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How to Use a Magnetic Pocketbook Closeure

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How to Install a Magnetic Button Closure for a Handbag, Pocketbook or Purse
A photo of how to install a magnetic closure for a pocketbook.

Steps to Install Magnetic Closures

Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to About.com
Most fabric stores have cards of magnetic purse closures at an inexpensive price with silver and gold buttons on the card. Every package I have found does not contain any form of instructions for installing the magnetic closure. If they are not properly installed they can cause rips in the fabric and be an unreliable way to close your handbag.

A magnetic closure is installed before construction so that the back side, which isn't pretty but is very functional, is hidden inside the item you are making. All interfacing and fabric preparation is done before you install the magnetic closure.

These directions will guide you through having perfect results.

  • Mark the location for the two sections of the closure so they will line up correctly, on the wrong sides of the fabric. Double check these markings to be sure they will line up when the item is complete. Once the fabric is snipped for the prongs of the magnetic closure there is no going back.
  • Apply a small piece (about the size of the magnetic closure) of fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric at the mark, if the fabric is not already covered with a fusible interfacing. The fusible interfacing will stabilize the fabric for the prong openings and help prevent it from fraying and having an opening larger than is needed for the prongs. (More about Fusible Options
  • Transfer the original placement marking to the interfacing. (More about How to Transfer Markings on to Fabric
  • Use the backing washer to center the washer on the marking and mark the prong openings on the fabric.
    OR
    Scrape the ends of the prongs of the magnetic closure on a piece of tailors chalk or regular chalk. Center the prongs over the placement marking and allow the chalk that is on the prongs to mark the fabric.
  • Snip the chalk markings just enough for the prongs to go through the fabric.
  • Insert the prongs through the fabric from the right side of the fabric.
  • Place the washer piece on the wrong side of the fabric through the prongs.
  • Lay the entire closure and fabric flat on a hard surface.
  • Carefully bend the prongs to flatten them on the washer and back side of the magnetic button.
  • Use a hammer if necessary to flatten the prongs.
  • Repeat the process for the second section of the magnetic closure. Be sure that they will line up when you are finished with the project before you snip the fabric.
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