Aren’t those little magnetic clasps wonderful for totes, purses and other handmade projects. However, they never seem to come with directions on how to put them in place.
I have used them many times for various projects and find they work just great and I love using them. If you have never used them before, they come as a set with one thin pronged piece, one thicker pronged piece and two thin circles which are actually your back supports or washers.
You first need to determine exactly where you want the clasp to be placed. If you are following a pattern, there is probably a placement mark for you to use. However, if you are designing your own project, I have found that installing the center of the clasp 1 1/4″ from the bottom unfinished edge leaves room enough for a 1/2″ seam allowance using your regular presser foot on your sewing machine and keeps the clasp close to the finished edge.
Also, using the thinner clasp on the front of your bag/project and the larger, thicker clasp on the back portion makes the opening and closing motion work smoothly.
Now with all that said, I mark the center of the front piece 1 1/4″ from the bottom and place the thin round circle at that point. Take a sharp pencil and make a small dot in the center and draw two small lines inside the rectangle cutouts. These are placement markings and will be covered up after you have installed the clasp.
Next, I take a pin and insert it on the front of my material pinning it from line to line. Flip my fabric over and draw a pencil line along the pinned area. This is only for a marking reference for me to make sure that I iron on my supporting pellon in the proper place.
I do like to use two layers of a medium weight, fusible pellon to give extra support behind the clasp because that clasp takes a lot of abuse from opening and closing. I cut out my pellon roughly in 1″ squares. Basically, I eyeball my cut size but I want it big enough to support the clasp and washer. It is a great way to use up some very small scraps that would otherwise be tossed!!
After making all my pencil marks as stated above, I now will iron the pellon onto the wrong side of my fabric. Iron one piece of pellon on top of the other piece according to your fusible directions.
Now here’s a great use for that seam ripper other than removing stitches. I stick the seam ripper through the fabric and pellon and slide it down very carefully following my pencil lines, which are only about 1/8″ long. Do that again on the other pencil line. Take the thin clasp with the prongs and push the prongs through the openings you just made. Turn it over and place the back support circle onto the prongs and fold over those prongs. Finding the proper tool to do this job was somewhat challenging but I keep a small, wooden 6″ ruler in my sewing accessory box and it is the perfect tool to push those prongs over without hurting your thumbs!! Just place the ruler against one prong and push down and then place it against the other prong and push down. Then I put the ruler over both closed prongs and give it one more push. Viola, you have the front clasp done.
Now you need to do the same thing for the back using the thick clasp with prongs. The trick is getting them lined up perfectly. If you take your front piece that already has the clasp installed and lay it on top of the back that it will be attaching to and press firmly, you will have a small indentation from the front clasp and that will be your registration point. Within that indented circle, place a small pencil dot and center your thin circle back support over your dot and make your markings again. Proceed installing the back clasp just like you did for the front clasp.
Now you have yourself a lovely little magnetic clasp closure that is great for many different projects. Be creative and dream up some clever uses for them.