A Low-Tech Solution to Your Snap Setting Woes

Snap Settin' Sorrows

Those of you who’ve tried it know that snap-setting can be frustrating! Lining up all the tiny round pieces is difficult, the prongs sometimes bend, and plier-type setting tools are difficult to squeeze.

The top two snaps on my quilted Tamarack Jacket!

I recently made a quilted Tamarack Jacket for the #FreeSpiritCoatStory Challenge, and I decided to use this project as an opportunity to conquer some long-held, snap-setting apprehension.

Whether you want to compete in the challenge or just make a beautiful quilted jacket, snaps are a great closure option. But the even better news is that – with the right tools – snaps can also be an easy closure option.

Snap to it!

We have a great, low-tech, affordable solution to all the typical snap-setting frustrations: it’s called The Snap Setter Tool!


We carry this tool in two base sizes – 14 and 16 – which are designed to work with basic cap and ring snaps. Also available are several adaptors which – when combined with the correct base – allow you to attach larger and/or more delicate pearl snaps.

I’m going to show you how – using the Size 16 Base and Size 18 Pearl Snap adaptor – I easily set the Size 18 Pearl snaps on my quilted Tamarack.

Break it Down

Below are the 4 parts of a snap (from left to right): Back Ring, Stud, Socket, and Top

As mentioned, I started with the size 16 tool, and a size 18 pearl snap adapter base

The sturdy plastic lasts through many snap insertions. Meanwhile, the center bar in this Snap Setter (second component from the right) ensures that the tool is correctly aligned and you won’t bend your prongs.

The 7 steps to snap setting success!


Mark the snap placement on the side of your jacket where you’ll install the Tops of the snaps (on the outside, right-hand side of your jacket).

Many jacket patterns will have snap-placement marks on the center front pattern pieces. If you’re making a Tamarack Jacket, you can use piece number 7 as your guide. I inserted pins in the guide from the right side, and then marked where they came through on the wrong side.


Place the Size 18 Pearl Adaptor Base on a firm surface. With prongs facing up, place the Top in the indented area of the tool base.


At the spot you marked, place the right side of your jacket over the prong points, with the tool perpendicular to the edge of the fabric.


Slide the middle positioning bar over the post onto the main base. Then, with the right side facing up (the side with the slits on the inner ring), place the Socket into the middle positioning bar.


Slide the tool top over the post onto the middle positioning bar. Hammer the snap parts into place on a firm surface such as marble or steel. (Or a sturdy wooden table!)


Next, to mark the placement for the snap Studs, line up the center fronts of your jacket and mark exactly where the snap tops are on the side where the Studs will go. 


To set the Back Ring and Stud, repeat the method shown above using the Snap Setter Tool, but use the regular size 16 base rather than the pearl adaptor. Double check that your Stud is being attached to the outside of your jacket before setting it!

Oh, Snap!

And voila! Your snaps are all set. We carry a variety of snaps in several different sizes and colors. I picked these Size 18 Pearl Snaps in Coral because I really liked how they looked with my fabric choice. If you need any help deciding on snap color, give us a call! We’re always happy to help. Browse our selection of Snaps and Setters here!

Challenge Me

Just a reminder, the deadline for the #FreeSpiritCoatStory Challenge has been extended to May 27, 2022. If you’re interested in making your own quilted jacket, check out Kate’s helpful Quilted Jacket Tutorial.

Happy Snapping!

1 thoughts on “A Low-Tech Solution to Your Snap Setting Woes

  1. Sarah T says:

    I’ve used these a few times on shirts. Good product. Interesting to see they can work on a thicker garment. Must try them out on some samples.

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