Faux Brads

by Julie Warner

Create your own brads out of paper.


  • Scrap cardboard

  • Hole punch (1/4" or 1/2", round)

  • Large ball stylus

  • Tacky glue

  • Tweezers or Needle-nose pliers

  • Wax paper

  • Wooden toy bowls and pegs (optional – found in woodworking section of local craft store)


  1. Step 1

    Score a 5" long piece of cardboard 3 times at 1 ¼" intervals. The first and third scores should be mountain fold and the second (middle) fold should be a valley fold.

  2. Step 2

    Punch a hole in the first section. Fold up to the second section.

  3. Punch Using the first hole as your guide, punch a hole through the second section.

  4. Step 3

    Fold up to the third section. Using the first 2 holes as your guide, punch through the third layer. Leave the fourth layer unpunched.

  5. Your faux brad jigs, or molds, are finished. Multiple sizes are shown on first example.

  6. Step 4

    Using the same hole punch, punch one hole out of card stock and one out of cardboard.

  7. Step 5

    Fold up your brad jig and place the card stock circle inside the hole in your jig.

  8. Step 6

    Use the largest end of your stylus to push the circle down and round it against the sides.

  9. Step 7 (Optional)

    You may also use a wooden toy bowl in place of or in addition to the jig.


    The larger sizes work well for 1/2 inch or larger faux brads.

  10. Step 7

    Repeat the rounding on the cardboard circle. Place a small amount of fast grab tacky glue inside the rounded card stock circle.

  11. Step 8

    Place the wax paper between the last punched hole and the unpunched layer in your brad jig (or inside the wooden bowl as shown). Use the stylus to push the layers together and also to further round the two. The wax paper will keep the glue from sticking but also provides a wax shine to your brad.

  12. Comparison:
    Brad with this step and without.

  13. Step 9

    Complete your project and attach the brads using the same tacky glue.


Questions and Comments

We'd love to get your feedback or questions. Leave your comment below.

Great technique. Will give this a try.
Elizabeth Robertson  |  Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 5:19 AM
Brilliant, so full of possibilities!!!
Sandy Rodney  |  Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 5:55 AM
Thank you so much for the video tutorial! What a great way to make unique brads for all of your projects and inexpensive too!
Pam  |  Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 5:56 AM
How very neat! Great vid Beate
Sara Henton  |  Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 7:20 AM
Awesome idea! A piece of foam under the brad jig helps paper & cardboard to stretch better!
Joanna Lessor  |  Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 7:33 AM
Very creative way to make faux brads and the video made it look so much more simpler to achieve. I made faux brads for a card swap by using a few drops of glassy glaze directly on my punched circle and allowed them to dry overnight. Thanks for sharing this technique.
Kelli  |  Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 7:56 AM
Cool! Thanks Julie and Beate!
Allison  |  Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 8:35 AM
This is brilliant, I usually end up cutting off the bottom of the brad anyway. I always love your videos, you do such a great job.
Rose  |  Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 8:39 AM
Hi! I love this idea! So cute and clever and can be used for so many other occasions! I really LOVE it!

Could you please tell me where I can find the plastic test tubes you used?

Thanks for sharing this great idea!
Suzanne Lameraux  |  Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 9:13 AM
Wonderful technique! I look forward to giving this a try. Thanks for sharing! :0)
Chrissy  |  Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 9:42 AM
HI Beata,
Please can you show us how to make the faux brads without the wooden bowl as these are not available in the UK.
I love this this site and look forward to every Tuesdays update
elainei  |  Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 9:48 AM
Hi elanei!

If you follow the pictures before the video, you will see how to make them w/o the little bowls. Just make yourself a very easy jig (or mold) out of card board (steps 1 & 2) then use it to round out your hole punchie (steps 4 - 7).

Julie - justwritedesigns  |  Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 11:00 AM
Just sooooooo neat. thank you
Cecile  |  Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 11:32 AM
What an ingenious idea! Thank you for your tutorials, Beate!
CeeCee  |  Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 11:47 AM
Now that looks pretty nifty! And I recently managed to track down some waxed paper - I'll definitely be trying this.
Sabrina (Cook22)  |  Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 12:13 PM
Great idea. Will match everything you do! I love the videos too. I had a bit of a problem hearing your voice over the music however. I tried turning volume down but .....personally I am fine with just your voice and No music. Thanks for listening. I am prone to migraines so....
Have a great week! wink
Ruth  |  Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 12:29 PM
What a fantastic idea - now where are those hole punches?
JUlie SHort  |  Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 3:59 PM
this is a wonderful idea! thank you for sharing . I love your site. Wanda
wanda  |  Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 4:15 PM
wow, amazing idea, thanks!
lindsay  |  Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 7:04 PM
Julie Julie Julie,
This is a fantastic "GREEN" idea.
Thank you Danke Arigatooooo
Diane  |  Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 10:13 PM

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