January 13, 2012

How to Insert a Hidden Magnet

This is my very first tutorial so if I’ve forgotten a step or two, I hope you'll let me know. I’m sure as I add more tutorials, I’ll get better.  I’ve been sewing for years, but this little magnet closure was new to me.  I searched the internet for good instructions, and when it came time to actually insert the magnet in one of my purses, I ran into the problem of them not having a strong enough bond because of the interfacing being so thick between both magnets.  I knew I needed to find another way to insert them (at-least for my personal liking), and came up with this method.

This tutorial will not show you how to make the tote, but will begin at the point where you are suppose to add the magnetic closure.

These hidden magnets are a wonderful addition to making your bag more high end. I purchased a lot of them since I make and sell purses, totes, diaper bags, etc., but I think that you can find them at your local craft/hobby store.

They look like this: The magnets are encased in a plastic sleeve.

1)  Construct your purse as your normally do. Once you have your lining pieces completed with your stabilizer in place (I use pelon fusible fleece type, which is pretty thick), mark the centers of each piece so that you know exactly where you are going to add the hidden magnetic. The picture below shows what the purse with the stabilizer looks like.

2)  Cut 2 small rectangle piece of the lining fabric and sew the magnets onto each fabric piece. Yes, you can sew on the plastic.


Note: Make sure that both pieces are the same size with enough room at the top to allow for the seam allowance when you sew your purse/tote together.

Note: Make sure that both sides are sewn to the small rectangle piece so that when you sew it to the purse lining, the magnets are magnetized.

Now the tricky part.

3) Gently peel back a square of the stabilizer to form a pocket on each piece, It should be about ¾” to 1” deep, and the top part of the magnet piece flush with the top of the purse/tote. You’ll need to make sure that both magnets are in the same position on each piece so the connection works. Don’t forget to make sure that you have the magnets on the magnetic side facing toward the lining and not the stabilizer.  Note: You’ll be able to tell because when you have them in the little pocket, and put them together, it will either grab-hold, or the magnets will move away from each other.

 The pin represents the middle of the lining piece.

4) Insert each of the magnets into the pockets you just made.


Note::  the top part of the piece you sewed the magnet to should come level with the top part of your purse or tote. If you measured down about ¾”, you should be fine, and be able to sew the top closed without hitting the magnet.  I check several times just in case.

 5) Then sew the little fabric rectangle to the top of the purse, very close to the top edge.  We’re just doing this to keep the magnet in place while you are sewing your purse together.

6) Sew the purse top as you would normally. That’s it.  The bond of your magnet will be stronger than if you had sewn them behind the stabilizer.

Once you sew the purse/tote upper edge, all you will see is a little indention (barely noticible).

I hope this little tutorial will be helpful to you. If it is, please let me know, and if I didn’t explain something fully, just let me know.


  1. Very nice job on the tutorial. What a great idea.

  2. Very nice tutorial. I will be back to follow the directions when I make my next bag.

  3. Thank you. Drop back in when you do. I'd love to hear how it works out.

  4. Thanks for the tutorial! I never thought to use magnets.

  5. Really well done Nana .... I bought magnets awhile back to put on a purse. And, well, I ended up with a big snap. I'm book marking this and plan on giving it another try sometime soon.

  6. Thanks! It takes practice for sure, but the finished well done product is so worth it.

  7. Thank you for this very informative tutorial. I an going to try it out as soon as I get some extra time:)

  8. Great tutorial! Sending you love from TAG!

  9. Love this tutorial! Thanks for the insight.

  10. Thank you for posting this - I bought some of these closures but wasn't entirely sure how to go about adding them. You have saved me a lot of grief (and ripping out of stiches!) :D

  11. Wow lovely blog and very helpful! Thank you.