How to Add a Snap to Leather

Snap closures are a practical and economical method to add sturdy fasteners to leather items. However, snap setting is a task that many leather crafters find daunting. Posts sometimes bend, caps become misaligned, and the list of pitfalls can be exhausting. With the right tools and a few simple steps, learning how to add a snap to leather can be rewarding.


  1. Image titled Add a Snap to Leather Step 1
    Select your snaps keeping in mind that the length and style vary considerably.
    • The width, length and style vary considerably, so it is important to choose the right type of snap according to the type of garment and the thickness of the leather.
    • Many leather crafters prefer industrial quality snaps, since they consistently remain firm in their setting, while lower quality snaps tend to loosen up over time.
  2. Image titled Add a Snap to Leather Step 2
    Measure the diameter of the snap posts in relation to the width of your hole-punch tool. The proper sizing is imperative to insure that the snap is set snugly.
  3. Image titled Add a Snap to Leather Step 3
    Punch a hole in the leather where you want to place the snap.
    • Because every snap enclosure consists of two halves, you will need to punch two holes, on opposing sides, for each snap.
    • Each snap requires a capped post, which will be visible when the snap is closed, along with an uncapped post which is the bottom piece.
  4. Image titled Add a Snap to Leather Step 4
    Sort the snaps according to their components.
    • Every snap also requires both male and female snap-closure pieces.
  5. Image titled Add a Snap to Leather Step 5
    Place your capped post, post up, on your setting anvil. Lay the leather over it so that the post pushes through the hole.
  6. Image titled Add a Snap to Leather Step 6
    Install the female closer piece over the hole.
  7. Image titled Add a Snap to Leather Step 7
    Put the male closure piece, stud down, on the setting anvil and lay the leather over it, lining the hole up with the piece. Push the uncapped post, post down, through the hole.
  8. Image titled Add a Snap to Leather Step 8
    Align the end of the snap setter vertically with the uncapped post and strike it firmly two or three times with the mallet.


  • When setting snaps, make sure to focus your attention primarily on your tools. Proper vertical alignment is crucial when setting snaps.
  • The best way to avoid problems when applying snaps is the selection of your tools. Mallet-driven setters are often more economical, but tend to lead to more frustration than the saving is worth. A snap-press tool is generally preferred and usually includes the necessary parts and grommets to guarantee hassle-free snap application.
  • Use caution when setting the snaps with the mallet; snaps can become over-set and bend. Generally, one hard strike followed by two firm taps is sufficient.
  • When choosing your tools, the best place to purchase them is often upholstery-tool outlets rather than leather-crafting suppliers.
  • It is imperative to make sure that you don't mix snap components from different manufacturers. They are generally not compatible.


  • When applying line 24 snaps, the firmness of the posts demands accurate length in relation to the thickness of the leather.
  • When applying Segma snaps, it is imperative to use caution when setting them, as the softness of the metal can easily become bent or over-set.
  • Be aware that the two most common styles of snaps are the heavy-duty line 24 snaps and the lighter duty Segma snaps and each of these styles has their own set of cautionary notes.

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Categories: Hobbies and Crafts