Snap Tutorial – Metal Spring Snap

From top left: Traverse Bag, Maker’s Tote, Snappy Manicure Wallet, Cargo Duffle, Campfire Messenger Bag, Caravan Pouch

You know I’m crazy about snaps, right? Well, I am. It’s true (see above!). They’re beautiful additions to so many projects.

Well, who knew there were so many snap styles to choose from. It can be so confusing and shopping online can add that hidden layer of uncertainty. I’m sure you probably found yourself wondering all sorts of things before trying them. What if I spend money on these and they don’t even work? Or if the color is wrong? Or it ends up not working for my project? Well, these spring snaps have slowly become my first choice for metal snaps. I also use ring snaps and pronged snaps (here’s my tutorial here for those). They are all doing the same function basically, but in slightly different ways using different setting tools.

I’ve been searching for the solution to having great looking snaps that are easy to install, and the spring snap is the winner in my mind. They can be used in clothing and accessories (i.e. bags, wallets, totes) – anywhere you need a snap! Plus, you only need a few basics to get started.¬†I like them so much, I’ve finally jumped in and am offering snap starter kits in my shop.

Snaps come in different sizes, most commonly I use the Ligne 24 and Ligne 20 size snaps. If you want to dive way down the rabbit hole and get into the meaning of Ligne you can read about it here. It seems as though many manufactures skip the Ligne term and refer to their sizing in just the number format 24, 20, etc.

You’ll need:

  • setting tool (these are specific to the size snap you’re using, a size 24 setter only sets a size 24 snap, etc.)
  • snap
  • something to make a hole in your fabric/leather (awl, leather punch, small sharp scissors)
  • a solid/sturdy surface to install snap

If you’re at all new to snaps, each snap consists of four parts: cap (that’s the decorative part that you’ll see on the outside of your project), socket, stud, and post.

The anvil and setting tools are made up of three parts. The anvil is double sided and the two setting tools are for the two different halves of the snap.

Ready? Let’s install a snap!

First you’ll need to mark the location of the snap and punch a hole in your fabric/leather. I have a few different hole punches, the one in the materials picture is pretty handy. I also have a rotary punch leather tool and a hand punch tool. It’s up to you though, a small sharp scissors or an awl works for fabric applications, too. I used to always make do with what I had on hand, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. But I’ve come to realize that having the right tool for the job tends to make things go a lot more smoothly.

Next, I’m installing the stud and post part of the snap. So I’ve made my hole and the post gets pushed up through the hole (in this case, just the top layer of this pocket) from the back (wrong side of fabric) to the front. Then I rest the post on the anvil with the side facing up that has the small raised circle in the middle.

Next you’ll place the stud over the post. This particular snap, the pieces kind of click into place. After that, you’ll use the setting tool with the concave end and place that over the stud and hammer into place. You’ll want to hit it hard enough that the snap is tightly sealed over your fabric/leather. If you can see any gap, go ahead and hit it a few more times, maybe with a bit more force.

That’s it for the bottom half, the top half is very similar!

Once my hole is punched I poke the post part of the cap through the right side of my material.

Then I rest the cap on the anvil with the side facing up that is smooth and concave. So the cap is facing down, resting on the anvil.

Next, I place the socket over the post of the cap and use the setting tool with the convex end (the rounded out end) and place that into the socket where it’ll rest on the post of the cap and hammer it into place. Same as before, it’ll be nice and snug when installed correctly.

That’s it! Once you’ve set a few snaps, you’ll probably wonder about all the awesome projects you can add them to next. ūüôā I highly encourage you to do a test run and sacrifice one of your snaps if possible. It’ll give you a better feel for how things come together, plus it’s a nice ‘cheat sheet’ for when you’re installing them the next time. I always refer to my test snap before installing one on my finished project. It’s just nice knowing what part goes where and gives a boost of confidence, too.

If you’re in need of snaps, you can jump over to my shop and pick up a starter kit. The setting tools are specific to the size snap you’re using. The size 20 setter WILL NOT set a size 24 snap or vice versa. So if you need both sizes, be sure to pick up a starter kit in each size. I’ve got a new pattern coming out next week (the Minimalist Wallet) that uses both sizes of snaps! So excited for it!

Here are a few past projects that use metal snaps:

Traverse Bag | Explorer Tote (large size for optional back pocket closure) | Maker’s Tote | Campfire Messenger Bag | Caravan Tote + Pouch

Snappy Manicure Wallet | Cargo Duffle | Zippy Wallet

Bags, Wallets, and Zips

Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial

Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead

Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead

Finally, right?! Eeek! I hope you find this tutorial fun and helpful!

Quite a few months ago¬†I made these pencil pouches from the canvas fabrics in my collection for Cloud9 Fabrics, Rain Walk. So today I’m sharing the how-to¬†and pattern template as a way of saying thank you to all who stop by my website, leave kind note, and are excited about sewing! I’m grateful for the community and fun and sharing!

Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead


  • 10″ zipper
  • templates CLICK TO DOWNLOAD (print at 100%, no scaling)
  • fat quarter – 18″ x 22″ cotton canvas for lining (I use an unbleached 9 oz. weight cotton canvas from my local Joanns, it’s perfect for showcasing all your pretty pencils and pens!)
  • 6″ x 18″ main print (canvas/denim/twill)
  • 6″ x 12″ accent fabric¬†(canvas/denim/twill)
  • 1/4 yard fusible woven interfacing (I prefer Pellon SF101 which is 20″ wide)
  • zipper pull (optional) available here and here

Note about materials: If you choose to substitute a different fabric type than suggested, you may need additional interfacing for desired structure. Just sayin’.

Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead

All seam allowances 1/2″ unless otherwise noted. Seam allowance included in template.
RST=Right Sides Together, WST=Wrong Sides Together

Approx. finished size: 3 1/4″ tall x 10 1/2″ wide x 1 1/2″ deep


(1) Main, (1 Main reversed)
(1) Accent, (1 Accent reversed)
(2) lining
(2) fusible woven interfacing – using lining template

A note on cutting: Because you’ll want the color blocking to reflect on each side of the zipper, make sure you cut the exterior pieces accordingly (reversed as directed), they’ll look like this:

Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead

*my exterior pieces in the following steps are shown without interfacing so as to hopefully better show the process.

Piece the exterior

  1. Start by sewing the exterior together by placing the main print and accent fabric RST and sewing using a 1/4″ seam allowance. Press seam to one side and topstitch. Fuse woven interfacing to wrong side.
    Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead
  2. Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - NoodleheadRepeat to assemble remaining exterior panel.Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead

Prepare the zipper

  1. Bend zipper ends in place and sew (at both the pull side and end stop side).

    Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead

    View from wrong side of zipper.

    Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead

    View from right side of zipper.

Attach zipper

  1. With assembled exterior panel right side up, center zipper right side facing down (zipper pull at left) along top edge. Pin in place.Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead
  2. Place one lining piece, right side down on top. Pin in place. Using your zipper foot, sew along top edge using a 1/4″ seam allowance.Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead
  3. Press exterior panel away from zipper and topstitch along zipper using an 1/8″ seam allowance.Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead
  4. Position exterior panel and lining panel WST. Press away from zipper.Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead
  5. Repeat 1-4 to attach remaining exterior panel and lining panel to remaining zipper side. This time placing zipper pull at right. Make sure your exterior panel seams match up at the same location as best you can.Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - NoodleheadCanvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - NoodleheadCanvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead

Complete Pouch

  1. Open zipper halfway!!!
  2. Position exterior panels RST and pin along sides and bottom. Position lining pieces RST and pin along sides and bottom. Be sure that you place pins at the intersections of where the lining meets the exterior on each side of the pouch.Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead
  3. Sew around perimeter of exterior and lining¬†leaving a 4″ opening at the bottom of the lining.
  4. Press seam allowance open. If desired, trim lining seam allowance to 1/4″ except at opening.Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead
  5. Reach inside the pouch and wiggle the zipper open fully.
  6. Box corners by pinching one bottom seam to match its corresponding side seam. Sew. Repeat for remaining 3 corners.Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - NoodleheadCanvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - NoodleheadCanvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead
  7. Turn pouch right side out through opening in lining.
  8. Sew opening in lining closed (by machine or by hand)
  9. Push lining into exterior and press along zipper edge. Tip: To get the pouch corners crisp, use your fingers to squeeze the seam allowance together at the side seam when the zipper is fully open. Use a chop stick or other dull instrument to poke out the corner on the metal end stop side. Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead

I hope you enjoy making some pencil pouches! They make such fun teacher gifts and of course my kids love theirs. If you want extra credit these would be an awesome companion to a Wool + Wax Tote. I also wanted to point out that this is just one way to install a zipper or make a pouch, believe me when I say there are many many more options! Check out my other tutorials and¬†patterns if you’re interested in¬†working with zippers or love to make pouches.

Canvas Pencil Pouch Tutorial - Noodlehead


How to Install a Turn Lock

How to Install a Turn Lock - Noodlehead

Hi everyone! Today I’m sharing a video of how to install a turn lock! Nothing fancy, but I hope it’ll help and give you a little more confidence when installing a turn lock for the first time. In the video I use a few supplies that I’ll list here:

  • turn lock (screw version¬†is my favorite or pronged version)
  • a¬†couple small scraps of fusible woven interfacing (Pellon SF101)
  • small scrap of ultra firm¬†single-side fusible interfacing (Pellon 71F)
  • chalk pencil
  • sharp scissors
  • leather punch (optional)
  • seam ripper

Click here to watch the video!

I hope this will be helpful and that you feel comfortable installing a turn lock. The tote I featured in this tutorial as well as the picture above is the large size of my Explorer Tote Pattern (below is a pic of the small size).

Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions. Thanks for stopping by! ūüôā

How to Install a Turn Lock - Noodlehead