DIY Snap-fitted Nursing Tank and Nursing Bra

Making your own nursing bra and tank is so easy and so much more affordable than buying them at the store!

DIY nursing bra and tank top
When I was pregnant last year and planning to breastfeed and return to work, I knew I needed to get some nursing shirts and bras to make nursing and pumping easier. I always try to buy second hand when I can, a consumer philosophy I’ve had for a long time, but finding second hand nursing wear was next to impossible. I looked at new nursing clothes in retail stores but the prices were outrageous. As I sewed diapers for our soon to be born baby, I tried to think of ways I could create my own nursing wear for a more affordable price.

Then one day as I was putting snaps on some new cloth panty liners I made, an idea hit me: Snap-fitted nursing wear! I purchased a snap press and snaps from KAM Snaps  last summer after I began sewing diapers and cloth pads so I had the tools, I just needed the clothes I wanted to snap fit. 

To make the snap-fitted bra, I got out a bra in the size I needed and got out my snap press and snaps. At the time I only had white and brown so they don’t match perfectly but I don’t really care since it is all about function and it’s an under layer anyway. 
I laid the bra out flat and cut the strap above the cup where I wanted the bra to be able to disconnect. I put a snap set on each side and it was done! Fast, easy, and much more affordable than a store bought nursing bra!
how to make your own nursing bra and shirt

For my nursing tanks, I couldn’t find any second hand tanks in the style I wanted so I checked my favorite online store, Sierra Trading Post. I had an online sale coupon and got a really great deal on a bunch of Carhartt tank tops. I bought five in a variety of fun colors and paid less than $5 a shirt.

The nursing tanks I made similar to the bra. I laid the shirt out flat, cut the strap where I wanted it to disconnect and installed a snap set on each side. These were and still are my go-to base layer and I LOVE them! I wear them with a cardigan or zip hoodie on top which makes for really easy nursing access.
DIY breastfeeding bra and shirt
I learned that it was easier to use both hands to quickly unsnap the strap rather than trying to struggle to do it with one hand since the snaps have a good, tight fit. That is the only downside of snap fitted nursing wear since store bought nursing wear are made with a special hook that you can use one handed. I don’t mind the little extra effort to unsnap the strap since I love knowing I made them myself.

Making your own snap fitted nursing tank and bra is super easy, fun and affordable thanks to KAM Snaps!


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  1. says

    Do you ever ‘lose; the unsnapped strap behind you while nursing? I had considered this but wondered about what to do with the strap…

    • says

      Jess, I apologize for my slow response to your question, I just got a notification today about your comment even though it has been a few days! The few times I lost the strap behind me were when I was trying to multi-task by nursing/holding the baby with one arm and walking around trying to do something in the house. When just sitting and being present with our baby while nursing I didn’t have an issue with it. I don’t like tight straps on my shoulder so when I unsnapped the strap it stayed where it was. Hope this helps :)

  2. says

    That’s a great idea! You can also get those special nursing wear hook-snap things and use them on your DIY, but I totally understand wanting to use what you have at home.

    • says

      I recently saw some of those nursing hook/snaps online but last year when I was pregnant I wasn’t able to find anything like it locally or even searching online. Those can be a great option if you can find them and have the money to spend on them. But like you said for me it was super convenient to use snaps since I have a ton of them on hand for the creations I make to sell :)

    • says

      Thanks Rachel :) It was really me just trying to come up with a low-cost DIY way to have nursing wear since the new stuff in stores is ridiculously expensive! Lots of folks visit this post everyday so hopefully it is helping out a lot of mamas :)

  3. Anonymous says

    I’m converting some of my bras right now and a simple hook and loop closure (about $2 for 20) is doing the trick. The snap idea is great too, I just don’t have the supplies.

  4. says

    This is a good idea! I need to make some. :)Also, if you attach a strip of elastic from the bra strap to the band it will keep you bra strap from disappearing. :)

  5. says

    Thank you so much for sharing! I have been trying to buy some new stuff too and I can’t believe how outrageous they are. What a great solution

  6. Anonymous says

    i really love this DIY because it allows me to still wear the cute printed bras and tanks but still not worrying about getting out my boobie. i will definitely have to try this out for both the bra and tank! thank you for posting!

  7. Cohen says

    So I know this comment is very late looking at the posting date.. However I had one question, I got a snap press and snaps off ebay pretty cheap and tried using them of a few bras.. Once finished, I tried unsnapping them using both hands and every one them tore because the snap was too hard to pull apart. Could this be because I’m using metal ones instead of plastic? Have you had any issues with tearing while trying to unsnap?


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