Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Designer Builder Brads...

...are a new product in the Stampin'Up Spring catalogue.  They're basically really pretty, silver, lacy looking, large paper fasteners (about a 2.5 cm diameter) and come with a little clear shiny dome or "bubble" you can fit into the middle of them.  Here's one:

They look so pretty attached just as they are to cards over a piece of ribbon, because the colour shows through the lacy holes.  I have been experimenting since my order arrived and have been really pleased with the number of different looks you can get.

1) take a small piece of designer paper, cardstock, or stamp an image on some background paper, cut with a 1/4 inch circle punch and stick it into the central circle and cover this with the self adhesive clear dome, which magnifies the pattern.  This is a great way to coordinate your brad embellishment with the rest of your design

2) you can emboss the brad.  Cover it with Versamark and dip the whole brad into your embossing powder.  Holding it with pliers, heat it carefully with your heat embossing tool.  Once it's cool you could distress it or re-emboss if you wanted.  You could even use some scented embossing powder for a scratch 'n' sniff experience!!!  I love the vintage look from SU's gold embossing powder.  By the way, don't heat it too much or all the embossing liquifies and drips off (don't ask how I found that out..).

3) you can colour the plastic "bubble" with alcohol markers to ring the changes.

4) You don't always have to use the bubble: you can cover the centre of the brad with any loveliness that takes your fancy, such as a flower cut from the really gorgeous flower trim in the new catalogue or one of the new large gems.

5) and you don't always have to use the brad.  There are 4 spare bubbles in the pack so you can use these to make your own raised embellishments.

6) you can use them for jewellery and trinkets, yay!  Look at these lovely keyrings made by Norma (and notice the beautiful packaging as attractive as the gift itself, all from the new spring catalogue and sale-a-bration)

Or as a feature on a trinkety necklace, pendant or for a super quick pair of earrings.  Remember to carefully remove the pins in order not to scratch the wearer.

7) A quick and easy Brooch
I saw this idea on my team's facebook forum, and just loved how I could make it match my outfit with a simple circle of cardstock. I framed this with a Soda Pop Top (129388) flattened in my BigShot and topped it with an antique silver brad, grunged the lot with some StazOn and stuck on a brooch back with some crystal effects:

8) Because of its size, the brad makes a really good and very quick fastener for a journal or envelope. Just wrap thin ribbon or twine such as SU's linen string round it in the style of an old fashioned memo envelope.

9) Being metal, I think this piece lends itself to suggestions of the mechanical!  It seems a bit sacrilegious to do this to something so pretty, but how about embossing it in black and using it on a man card along with cogs and wheels etc.  or using it as a film reel or camera part.  This one was grunged down with some smeared on stazon.

10) I bet these look great covering up the centre of a paper rosette (made either with a rosette die or with a scoring board).  I'm already thinking Christmas decorations here!

Having had a play with these, I have to say this is a much more versatile product than I at first gave it credit for, and at £6.25 for a pack of 16, less than 40p each, giving some real "bang for your buck".  I can't guarantee their availability after 30th June when  spring catalogue expires, so snap some up now - just give me a call.

Please add a link to any projects you have made using these great brads.

Thanks for calling by! xx


  1. SOLD!!! What an amazing post about these brads! I haven't even given them a second look when I first saw them in the catalog and now they have moved to the top of my list! :) Thanks for all the amazing inspiration Helen!!!!

  2. I absolutely agree with Michelle Helen! You've really given these brads a work out and half your suggestions hadn't occurred to me! Especially thank you for making the mistake with the embossing powder so that we don't have to LOL! Vicky x


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Please feel free to link to your own related projects, Helen x.