Apr 242013
Converting Cloth Diapers to Snaps

We all know velcro cloth diapers are easier to get on and off little ones, but sometimes it just doesn’t hold up very well in wash after wash. After over 2 years of use, Little Miss’s Grobaby (now Grovia) covers are showing some serious signs of wear on the velcro tabs. I had heard it is easy to convert cloth diaper covers to snaps, but had yet to try it myself. Well, my experience was surprisingly easy once I had the right tools!

Convert Velcro Cloth Diapers to SnapsSo, the right tools… I learned this the hard way. The local craft store was not the place to find what I needed, unfortunately. At least now I have a snaps pliers that will put on metal snaps for whenever that need arises. I found exactly what I needed for considerably less via eBay through the store, gotlux.

I bought their starter kit, KAM Snaps Starter Kit Pliers/Awl/100 Sets for Cloth Diapers/Baby Bibs/Buttons, and it came with everything I needed to get started, including an instructional DVD. No kidding, I was up and running in less than 10 minutes.

Step 1 – Remove velcro

Side note – start with clean covers! You don’t want to lock in grime under the snap, so make sure the cover is freshly washed before starting.

Just find the thread that is holding the velcro on and get a seam ripper and some time to kill. It isn’t rocket science. Don’t mind the hair in the velcro – just another reason to switch to snaps! I swear, this thin velcro is very hard to keep clean. Some covers also have a velcro strip on the body of the diaper, but the Grobaby/Grovia diaper covers just use velcro-ready fabric, so that’s one less step for me. Yay!

Converting Cloth Diapers to Snaps

Step 2 – Mark spots for snaps

When I did this the first time, I marked a piece of paper every 3/4 inch. Then when I was disappointed with how crooked the snaps were, it dawned on me… why didn’t I just use a hard ruler? Duh! So, I just used a plastic ruler every time after and the snaps lined up straighter thereafter.

Converting Cloth Diapers to Snaps

3/4 inch seemed to work well with my size 20 snaps. The Grovia covers I have that have snaps look like size 22 snaps or larger and they are farther apart. Really, it’s up to you. On the tabs that will snap to the body of the diaper, it’s nice to have one tab that has three snaps: two facing the body of the diaper, and one facing the opposite way so the other tab can snap to it for a slender baby.

Step 3 – Add snaps!

Using your handy dandy snaps pliers and the instructions that came with them, add the snaps! I had to use an awl to pierce the fabric before putting the snaps on.

Converting Cloth Diapers to Snaps


Then I put the back part of the snap through the pierced hole, then attached either the socket or the stud piece on the other side, and press together using the pliers.

Converting Cloth Diapers to Snaps



Converting Cloth Diapers to Snaps

Converting Cloth Diapers to Snaps

Unless you use a snap press, which is quite a bit more expensive, I would say to only plan on doing a couple covers each night because your hand gets sore from pressing snaps after just a few covers.

One thing to note: when you do it yourself, the back side of the snap will not be hidden between the layers of fabric like if it was done by the manufacturer. This isn’t a big deal to me, but just something to note when you are choosing snaps because the back side will be against baby’s skin.

Converting Cloth Diapers to SnapsAnd that’s it. Ta da!! You have a cover that now uses snaps! I’ve had about four covers converted to snaps for a couple weeks now and I now reach for them first, before grabbing any of the velcro ones. I love how easy it is to switch them over and I plan on getting some more snaps to finish off the rest of my set. These Grobaby/Grovia diaper covers still have a lot of life in them, and switching them to snaps is going to help lengthen that.

Converting Cloth Diapers to Snaps


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