Great Big Brads & Rub-Ons

We scrapbookers, card makers and paper crafters simply can't get enough of brads. They're inexpensive, easy to use and they're available in a seemingly infinite number of colors, shapes, sizes and themes.

So have you seen the latest? By popular demand, HOTP has created a whole line of Great Big Brads, just like the large brads in the Embellish-abilities kits. And there are rub-ons, too! They're designed to fit perfectly on top of Great Big Brads. Available in letters, patterns, words and images in both black and white, they're totally versatile for any project.

So what is it about these great new embellishments that I love so much? Customization. I can use the brads as is, or customize them for any project by adding a rub-on or distressing the brad!

LeNae layered a black rub-on on top of a white rub-on for a unique effect on top of this Great Big Brad, then used the brad to attach the patterned ribbon!

Adding Rub-Ons
Brad Rub-Ons are super easy to add to the tops of Great Big Brads. Simply use a craft stick (one is included with each pack of rub-ons) to transfer the rub-on. I like to insert the brad into a piece of scratch paper, then separate the prongs on the back and lay the brad on a flat surface. This makes it much easier than trying to add the rub-on while you're holding the brad. Black rub-ons tend to work best on lighter colored brads, yet the white rub-ons seem to work well on any color brad except white, of course. For a special touch, try layering two rub-ons on one brad!

You can ink the edges or the surface of Great Big Brads with an ink pad that's made for non-porous surfaces. I like to use a white StazOn ink pad to give the edges of my brad a feathery look, or a black StazOn or more solid inking. The easiest way to ink the edges of a Great Big Brad is to place the ink pad down on a flat surface and hold the brad by the prongs. Next, just touch the edge of the brad on top of the ink pad, then roll the brad over the ink pad until all edges are covered with ink. Finally, set aside the brad to let the ink dry before adding a rub-on or adding the brad to your project.

LeNae sanded these colorful Christmas brads to expose the silver metal underneath, then added rub-ons to the distressed brads.

Great Big Brads are made of silver metal, then painted with bold, glossy color. Sanding the edges or the surface of a Great Big Brad is a great way to give the brads a well-worn look and diminish the glossiness for use on shabby chic, vintage projects. I like to use a fine-grade sandpaper or even an emery board to sand the brads, holding the sandpaper in my dominant hand and the brad in the other hand. Just rub the sandpaper in an up and down, side-to-side or circular motion around the edges of the brad until you start to remove the color and expose the silver metal underneath.

After distressing your brads with ink or sandpaper, add a rub-on on top for extra flair!

Using Brads
Now that you've customized your Great Big Brads with rub-ons or distressing techniques, what do you do with them?

Borders. Great Big Brads are a cool way to create colorful, dimensional borders on scrapbook pages. I find it easiest to stagger the brads so I don't have to worry about getting them in a perfectly straight line.

Customized page titles. Add black or white ABC rub-ons to the tops of Great Big Brads, then use them as monograms and drop caps in journaling, or attach a series of brads in a row to create customized page titles, names and more. Again, I find it easiest and less stressful to purposefully stagger the brads when attaching multiple brads in a row.

Silk flowers. The large size of Great Big Brads makes them perfect for the center of a silk flower. I especially love the look of a black or white patterned rub-on on top of a brad for a funky flower center.

Slide mounts. Great Big Brads fit perfectly in the window of a circular slide mount. Try adding a rub-on, alphabet tile or piece of artwork on top of the brad first, then framing the brad in the slide mount window.

For color, dimension and a big impact on paper crafts, your customers will love innovative Great Big Brads and coordinating rub-ons! Want to check out the whole line of these fabulous new embellishments? Just click here to see all 9 Great Big Brad color sets and all 6 styles of rub-ons!