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.

What a FAB idea ... love it! Thanks so much for a great tutorial!
Chelle  |  Wed Oct 13, 2010 at 11:17 PM
This is one of the cleverest ideas ever! So simple, but can add so much punch!<teehee) The variations are numerous, and very economical. Thanks Julie!
Thanks Beata.
Suzy Que  |  Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 8:14 AM
Okay, these are really cute, but there's no way I'm going to all that trouble! grin Especially when Archiver's sells a make-your-own brad kit.
Maggie  |  Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:34 AM
I always knew I had a reason for saving my small scraps. Thanks for the clever idea!
Adele  |  Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 2:22 PM
How cool is this-I am already invisioning matching "brads" of patterened paper. thanks for the tutorial
Celeste Chase  |  Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 3:23 PM
I love the Faux Brad Technique. I am heading to Michaels for the mini bowls today. I get my weekly ideas on Wednesdays and I find that I look forward to this each week too. I file them into a Folder I have labeled Splitcoast stampers. You do a grea job!!

Diana Laabs  |  Fri Oct 15, 2010 at 5:48 AM
I think the written our version of this technique is using an alternative way to make the brads without the bowls. At least as you read down she then writes, Optional (step 7) you may also use a wooden toy bowl. Check it out.

Diana Laabs  |  Fri Oct 15, 2010 at 5:53 AM
I just tried this technique!!!! These are sooooooo cute, I'm going to be making these for all my cards from now on.
Thank you so much!!
Jackie D Murphy  |  Fri Oct 15, 2010 at 3:15 PM
Wow! How cool!
Kristy  |  Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 7:15 AM
Hi Beate:
I saw a video you made, several months ago, I think, that was on a Tent Topper Card. Could you please let me know where I can find that video again? I have no idea what I did with it.
I love the way you taught us how to make a brad out of card stock and all the other videos you have out there. Thank you so much for all your efforts.

Midge Husting  |  Wed Oct 27, 2010 at 2:15 PM
Can you get those toy bowls in Hobby Lobby or Michaels?
Karma  |  Thu Nov 4, 2010 at 1:17 PM
I bought mine at Michael's.
Suzy Que  |  Sat Nov 6, 2010 at 11:24 AM
I loved your faux brad idea!! Instead of using your wooden the wooden bowl, I found a 2-dimensional button that had a divit, depression or bowl shape to it ... this worked rather well when using a k crochet hook to form the shape!
The second method, I experimented with, also worked!! I inverted the upper portion of a button kit (to use in place of the wooden bowl), the prongs produced a tiny spiked edge. Neat thing about using this ... a wide range of button sizes can be found!

Thanks for sharing all your wonderful ideas! CM2 grin
CM2  |  Wed Jun 22, 2011 at 5:47 AM
I know this is a fairly old tutorial, so I am hoping someone can still answer my question. I can't WAIT to try this technique! What would be the easiest way to hold down these brads while embossing to keep from burning your fingers or having them blow around in the air from the heat gun? Thanks for all your fantastic ideas!
Angie  |  Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 1:40 PM
Angie, try tweezers.
Hugs and smiles
beate  |  Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 2:06 PM

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