Traditional magnetic snaps are the most widely available. These magnetic snaps have what’s referred to as a “male” and “female” half. You can probably guess which is which!

I like to use the male portion on the flap of the bag, as the flap is usually smaller than the body of the bag and I think this pairs nicely with the smaller half of the magnetic snap.

Besides the two halves, traditional magnetic snaps sometimes come with two metal washers. The washers have a circle cut-out in the center and rectangular cut-outs on either side. If your magnetic snaps do not have these washers, don’t stress — these are not necessary, but they are nice to have.

Using the washer to mark snap placement.
I use my invisible fabric marker to mark the prong placement for the snaps. You can either use the prongs themselves to mark placement, or you can use that handy washer if it came with your snaps.

Snaps are often installed either 1″ or 1½” above the bottom edge of a flap, or down 1½” from the top edge of a lining.

Using seam ripper to make small slits in the fabric/interfacing.
Use your seam ripper to make tiny slits the length of the marks that you made. Start small, as you can always make the hole bigger.

I like to follow up the slits that I’ve made with a dab of seam sealant, which helps stabilize the fabric against the snap.

Next, insert the snap through the right side of the fabric.

Inserting the snap through the fabric/interfacing.
Flip to the wrong side of the fabric (the interfaced side). If you have a washer, slide that onto the snap next.

When working with thin interfacing, I find it helpful to also slide a 1½” square scrap of batting or interfacing onto the prongs on the wrong side of the fabric before inserting the washer. This helps avoid the snap tearing through the fabric eventually.

Opening the prongs on the snap outward.
The last step is to open the prongs of the snap outward. You can do this with snap pliers or by leaning some other heavy object against the prong of the snap. I have a plastic sewing table, and I like to lean my prongs against the table to quickly open them.

The installed traditional magnetic snap.This is what the snap should look like when finished.

All that’s left is to insert the remaining half of the traditional magnetic snap.