Home > Papercraft > Using Brads in Papercraft

Using Brads in Papercraft

By: Rachel Newcombe - Updated: 27 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Brads Brad Guide Use Using Paper Craft

Whether you’re new to papercrafting, or an experienced crafter, brads are one element that are easy to use and can provide effective results. So here’s a guide to what these strange sounding things are and how to get the best out of using them.

To a beginner crafter, the name ‘brad’ can sound really strange and a bit alien to the rest of papercrafting, especially as the names of other tools and accessories you use and need are generally self-explanatory. If you’ve ever stopped and wondered what on earth a brad is, you’re not alone!

Put simply, a brad is a bit like the old style of paper fasteners, often used in stationary products and as an alternative way of securing envelopes. It’s a metal pin with two prongs going down its stem and the top can be coloured or decorative. To use a brad, you stick the metal prongs through, for example, a piece of card, then pull back the prongs on the reverse side to ensure it’s secured.

Brads come in all shapes, sizes, colours and designs. They can be matt colours, shiny colours, plain colours or patterned colours, and they can have decorative tops, flat tops, textured tops or novelty tops. As they’re available in so many different types, it makes them a very versatile embellishing accessory for papercrafters and they can be used in a wide range of papercrafting projects.

How Can Brads be Used?

They may seem like a simple little crafting accessory, but brads can be used in a wide variety of ways.

On Cards

Brads can be used in many different ways on handmade cards. Decorative brads, such as ones with gemstones on the top or nice patterns, can be used as a key embellishment and take centre stage. Smaller brads can be used as a means of attaching charms to cards. If you don’t want the ‘legs’ or prongs on the back to show, you can stick an insert inside the card to hide them. Or you can use matting and layering to hide the prongs between the layers.

On Scrapbook Pages

Like cards, brads work really effectively on scrapbook pages too. Decorative brads add a small of colour of texture to a page, or you can create random patterns of brads around the edges. They’re really useful for attaching photos to a page, without the need for glue. They can also be used to form the centre of a flower, be added to complement the pattern of scrapbook papers or act as a fastener to keep charms, beads or ribbons in place.

On Mini Books or Journals

If you’re making mini books or journals, brads can be used on the covers as well as the inner pages. On the covers, for example, larger brads can be used to mimic a handle and inside they can be used to attach charms or add interest or colour to a page.

On Altered Art Projects

If you’re making altered art projects, such as covering boxes, you can use brads to add a different dimension to the surface.

To Secure Ribbon or Vellum

When you’re using vellums or some types of delicate ribbons, you’ll find that certain types of glue don’t work, as the glue shows through and looks unsightly. Brads come in very handy in such cases, as they can be used instead of glue to fix vellums or ribbons to a project. Plus they serve a decorative purpose too!

They Can be Decorated or Embellished

Brads are often decorative in themselves, but the plainer ones can also be made more funky by decorating or embellishing them. If you have a large flat brad, for example, you could put a rub-on image or transfer onto it (some brads are designed to be used in this way) or you could put small stickers or gems onto them to give a different effect.

As the examples show, brads can be used in numerous ways. So have fun experimenting and seeing what new ideas you can come up with!

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Kal
    Re: Sell Your Home Made Cards
    How to start selling greeting cards online and making extra money and starting a business around at home
    17 November 2018
  • Kal
    Re: Sell Your Home Made Cards
    I want to start selling greeting cards online I have to do a form to sign up to selling the cards for
    12 November 2018
  • Fiona
    Re: Making Wreaths
    Hello - how much moss should I buy for a wreath? It seems to be sold by weight .... Thanks!
    11 November 2018
  • Sue Lutz
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    Want to make an English pattern but not sure of the following terms: 1.WL. fwd ? Does it mean a YO 2. ? W.O.P.K....NOT SURE…
    7 November 2018
  • NIHAL
    Re: Copyrighting Your Craft Designs
    My name is Nihal. I can give you 1-5 man 0r woman man power at my home. Making card or Assembling the blocks . I haven’t any…
    6 November 2018
  • Wambi
    Re: Knitting Stitches
    Trying to find out what no stitch" on a chart means. Can you help?
    1 November 2018
  • Carol Tamplin
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    I'm starting to make poncho pattern but some of the terminology is confusing. Is 'stand off ' another term for cast off?
    25 October 2018
  • Elaine
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    Knitting a cardigan but do not understand the following: working 1 stitch less at beg of dec row at set, work 12 rows as…
    23 October 2018
  • KIRI
    Re: Glossary of Knitting Terminology
    Knitting a Hat: Katy Tricot, do not understand 'Wrap & Turn. Can you help?
    21 October 2018
  • Lyn
    Re: Knitting Stitches
    I'm knitting a very old aran pattern can you tell me what Tw2F and Tw2B are please
    19 October 2018