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How to Install Snaps on Baby Clothes

Learn how to install snaps on baby clothes for easy baby sewing projects. These are the best snaps for baby clothes, and the pliers making installing easy.

I had been sewing for a couple of years before I had kids. I felt like I was pretty good at sewing. Then I had kids and started sewing a lot more because everything was tiny, and I could use up my fabric scraps to sew baby clothing.

I made lots of baby and toddler clothing, and I loved it. I hated using zippers or buttons and buttonholes, so I quickly learned an easy and quick way to install snaps on baby clothes.

How to Install Snaps on Baby Clothes

I have installed probably more than one hundred snaps between all the baby clothing I made for my three kids. I only had a problem with them falling out right at first when my fabric was too thick, and I didn’t install the snaps the right way.

Now I never have a problem with the snaps falling out.

I use snaps on rompers, on the backs of dresses, and the shoulders of t-shirts. On patterns that call for buttons and buttonholes, I’ve replaced them with snaps.

snaHow to Install Snaps on Baby Clothesps on baby clothes

I’ve never used other snap types on baby clothes, but I have used them for myself. I love using heavy duty snaps instead of buttons and buttonholes on jeans and button front skirts.

The baby sewing project I have used snaps the most is my Upcycled T-shirt Romper sewing pattern. There’s a free version in one size, and a purchasable version in multiple sizes and views. I use the snaps on the romper inseam to make diaper changes easier.

baby romper

best snaps on baby clothes

My very favorite snaps that I’ve used over and over and over again are Kam Snaps*. There are so many colors and sizes, and I love the pliers that make installation so easy.

I use size 20 snaps which I have found the easiest to find and the perfect size for baby clothes. I have collected a large collection of different colors over the years.

best snaps for baby clothes

The parts of Plastic Snaps

When you install snaps there are four pieces: two for one side and two for the other side. Both sides use a cap which is the flat piece with a point.

Then there’s a stud which is the piece that has a circle that pokes out. Then theres a socket which is the piece and has a circle whole. It’s where the stud comes in and snaps.

parts of snaps

Both the stud and the socket fit into a cap. I’ve demonstrated in the picture below the stude and socket fitting into the cap, but there would be fabric in between the two pieces if you were really using it.

parts of snaps together

When you use the pliers the cap fits into the smooth black side. This means you might have to flip the fabric or pliers so that the cap can fit onto the black side.

cap fits in hand pliers

How to Install Snaps on Baby Clothes

supplies

  • Baby clothing with a closure like a romper, dress, t-shirt etc.
  • Interfacing – make sure the fabric where the snaps will be is interfaced so that it’s stronger!
  • Kam Snaps starter kit* with snaps and pliers
  • Awl – this comes with the starter kid
  • Marking tool

Mark the spots where the snaps will be install. You will mark opposite sides of fabric that come together.

Sometimes I mark and install all the studs, and then I go back to mark the sockets and then install them.

mark snap placement

Use the awl to poke a hole through the fabric.

use awl poke hole

Place the cap point into the hole.

For the outer part of the snap, the cap should be on the right side of the fabric. For the inner part of the snap, the cap should be on the wrong side of the fabric.

place cap

Place the hole of the stud over the point of the cap.

place snap stud

Place the pliers with the black part on the cap.

snaps on baby clothes

Apply the pressure with the pliers. The pliers smash the point part of the cap into a flat piece that is wide than the hole and keeps the two parts of the snap in place.

squish pliers

Finish adding all the snaps to the front. These caps will show on the right side of the garment.

install snap caps to front

These are the studs of the snaps and will be on the inside of the garment.

install snap studs to front

Use the awl to poke a hole through the fabric.

install snap caps to front

Place the cap point into the hole.

For the outer part of the snap, the cap should be on the right side of the fabric. For the inner part of the snap, the cap should be on the wrong side of the fabric.

place cap

Place the hole of the socket over the point of the cap.

place snap socket

Place the pliers with the black part on the cap.

Apply the pressure with the pliers. The pliers smash the point part of the cap into a flat piece that is wide than the hole and keeps the two parts of the snap in place.

place cap

These are the sockets of the snaps and will be on the right side of the garment, but will be covered by the other part of the snaps.

install snap caps to back

Finish adding all the snaps to the back. These caps will show on the inside of the garment.

install snap sockets to front

If you make something using this pattern, I’d love to see! Please share it on social media with the hashtag #heatherhandmade and tag me!

How to Install Snaps on Baby Clothes

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Thank you for the detailed tutorial. I recently started sewing rompers for my new grandbaby. My daughter said the snaps are very difficult to pull apart. I am using KAM plastic snaps (I think they are 20). I bought the kit on Amazon. I am using cotton jersey with interfacing in the placket. Do you have any suggestions?

You mentioned thickness was an issue in the past, I’ve had similar problems. I don’t see where you address that issue?

Thank you so much for showing me what to do. I had already purchased the Kam starter kit. Now I can get started on putting them on my grandbaby’s outfits, thanks to you

Which brand of snap pliers do you like best? And snaps?

Thank you for this wonderful explanation of instillation of Kam Snaps.