snaps to bib or other projects. Snap tool. Sewing. Snap attacher instructions.

3. Take one piece with the sharp point and put it through the hole you just created with the awl.

How to add snaps to bib or other projects. Snap tool. Sewing. Snap attacher instructions.

4. Set the socket on top of the point.

How to add snaps to bib or other projects. Snap tool. Sewing. Snap attacher instructions.

5. Using the pliers, crimp or flatten the point. When you crush the point with the pliers, it secures the two pieces of the snap together.

How to add snaps to bib or other projects. Snap tool. Sewing. Snap attacher instructions.

6. Repeat the same process on the other side with the socket. Poke a hole with the awl. Take the other piece with the sharp point. Insert it through the hole. Place the socket over the point.

How to add snaps to bib or other projects. Snap tool. Sewing. Snap attacher instructions.

7. Line up the snap with the pliers and crimp the pieces together.

How to add snaps to bib or other projects. Snap tool. Sewing. Snap attacher instructions.

This method worked exactly the same every time. I was a bit concerned using plastic snaps instead of the metal ones, but after using them, I have no concern for quality. If you can spare the extra $15.00 to buy a set of pliers for the snaps, I highly recommend it. Otherwise, you may end up like me. You spend an hour sewing a perfect baby bib and then you ruin it because you had to pry out some metal prongs that didn’t get in correctly. 🙁

Tip for using snaps: Be sure you are using strong fabric or multiple layers when using snaps. If you are just using two layers of cotton fabric or something of similar strength, I recommend adding some sort of interfacing between the fabrics. When you repeatedly snap and unsnap, the fabric is getting pulled pretty hard. Weak fabric can eventually (sometimes too easily) tear and leave you with a hole. This project works well because you have a layer of terry cloth between the front and the back.

How to add snaps to bib or other projects. Snap tool. Sewing. Snap attacher instructions.

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