Brads are two-pronged paper fasteners, usually with a decorative top. They can be used in card-making and scrapbooking, and are decorative and functional. Brads can add moving elements to your paper crafts when two pieces are fastened together. They are pushed through paper, and then the two prongs are spread apart, holding the brad in place. Brads can add texture, color, and charm to any paper project.
Types of Brads
Metallics - Smooth tops made of a variety of different types of metal
Colours - Painted metal that can come in solid colors or patterns
Shapes - Shapes such as daisies or stars in place of the circular top
Fabric Covered Brads - Circular topped brads with patterned fabric stretched over them.
Brads come in virtually all sizes, shapes, and colors.
Some basic designations are mini (usually 5 mm), medium (8 mm), and large (11mm).
It is best to check sizes when buying, because different manufacturers categorize brads differently.
Brads that are uniquely shaped, such as Christmas trees or teddy bears, are more difficult to accurately measure.
Tips for Using Brads
Even though the tips are pointy, it is best to make a hole first, so that your card doesn't crease.
You can use a pin, craft knife, or any other pointy tool that you have handy; place paper on the underside of an old mouse pad, and make a hole right where you want to place your brad.
Insert on this same surface to avoid scratching surfaces.
Ideas and Inspiration
Outline a photo mat or page border
Decorate die-cut images
Decorate stamped images
Attached vellum, ribbon, feathers, or other embellishments