How to Accurately Position Snaps

Installing snaps that fasten cloth to a hard surface can be a tedious task. Making sure the button on the cloth and the stud on the surface line up is key to properly installing your bimini, dodger, enclosure, table skirt, or other project. To make this task easier and to ensure a snug fit on your next project, we’re going to show you two systems that will help you accurately position your buttons and sockets over the studs.

To get started, install the surface studs first in their desired locations. The studs will then be used as a guide to install the buttons and sockets in the fabric. Now you’re ready to position!

The Quick Fit Kit


The Quick Fit Kit is a set of position markers that allow you to mark all of the socket positions for the entire canvas project. To position, snap one of the Quick Fit Pin Sockets to the installed stud. Then, poke the fabric onto the pin. To keep the position in place (and to not poke yourself on accident!), press the Quick Fit Plastic Holding Cap over the pin. You can then move on to the next stud and repeat the process around the project.


This system works great for marking the desired position of sockets and buttons, but it is not an installation tool. After all of the positions are marked, use the Quick Fit Release Tool to unsnap the pin sockets from the studs. Take the canvas to a workbench and carefully remove the pins. Use the hole left by the pin as your guide for snap installation.

The SnapRite System


The SnapRite System is an entire snap installation system that uses four unique dies and any standard rivet tool to install snaps components. To help position snaps, the orange socket die will snap right on to an installed stud. Poke your fabric over the mandrel protruding from the die and use the rivet tool to install the button and socket directly over the stud. You can see a demonstration of this system here.


The SnapRite System allows you to install your snaps on site, without having to move to a workbench. The downside to this method, however, is that you can only mark one location at a time.

As you can see, using one of these positioning methods will help you to be more accurate and more efficient when installing cloth-to-surface snap components.

The SnapRite System, the Quick Fit Kit, and a hundreds of fasteners are available at

Do you use one of these systems or do you have another trick for accurately installing snaps? Share your thoughts in the comments!

  1. TonyT said:

    I actually use both and a combination of the two methods. The Snaprite System is pretty cool, but there are a few drawbacks. When using the mandrel with the Snaprite System, it is much longer than the pin, thereby (a) there is a certain error built in as the mandrel will considerably “wobble” (b) unless you follow the directions to insure that the die and the mandrel are in perfect alignment, the extended part of the buttons will not roll over symmetrical (c) trying to pull a button through heavy duty fabric will also sometimes damage the extension.

    After several hunmaterial, isesnaps, this is how I achieve perfect results each time. I use the first positioning system, then I remove the fabric. If using heavy duty material I either use a small punch or a soldering iron to make a pilot hole, then use the Snaprite System components to complete the installation.

    Hint: for tough material, use Stainless Snaprite buttons with the shortest possible extension.

    • Nikki said:

      That sounds like great advice, Tony! Thanks for your input! :)

  2. Matt Grant said:

    Tony is correct that the real key to efficiency is to use both systems in combination. I don’t use the black caps at all since I never end up removing the canvas from the project. Instead I swap the Quick fits, one at a time, for the SnapRite Socket Die. Doing it this way I can set the snaps one at a time while the rest of the canvas is held firmly in place with multiple Quick Fits. This also alleviates the issue of the mandrel being so long as I use the hole made by the Quick fit and simply stretch the fabric a bit to get the madrel through that hold when snaping the die down. Then installing the snap with the die firmly attached to the surface stud works great.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: