It’s a Snap! Where and How to Use KAMsnaps

Hi from Laura over at CraftyHour!  I'm excited to be here today to talk to you about how to use KAMsnaps! I've been using KAMsnaps for several years and I'd like to share some thoughts on installing them and where they are useful.

Introduction to KAM Snaps. Where and how to use them and set them.

I originally bought my snap press over 6 years ago when I was sewing baby garments to sell. I had a lot of snaps to set and some trouble setting the basic metal snaps with pliers, especially through the 2-3 layers of fleece I was using in my little BabyBean Ponchos. My KAMsnaps press is able to set snaps through several layers of thick fabric with ease! I've even seen ways to convert the snap press to a foot kick press to make it even easier. The table top snap press is not the cheapest tool, but if you are going to set a lot of snaps it's definitely worth it. KAMsnaps also offers more affordable hand-held snap pliers tool that do the same job. I haven't used these myself, but I've heard good things about them, plus a local friend uses hers with success.

[Deby – jumping in here to say that's what I have, the regular hand pliers, and I've got one just fine with them, but I only have a few snaps to add at a time, not a production line! I bought this beginner set from Etsy with the pliers and your choice of snap colors. Recommended.]


I bought my snap press with a rainbow assortment of snaps in two sizes, size 20 (the larger and more common size) and size 16. I use the size 20 snaps on just about everything, but the size 16 snaps do come in handy for more delicate fabric or smaller-scale projects. KAMsnaps also sells fun different shaped caps, such as hearts and stars and butterflies, and engraved caps, with designs such as awareness ribbons, the breastfeeding symbol, animals, cupcakes, and sizes.

photo by KAMsnaps

Today I'm showing you how to set size 20 KAMsnaps on this bib I just finished. (Note: This bib has several layers, two layers of outer fabric and one layer of batting. If you are setting a snap into a thinner item, such as a single layer of fabric, be sure to reinforce behind the snap cap. This can be as simple as cutting a small square of fabric to poke the prong through before putting through the fabric, and then trimming away any extra corners after setting the snap.)

snaps 1 w

Above on the left you can see my sturdy snap press, with the cap die already sitting in it. In front are the stud (left) and socket (right) dies. They just screw in above the cap die in the snap press when you're ready to install either side of the snap. Each snap set needs four parts: two caps, one stud (male), and one socket (female). The top right photo above shows these ready for use next to the bib. The bottom right photo I've pressed the stud and the sock parts into their correct dies, ready for use. You can also wait to put these in place once the die is screwed into the press.

snaps 2 w

In the top left photo above,  I've pressed the prong of the cap through one corner of the bib where I want to set my stud. Top right shows the prong from the underside. Now I place the bib with the stud through it, prong facing up, in the cap die. I usually just wiggle it to make sure it's in there right. The bottom right photo I'm pressing the handle down to set the stud, and that's all there is to it!

snaps 3 w

Top left photo above, I've poked the prong of my second cap through the other corner of the bib, where I want the socket to sit. (Note: the cap for the socket goes through the bib from bottom to top, opposite the way the stud cap went in.) I switch out the dies now; my socket part is already on the die. Again I place the fabric, prong side facing up, in the snap press, making sure the cap is positioned in the cap die properly. The bottom left photo shows the handle depressed. On bottom right – voilà! Neatly set plastic snaps! You can see the prong has been flattened inside of both the socket and the stud.

And here the bib is all snapped together!


So – what can you use KAMsnaps' poly-resin plastic snaps on? The short answer is: EVERYTHING! Here are just a few of the ways I've used KAMsnaps over the years.

Baby gear and baby/children's clothing:

baby 3 watermarked
L-R: baby poncho, baby sleeper, another poncho, bib

baby 4 watermarked
baby hairband with sets of interchangeable flowers to match every outfit

baby 2 watermarked
L-R: more baby ponchos, reversible baby sleepsack, hoodie, hooded dress

baby 1 watermarked
L-R: diaper covers, sag cinchers, baby sleeper, cloth diapers

And household and other uses:

L-R: L-R: attaching a duvet inside duvet cover, bathroom topper hand towel, kitchen topper hand towels, tea towels (awesome if you have kids yanking at them all day!)
L-R: L-R: attaching a duvet inside duvet cover, bathroom topper hand towel, kitchen topper hand towels, tea towels (awesome if you have kids yanking at them all day!)

L-R: thread catcher basket, wetbag for washcloths, cash envelope clutch, card wallet
L-R: thread catcher basket, wetbag for washcloths, cash envelope clutch, card wallet

I hope this has been a little inspiration if you already own a snap press or snap pliers, or helps you decide if you are considering purchasing one.  Happy snapping!

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I’m Laura and I blog at Crafty Hour about my handmades for my family and myself. I love God, my family, and sewing, knitting, crocheting, a little spinning – basically anything fabric or fibre realted!


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13 Responses to It’s a Snap! Where and How to Use KAMsnaps

  1. Tamara T Hutchinson says:

    II bought a multicolored box of KAM snaps and ana snap press but my press doesn’t not look at large or sturdy as yours. Should I have ordered a different press? THe press that came with mine is plastic and I’m having trouble using it, though I only tried a few times so far. Any advice?
    Thank you!

    • Mayra Cecilia says:

      Hi Tamara, where did you buy it from. The best press are not plastic are metal, perhaps you can find one on amazon or your local sewing supplier.

  2. DJ says:

    These are so awesome to use. I’ve made so many projects with them. I have all colors. I have the hand help pliers to adhere them to the fabric.

  3. Petrina Lee says:

    I bought the KamSnap set with the hand pliers – it’s not difficult to use but I find the problem is that it is quite difficult to unsnap the buttons after it’s been installed in garments or bags – I need to pry them open with some effort and I’m always afraid I’ll rip them off. Any advice to overcome this?

    • Mayra Cecilia says:

      Hi Petrina, Interlining is the key use a piece of woven interfacing that tends to do the trick for me.

  4. Donna says:

    Where do you buy the “extra long” prong snaps they say is for heavier materials such as knitwear?

  5. Beverley Potter says:

    I purchased a set of snap and hand pliers a couple of months ago andmost things are ok although I tried something which was a little thicker , 2 layers of cotton that had been interaced with vilene 250 but they keep coming out not staying on as if the prong isn’t long enough Any sugestions on how \i can get them to stay.

  6. Linda says:

    Thanks for the article Laura, really use ful

  7. Great article, Did you know that if you remove the screw that is sticking up under the handle you can store one of the dies (the other one stays in the machine). Excellent for storing your machine. Believe me you don’t want to loose one!!

  8. Kathie says:

    pretty nice and usefull post! 🙂

  9. Leila says:

    I use KAMsnaps for all sorts of things. I bought the pliers, since I only use them occasionally, but I found using them really aggravated my tendinitis, so I made a little wooden stand to put the pliers in so it can be used more like a press. I have instructions for making the pliers holder on my blog, if anyone with issues squeezing pliers is interested.

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