Brads are the old fashioned paper clips that we all used as children to make a clown from card with arms and legs that moved, or was that just me! Now they come in all shapes and sizes especially for papercrafters. They can be used for decoration or to hold something in place, or used as a hanger.

All of the cards can be seen on another page in their entirety...on this page
Inserting them into your project
Although the end of the brads are ‘pointy’ I would always recommend making a hole first, if you don't you can often end up creasing your card, and that can be really disappointing after all the work you have put in. I used to use a craft knife, but have now I found I get better accuracy and results by using a pointed tool. I use a MM tool, but a map pin would be fine, or something similar. My other trusty piece of equipment is an old mouse mat – the type that has a spongey underneath. I turn the mouse mat over and then place on top of a cutting mat or a magazine - not on directly on the table top. Place your card flat on it and push through your pin or pointy tool. Then insert your brad whilst it is still on the mat. I always make all of my holes first, as I can see where I have placed them, and then push the brads in still on the mouse mat - trying to put them in with the prongs in the same direction. Remove from your mouse mat and part the prongs and that is your brad inserted.

Mini brad used as a hanger

Mini brads used to hold the ribbon in place, I did add a dab of glue first

Where can I use them?
I use loads of mini brads to hold tags and vellum in place, amongst other items. You will see more examples on the vellum page. You can push them through ribbon, card, and all kinds of paper. just be aware how long the prongs are and make sure they will go through the thickness. Some brads can have rub ons added onto them, so you can make them a design to suit your project. There is so much choice out there and most at a good price, it is worth treating yourself to a small selection.

more for decoration but if this was vellum it would be holding it in place

The feather is held in place with the brad

This big brad has a rub on added

Just purely for decoration

Another one just for decoration - and this one is shaped like a baby's shoe

 © Carolyn Woodruff March 2008