(Tutorial)Snap Fasteners. Seamless armor to under-suit attachment, with no sewing!


he4thbar

Sr Member
Member DIN
S434
This is a tutorial on how to attach your under-suit to your armor without the use of sewing or buckles creating a seamless attachment to your armor that can also be taken off.

The method I used was inspired by PaiganBoi and Sean Anwalt to attach armor to under-suit using snap fasteners.
IMG_20191212_073729.jpg quick peak picture at the idea behind this tutorial.

!----Please be aware this method was created with the intentions of attaching to foam armor. If you are Pepping or 3d printing you may need to reinforce the snaps with higher grade adhesive. I would suggest attaching the nylon with either e6000 or shoe goe if you use this method with other armor types than foam. Others have used Fiberglass to hold them in place as well----!

THE MATERIALS
  • I purchased these heavy duty snap fasteners online, You will need a hammer(i'm sure you can find one laying around). Here are the rest of the materials needed
    • A heavy snap fastener tool ($6) AMAZON LINK
      • 1576163948017.png
    • Heavy duty snap fasteners ($6-$8 depending on sale) AMAZON LINK. I chose Heavy duty because I do not want these coming apart easily or ripping off of my clothes, if you look at the Links/pictures you will see they use spikes and are bent to hold in place.
      • 1576163966203.png
        • EDIT: Another option is to use a kitlike this pictured needing no hammer, but preferrably the snap fasteners should have spikes in them. These are not heavy duty but others have used them before with what seems no issues
          • There are plenty of tutorials on how to use this tool
          • Screenshot_20191212-135628_Amazon Shopping.jpg
    • Whatever under-suit you are going to use, typically a stronger undersuit such as BDUs or combat shirts will hold better which is also what I used. I bought BDU pants from a surplus store and THIS combat shirt from amazon.
      • PLEASE BE AWARE THIS METHOD INVOLVES PERMNANTLY ALTERING YOUR UNDERSUIT. You will be putting metal fastners in your undersuit thus they will always be visible. so if you don't like that style or plan to use these clothes for other things maybe stick to buckles or buy cosplay specific attire.
  • You will also need nylon strapping ($2) and a way to connect the nylon strapping to your Armor. I used contact cement.

PREPPING/MEASURING
  • Be wearing the under-suit you will be modifying
  • Put the Armor piece on however it feels comfortable and has mobility (assuming it does).
  • Take a sharpie and mark on both the under-suit and interior of the armor piece where the snaps would be connecting. (so just make sure the fabric marked and interior armor piece marked can touch each other if you used snaps.)

THE PROCESS/BUILDING

The building process is very easy. Find any youtube tutorial on how to attach heavy duty snap fasteners with a hammer. I will explain more with pictures.
  • First you will want to attach the female or male end of the snap fastener into the nylon strapping (doesn't matter which end).
    • IMG_20191212_074210.jpg
      These are the pieces needed for this part (hammer not pictured, nylon not cut)
    • cut off a piece of nylon strapping, should only need to be a few inches in length.
    • Follow the instructions on the box of which pieces go with what half.
    • push the spikes of the bottom piece through the nylon strapping and place the top half of the the snap fastener over the spikes entirely covering the spikes.
      • Place the heavy duty metal bottom under the spikes, and the "T" Bar looking thing over the snap itself with the hole going into the bar.
      • IMG_20191212_074320.jpg
        • HAMMER THAT SUCKA. give it a few good whacks until it feels like its stuck in there good and this part is complete.
  • Next step is to attach this nylon strap to your armor interior. find where the marking was, cut out a tiny hole (so that the bottom can rest easily inside and not push out) in the foam. if you are not using foam skip the hole part
    • I put a bunch of contact cement on the back of the nylon strap and a bunch on marked spot of the interior armor.
    • Then glued the pieces together making sure the snap was centered in the marked location
    • Here are 3 pieces of armor I used this method with. You can use as many snaps as you feel comfortable, I did 2 for each shin, 2 for each shoulder, and 3 for each thigh.
  • IMG_20191212_073630.jpg IMG_20191212_073700.jpg IMG_20191212_073709.jpg IMG_20191212_073729.jpg
    • QUICK TIP, if you are comfortable with the location of these snaps and do not plan on moving them around on the under-suit, It is highly suggested to reinforce how the nylon is glued to the armor.
      • I reinforced/glued them on further with SHOE GOO just be careful not to get any shoe goo on the top of the snap itself where it connects to the other end of the snap fastener or they may not connect well.
UNDER-SUIT snaping
  • I suggest putting the armor back on after putting the snaps in the armor, before attaching snap fasteners to the under-suit. Just to make sure the markings were correct.
    • And vice versa if you did the under-suit first
  • You should follow all the same steps as attaching to nylon strapping, except be sure you push the spikes only through the one layer and not both layers of the suit(silly but worth mentioning).
    • Use the hammer and heavy duty snap tool to pound the other male/female end of the snap fastener into the under-suit
      • Be sure it is the opposite input/output as the part on your armor. a Male end will not snap into another Male end.
    • BE SURE YOU ARE ATTACHING THE SNAP IN THE MARKED LOCATION
  • Here are some pictures of how the snaps looked on my under-suit BDU pants and combat shirt.
IMG_20191212_073841.jpg
IMG_20191212_073853.jpg IMG_20191212_073907.jpg IMG_20191212_073931.jpg

