Using Rub-Ons & Brads

I love brads for scrapbooking—they’re one of my favorite embellishments simply because they do double-duty: They add color and dimension to my pages, and they’re practical, too!

Brads come in all shapes, sizes and colors, and one of the newest brad styles is something called a Great Big Brad™. And believe me, these are Great Big Brads™! They measure 22 millimeters round—which may not sound that big, but it means the top of the brad is about 4 times bigger than your average standard brad!

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And yes, a Great Big Brad™ works just the same as a regular brad: You insert the prongs of the brad into your paper, then separate the prongs on the backside of the paper to secure it.

So what’s different about a Great Big Brad™? Well, the super-sized surface means you can decorate the brad, and one of my favorite ways to do this is with a rub-on.

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Adding a Rub-On
It’s easy to embellish the top of a brad with a rub-on! Here’s how:

  1. Insert the brad into a piece of paper, separating the prongs on the backside. If you don’t know where you want to put the brads on your page, you can insert the brad into a piece of scrap paper—or you could simply poke the brad into a piece of Styrofoam,
  2. Choose a rub-on and cut it out from the sheet. Remove the liner sheet.
  3. Position the rub-on in the center of the brad and hold it in place with one hand. Use the wooden stick included in the package to rub across the top of the rub-on to transfer it onto the brad.
  4. Carefully lift one corner of the rub-on to make sure the pattern has transferred to the brad. If not, try rubbing with a little more pressure until the rub-on has transferred.
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  6. Lift the rub-on sheet off and voila!–an instant, customized brad.

Choosing a Brad and Rub-On
Rub-ons come in white and black—and of course, brads come in all different colors. Black rub-ons stand out on white, yellow, orange or pink brads. White rub-ons, interestingly, can be used on any color brad except white!

Layering Rub-Ons
If you’re feeling adventurous, try layering two rub-ons on one brad! It’s easy and the look is really neat. First apply one rub-on onto your brad, then apply a second rub-on on top of the first. I initially thought that applying the second rub-on would remove the first—but it doesn’t. And the look is really fun!

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Using Great Big Brads
Now that you've customized your Great Big Brads™, what can you do with them?

Borders. Attach a row of brads along the side of your page for a colorful, dimensional border. I like 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 your Great Big Brads™, then use them as monograms and first letters 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 a Great Big Brad™ makes it perfect as 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.

Love these Great Big Brads™ and rub-ons? Simply click here to check out all nine styles of Great Big Brads™ (I love these color combinations!) and six cool styles of rub-ons!

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