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.Ā 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. šŸ™‚ 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


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 versionĀ is my favorite or pronged version)
  • aĀ couple small scraps of fusible woven interfacing (Pellon SF101)
  • small scrap of ultra firmĀ 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 PatternĀ (below is a pic of the small size).

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

How to Install a Turn Lock - Noodlehead


Tassel Tutorial

Tassel Tutorial - Noodlehead

There’s a million ways to make a tassel and because I’m seeing them everywhere now I figured it would be fun to share a little how-to with you! I had quickly made one before taking the final photos of my Explorer Tote pattern. I love how it adds a little fun and interest, plus it’s removable. So here we go…


  • soft leather works best (try suede or garment weight leathersĀ or upcycle some leather from a jacket/pants/skirt from the thriftstore)
  • glue (for your particular material), I used Elmer’s ProBond Advanced and it worked so well!

Tassel Tutorial - Noodlehead

Because tassels come in all sizes it’s a really great project to use up small scraps! And materials are really something you can experiment with as well. I’ve seen people using cork fabric and they look amazing, so I’m guessing vinyl and just about anything else that doesn’t fray much would work just as well! Give it a try, it’s a low-commitment kind of project, so if something doesn’t work out it’s okay to start over. Also, check on etsy for scraps!

You also might want to consider adding other elements such as wooden beads or even metal beads would be great, too.

I’ll walk through the dimensions of this specific tassel, but take these basic stepsĀ and adjust them to make your unique piece, anything goes!

Tassel Tutorial - Noodlehead

Cut your leather (or material of your choice):

  • 5″ square for main body of tassel
  • 3/8″ wide x 8″ tall for hanging loop
  • 1/4″ wide (or less) x 12″ strip for decorative finish


Tassel Tutorial - Noodlehead

Next, cut the fringe! This part is super fun. And it totally doesn’t have to be precise. If you’d like though, use aĀ ruler, cutting mat and rotary cutter andĀ cut the fringe 1/4″ wide each and 3 1/2″ from the bottom edge. You can certainly use a scissors and eyeball it, too!

Tassel Tutorial - Noodlehead


After the fringe is all cut, align the the 3/8″ wide hanging loop piece, folded in half, to the very left side of the main tassel piece. You’ll want to place it at least a 1/2″ down from the top edge so that it won’t pull from the tassel once it’s finished.

Tassel Tutorial - Noodlehead

Then go ahead and layer on the glue, you’ll need much less than you think. Here’s a shot of mine before I started rolling from the left. If you do have excess like I did, work quickly to wipe it off. I used a paper towel and it cleaned up really well. When you’re rolling the tassel just keep in mind to keep the top edge of the tassel aligned.

Tassel Tutorial - Noodlehead

Once you have it completely rolled, wipe any excess glue and hold in place for a few seconds. The glue I used holds really well, so it only took maybe 30 seconds before I was able to let go.Tassel Tutorial - Noodlehead

Next step is totally optional of course, but I used the thin strip and wrapped it around the main part of the tassel towards the top and double knotted it. After everything is dry you can loop it around a bag’s handle.Tassel Tutorial - Noodlehead

Tassel Tutorial - Noodlehead

That’s all! It really is a super quick and fun project that’s great for scraps! Hope you’ll give one a try!

Tassel Tutorial - Noodlehead