Thursday, January 06, 2011

BumGenuis conversion: velcro to snaps

A good friend of mine, Nutrition Momma, uses bumGenius one-size pocket diapers for her daughter. They look like this:
After a good 18+ months of use, the velcro had worn out and would no longer grip. She asked me if I could convert the diapers to snap closures.

The bumGenuis diapers are well-made in general. I just would never recommend any kind of diaper with hook & loop (velcro) closures. Hook & loop becomes ratty, snags in the wash, and inevitably fails. I see that bumGenuis now makes the 4.0 diaper with snap closures--a wise move, in my opinion.

So here's how to convert a bumGenius hook & loop diaper to snaps:

1. Remove the loop tape from the front of the diaper. It's much easier to apply snaps without the thick piece of loop tape in the way.

2. Remove as much of the hook tape from the two side tabs without disturbing the stitching. I carefully cut a slit in the hook side with a seam ripper, then used small embroidery scissors to cut right next to the stitching. (If you have lots of time, you could always remove the hook & loop tab entirely and make a new tab.) Why do this? You want to get rid of as much hook tape as possible, to eliminate snagging. It's also really hard to put snaps through two layers of velcro.

3. Mark the spacing for your snaps. I put 10 snaps across the front and 2 on each tab. My snaps were just under 1" apart along the front.
On the first diaper I converted (orange diaper pictured below), I put the tab snaps far enough apart to skip a snap in the middle. But I found that the outer snap was too close to the edge of the tab to grip well.
So I decided to space the rest of the tab snaps closer together, so they didn't skip a snap in between. In other words, I made the tab snaps 1" apart, rather than 2" apart (see blue tab pictured below). This gives you more tab to grab onto when you're removing the diaper, plus more snap positions to choose from.

4. Apply snaps with a snap press. The front 10 snaps (which use a socket fitting) can be inserted inside the diaper, so you don't have to put the snap all the way through the entire diaper. The tab snaps use a stud fitting, shown in the above picture. You'll need 14 caps, 10 sockets, and 4 studs for each diaper. I bought my polyacetal snaps and snap press from The Snap Store.

You're done!


  1. I like your idea for using the extended part of the tab with the velcro for the second snap location. I have 1 BG4.0 and actually don't like it compared to my other snap diapers (sweetdollbaby) because it doesn't adjust as much for my 25 lb toddler. This will be my new project, as I have close to 40 3.0s

  2. You're LOVELY!!!! My son is 14 months and my two BG's (I got mostly fuzzibunz because they had snaps but wanted to try BG's) are starting to refuse to stay closed if I don't add pants or something of that nature.

    I'm DEFINITELY doing this! I was so happy when my MIL got me a BG AIO because they just come directly with snaps (and they're awesome)

  3. On the front of the dipe, did you go through the suedecloth inner and/or edge of the PUL on the top? Or just into the front layer? Do the snaps touch the kiddo there?

    Thanks for the pics-it renewed my intentions to do this; I have 2 BG's partially ripped apart to do this very project but lost motivation.


  4. RNmom--the front snaps don't ever touch the baby, as they're hidden inside the diaper. In other words, they don't go all the way through the suidecloth, just through the front layer of PUL. Since you're putting the cap part inside the diaper, it's easy to hide the snaps. The cap still "fits" into the depression of the snap press with no problems, even with that layer of suedecloth between it and the snap press die. I was pleased that I was able to hide the snaps. It wasn't too hard to reach inside and poke the caps through the diaper, once the holes were marked.

  5. I'm buying the BGs with the snaps because this is precisely the problem I've read about so many times - the velcro wears out too quickly.

    But I totally admire your sewing skills! One of these days I'm going to use my sewing machine again...

  6. This is totally unrelated to this post, but I saw this comic in this morning's paper and thought you might get a kick out of it. (the comic for today, January 7th).
    I enjoy your blog!

  7. I had this done to our bGs but had problems with some of the snaps not working well, and the elastic blew out right after being replaced. I am wondering if bGs just don't survive longterm very well. I'm bummed because we really don't want to invest in a new stash at this point, but I hate using paper diapers.

  8. I did this just last summer! Except the idea I found for it didn't include the velcro tab as part of the snap. Would have been easier than having to take both tabs off. Although, I did have a lot of time and did get into a rhythm for it.

    I much prefer my snaps over the velcro I had before. It wasn't holding together like it should have.
    I do have a problem with a couple of snaps not fitting together well, but that's my own fault for not knowing how to properly put them on.

  9. I have had to use velcro -- with extreme differences in waist vs legs on both my kids, every single snap diaper I tried leaked. So I have to deal with the inconvenience.

  10. mommymichael--it's probably that you didn't squeeze some of the snaps hard enough in the press. Give them another really hard press and they should fit together.

  11. Rixa, do you know what size snaps you used? I want to do this to my daughters BG 3.0s as the velcro is finally giving out. The Snap Store has six sizes of snaps, from 14-28, and I can't tell which one would work best. Thanks for posting this!

    Jenn H.

  12. I'm pretty sure I had used size 16 snaps.


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