FINISHED

This should all that needs to be done for seamless attachments (for the pieces that can't friction fit). Here are some picture of me with my finished suit. as you can see there are no buckles and they look to fit perfectly in place. also NO SEWING!!!
(I wore this for 6+ hours and not a single snap came undone or fell off and it was super comfortable, they also were not coming off after I was done with them so no repairs needed)

IMG_20191017_211434.jpg
IMG_20191123_160519.jpg
IMG_20191017_211849.jpg


Hope this helps, good luck building.
 
Last edited:

xXDashIVXx

Sr Member
Is there a way to make this more discrete? Do you guys think the super small heavy duty ones will be strong enough. I spent alot of time on my undersuit and have further plans for it, and I have been looking into methods like this. I just hope they wont be too visable
 

he4thbar

Sr Member
Member DIN
S434
Is there a way to make this more discrete? Do you guys think the super small heavy duty ones will be strong enough. I spent alot of time on my undersuit and have further plans for it, and I have been looking into methods like this. I just hope they wont be too visable
Can you describe by what you mean by more discrete? This method is primarily about being hidden, but I'm assuming now you mean discrete as in if you use the under-suit for more costumes you won't be able to see the snaps. unfortunately you bash these into the suit so i'm not sure. Pagain has used non heavy duty ones and it seems to work. You could always take some pliers to the snaps on the under-suit if you need to remove them though I'm guessing.
Unfortunately that can be the cost for using under-suit to armor attachments rather then friction or buckling. You could always try with smaller ones and see the strength, if you use a few you might be fine. However I only use this method on the dangling armor pieces so they are usually hard armored. hope that helps, probably didn't.
 

xXDashIVXx

Sr Member
Can you describe by what you mean by more discrete? This method is primarily about being hidden, but I'm assuming now you mean discrete as in if you use the under-suit for more costumes you won't be able to see the snaps. unfortunately you bash these into the suit so i'm not sure. Pagain has used non heavy duty ones and it seems to work. You could always take some pliers to the snaps on the under-suit if you need to remove them though I'm guessing.
Unfortunately that can be the cost for using under-suit to armor attachments rather then friction or buckling. You could always try with smaller ones and see the strength, if you use a few you might be fine. However I only use this method on the dangling armor pieces so they are usually hard armored. hope that helps, probably didn't.
This is perfect. My only problem with my current suit is that the thighs always slide down my legs. I was going to make a harness but I didnt want to cut through the undersuit and thread it to the armor, and this looks like a much better alternative. I think some small black ones would work well on some detailed parts or inside the legs to hide them so they arent noticed if I wear the undersuit without any armor
 

PerniciousDuke

RCO & BCO
405th Regiment Officer
Member DIN
S128
he4thbar you should probably bold somewhere that this method may not work for Pepakura/Resin armor. Resin armor is heavy and may rip out the undersuit via the snaps. Definitely a foam technique.

PS: I have seen it work with Resin, but some extra support is needed. When CommanderPalmer did it for hers, her undersuit had foam "muscles" sewn into it which helped support the weight of the resin pieces.
 

he4thbar

Sr Member
Member DIN
S434
he4thbar you should probably bold somewhere that this method may not work for Pepakura/Resin armor. Resin armor is heavy and may rip out the undersuit via the snaps. Definitely a foam technique.

PS: I have seen it work with Resin, but some extra support is needed. When CommanderPalmer did it for hers, her undersuit had foam "muscles" sewn into it which helped support the weight of the resin pieces.
Thread updated thank you.
Tarheelsoldier you can see the edit. if you are printing your armor you may need to use a strong adhesive such as shoe goe or e6000 to hold the nylon strapping in place. I do not have experience with using snaps on pep so if this works for you with the suggested materials (e6000 or shoe goe) let me know! they are extremely strong adhesives, they just take 24 hours to cure.
That or please look at what pernicious has suggested.
 
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