I've been doing a lot of that today. Why? Well, every five minutes or so, my lovely computer beeps and another sweet message pops up from a reader. In between the pop ups, I've been exploring the delicious talent hidden in the nooks of the crafty blogoshphere via the Sew, Mama, Sew! giveaway list. Have you seen some of the goodies up for grabs? IN-credible. Which reminds me- there's still time to enter my giveaway if you haven't already!

Now, onto the serious business: let's talk about Nipples and Donuts. The metal kind. The kind that can turn any little pouch into a serious wallet. This kind:

After posting about the launch of my Snap Pouches, I received a few enquiries about how I put my metal snaps in. I'm here to serve, so here's your tutorial!

Grab a hammer, some scrap fabric and a pack of Metal Snaps from your local craft store. You'll want to practice the first few times in case things go wrong!

In every packet of snaps come four uniquely shaped pieces and a tool. The pieces are, from left to right,
the Donut, the Inner Button, the Nipple, and the Outer Button. Take one of each pieces and the tool out so you're ready to go.

The Outer Button and the Donut are, in fact, engaged to be married.

These two belong together, so take them out of the pack and place the Outer Button on a hard surface. Yes, hard. Not an ironing board or a table. I'm talking a concrete porch with a single sheet laid down to protect your snap. Then get your fabric ready.

Take your tool and use the thin end to push the fabric over the prongs of the Outer Button.

The Donut has two different sides. If you look closely at the middle section of the Donut in the photo on the left, it has a sealed edge and a larger hole. The middle of the Donut in the photo on the right is far more jagged, as though it has little lines cut into it, and has a smaller hole.

Place the Donut on the prongs of the Outer Button with the jagged side (small hole) facing towards you.

Place the thick end of the tool flat onto the Donut. Hit it twice sharply with a hammer. Make sure that you hit it directly downwards and not on an angle.

Part 1 of your snap is complete! Your Donut and Outer Button are now married and on their honeymoon, trying to recover from that painful meeting with the hammer.

Unbeknown to the Donut and the outer Button, their friends the Nipple and the Inner Button are having a secret affair.

Take your Inner Button and place it on the hard surface, then get your fabric ready.

Again, use the thin end of your tool to
push the fabric over the prongs of the Inner Button.

With the Nipple facing towards you, balance it on the prongs of the Inner Button.

Place the thick end of your tool onto the Nipple, and again hit straight down with the hammer twice.

The affair has turned serious. The Nipple and the Inner Button are now together for life!

You should now have two very sexy snaps placed in your fabric!


When it comes to inserting the snaps into your actual project, check that they are placed in the appropriate positions and in the right directions so that they will meet up. Then check again. Trust me, it sucks having to learn that your Nipple is trying to have an affair with your Outer Button and your pouch won't close!

I hope that's helpful. Any questions, drop me a line!


P.S. If the 'naughty passport covers' were so popular on Google, imagine the readers this Nipple post will bring in!


Comments (26)

On May 28, 2009 at 11:17 PM , Tania said...

Crikey. I'm never going to be able to look a metal snap in the eye again. But I'll smirk - whoa, will I smirk!

Thank you oh guru for once again shining the light on crafting mysteries from the deep. Sooo...What can you tell me about basting? Quilt, not poultry.

On May 28, 2009 at 11:43 PM , Emmy said...

No! That is too spooky! I just worked out a new clutch design which requires metal snaps for part of it. I have been scooting around the internet all this morning working out how to set them and whether I need "posts" or "prongs". I just about fell off my chair when your post popped up in my reader.

On May 29, 2009 at 12:09 AM , sewnewtothis said...

PMSL what a great snap tute! I got to know my nipples and donuts for the first time just the other day but my packet had boring instructions like piece a, b, c and d LOL.

On May 29, 2009 at 12:59 AM , marie*jolie said...

Totally awesome little tutorial there. Thanks! I'll just have to give that idea a try now that I don't have to figure out the particulars my own self *grin*. I happened upon your blog through the Sew, Mama, Sew Giveaway adventure (I think?) and you are a keeper! I'm adding you to my blog roll.

On May 29, 2009 at 2:05 AM , Rachel said...

giggle giggle, you'd think after years of working in hardware stores I'd be past the middle school thing...hehe...you said nipple.

On May 29, 2009 at 2:53 AM , AltaModa said...

I have been trying to figure out how to do this and haven't found any other tutorials that really explained it- and certainly not so colorfully! Thanks!

On May 29, 2009 at 3:05 AM , Thimbleanna said...

Nipples and Donuts. Kinda like Cookies and Milk??? Thanks for the info! ;-)

On May 29, 2009 at 5:25 AM , Harley Dee said...

I laughed SO HARD when I read your title (before I got to the tutorial part). I was like "What in the world is she gonna be talking about, lol :D

On May 29, 2009 at 7:31 AM , busy lizzie said...

I had no idea a button could lead such a secretively exciting life! thanks for the tute. I think I may be able to give them a go now!! : )

On May 29, 2009 at 7:40 AM , Kristy said...

Hahaha what an awesome post title. Thank you for another great tutorial, Sandra. This is PERFECT because I just became interested in a green project that would require these kind of fasteners. I'd tell you what it is.. but.. let's just say some inspiration came from an Acorn, that's Modern.

On May 29, 2009 at 8:14 AM , Sandrine said...

Hi Sandra, This is A cool tutorial...normally I fast foward a lot of explanations...not with yours!Thanks for puting a smile on my dial today;)If it is Ok I would love to include a link onto one of my future post so people can have a good fun learning experience!
Today is my 10 years wedding anniversary so the story is spot on!

On May 29, 2009 at 8:28 AM , Nikki @ My Black Cardigan said...

Cute tutorial.... you made me laugh, something I haven't done when attaching snaps before!

On May 29, 2009 at 9:13 AM , Tasha said...

hahaha hubby is wondering why I am giggling at a post titled a Nipple and a Donut!! HIs poor mind is whirling in circles because I won't share! LOL Great tute by the way ;)

On May 29, 2009 at 10:09 AM , Kami said...


You always manage to make me laugh, well this post was pure comedy and extremely informative. How do you manage it? Thanks, I am sure I will remember the steps now, but if not I know who to ask.

On May 29, 2009 at 11:03 AM , L. Jane E. said...

Hee Hee Hee. Laughed pretty hard at this one. Great directions. And great humor. No one will look at snaps the same way again!

On May 29, 2009 at 12:19 PM , Beky said...

Sandra, you have made my day.
Your such a cute dag.
Thanks for the tutorial

On May 29, 2009 at 5:56 PM , barb's creations said...

I had hust given up in disgust with myself for not being able to work out how to do these snaps,becoming very fustrated.Thanks for the tutorial.I'll be hunting out those nipples and donuts and my trusty hammer and try again. :) Barb.

On May 31, 2009 at 3:53 AM , The Dotty One said...

Hahahaha I love the title of this post :o)
And I'm definitely going to find it useful too - thanks for the fab tutorial Sandra

On June 2, 2009 at 5:03 PM , Rachel@oneprettything.com said...

I love snaps, they're so useful! This how-to is wonderful, thanks so much for sharing, I'll be linking to this.

On June 3, 2009 at 2:25 PM , truj said...

I think I will have to read over the tutorial again as... I just kept giggling about the nipple!

On June 4, 2009 at 11:28 PM , millymollymandy loves to quilt said...

God knows how many wierdos you will have landing to this post with all those interesting words you have used...
I laughed all the way through...andi actually learnt something !
thankyou .

On July 10, 2009 at 8:55 AM , Anonymous said...

too funny! I just added snaps to some dish towels that kept falling from my stove handle and like these much better than the ones I used (no prongs) now I know! thanks for a very funny tutorial!

On December 4, 2012 at 3:23 PM , Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for this great tutorial. I followed it step by step, well except for doing a trial on scrap fabric. I'm now in love with adding snaps and am looking for more projects to use them on/with.

On February 14, 2013 at 8:03 AM , Anonymous said...

Great website you have here but I was curious if you knew of any discussion boards that
cover the same topics talked about in this article?
I'd really love to be a part of group where I can get responses from other experienced people that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Cheers!

my web site :: how do payday loans work

On February 22, 2013 at 3:15 PM , Anonymous said...

For latest information you have to pay a quick visit web and on web I found this website as a best web page for hottest updates.

my web-site :: psychic readings online
My webpage: psychic readings by phone

On March 1, 2013 at 5:33 AM , Anonymous said...

Hi there friends, how is the whole thing, and what you would like to
say on the topic of this post, in my view its actually awesome designed for me.

Also visit my website: direct payday loan lenders