tool tuesday: snapsetter and snap source

It’s dark and rainy and our Internet service is down today, so I’m using stock photos for our Tool Tuesday post this week. Fortunately, this week’s post is all about snaps, and I happen to have some photos I can use.


Keep Your Cool Smartphone Case


I’ve only recently become a convert to snaps. Previously, the only time I used snaps was at near gunpoint, when I couldn’t get around it with buttons or a zipper.

I didn’t like sewing snaps, didn’t care for the way they looked, didn’t want one of those big snap-setting machines, and just thought snaps made things look a little too “loving hands at home.” (A phrase one of my professors always called anything that didn’t look very well made. Hand-made? Good. Home-made? Not so good. He wasn’t saying it to be disparaging; he just had high standards for sewing and wanted our sewing to look professional, don’t worry.)


Anyway, a couple of years ago at Quilt Market the folks from Snap Source were exhibiting, and all those beautiful snap colors stopped me in my tracks. And as it turns out, Snap Source snaps don’t require sewing or one of those big, elaborate snap setting tools that you’ve probably seen. (They have a fancy one at one of my favorite shops in the garment center, and you need to drop off and pick up your orders because the woman who sets snaps and grommets and things has a waiting list!) For these snaps, you only need the funny little purple plastic SnapSetter gadget and a hammer, so they’re really fast and easy to set. No waiting list. No gigantic heavy metal torture device to set them. No sewing and nothing to break. They’re really easy to use.


I adore the different colors: a wide variety solids, pearl colors, and even narrow colored rings so the snaps are less obtrusive. We’ve been using Snap Source snaps on many of our Straight Stitch Society patterns, and I’ve been adding them to some of the upcoming fall patterns as well. (You’ll see, you’ll see….) I also really like the range of sizes. I use the size 16 snaps most often (7/16″ wide), if you’re curious.


Have It All Wallet


We don’t carry the snaps or the snap setting device, but you can purchase them directly from the Snap Source website. They also carry a wide variety of colors. Update: we do now carry snaps and the snap setter in the shop.

Anyway, I thought you might not know about these snaps either. They’ve become part of my tool kit and have actually changed my feeling about snaps in general.


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  1. Caralee

    I LOVE my snap setter. I also used to hate snaps. I found mine online about 12 years ago and use them all the time. On baby pants, I hated the snap tape and could never find anything else that worked very well, but these snaps hold and are so great, and any color u could want!! I can hardly wait to see how you use them in your patterns in the fall.

  2. Thank you so much for this tip – I hate doing buttons on my toddler and infant’s button down shirts (my fave sketchbook pattern) and consequently have a number of shirts with no buttons or snaps – because, I was petrified of snaps till I read this.

    Off to purchase this tool now!

  3. karen

    I have this exact setter and really like it. The snaps hold up well under lots of use and laundering.

  4. Tamara

    It is great to know there are other ways to apply snaps to projects now. I used to purchase snaps in a pack that had a metal applicator you had to place on the snap and hammer them in and it had different ends for either side. It was fiddly to say the least. This looks less fiddly which is always a bonus to sewing and produce handmade (I don’t do homemade either) items. I invested on one of those big contraptions and haven’t used it! I wonder why?

  5. It’s a great tool and the snaps they sell are top quality. I did eventually buy a big press back when I was making diapers (LOTS of plastic snaps), but I still use the Snap Setter. Even with the press, I use the Snap Source snaps and they are fantastic. Can you tell I’m a big fan?

  6. I do love snaps because they make lost buttons a thing of the past! (The buttonhole function on my machine and I do not have a calm relationship either; talk about homely-looking!). I tried those kits from the craft store but the one I use the most is snap pliers — I have one for resin snaps and one for metal.
    My kids like snaps better than zippers on their clothing and I’m happy to oblige… the princess dress that I drafted and sewed the night before our Disney World flight has pearlized purple snaps and is still a favorite two and a half years on.

    1. jean quinn

      I am going to order metal snaps from Snap Source for the first time – can’t wait to start using them! I am going to get the hammer set also. But, sometimes I like pliers – can you tell me which pliers I should order for the metal snaps? Thank you in advance 🙂

  7. Rebecca

    Hi…y’all may want to update this post, since y’all DO now offer the snap setter for sale!! (see your last paragraph). 😀 [I was searching to buy it from you store, and this is the post that google sent me to).

    1. Thanks for the note Rebecca. I’ve updated the post now.

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