Sunday, 31 July 2011

'NJ's Crafty Tips'

Hi everyone. Well here is the first week of my crafty tips. I will add Crafty Tips weekly on a Sunday. Hope you enjoy trying out some of my ideas. For this week's tips I am going to focus on Altering Brads. I love using brads, they can be used in so many different ways.
The tools you will need are:
Selection of brads/scrap card/craft hammer/sanding file or nail file/pokey tool/coloured nail polish/alcohol inks/craft mat.

Altered Brads
Tip 1
Take a piece of scrap card. Using your pokey tool, poke a hole through and insert brad.
This is so it is easier to alter the brad while it's attached to the card. You can then take it out of the card when finished and store for later projects. Take your hammer and using the flat end bash the brad.
Simple but effective and good for using on vintage work.
Do the same step again but this time use the domed end of your hammer.

Tip 2
Take a flower brad and attach to card.

Use flat end of hammer and bash the brad all over. Then using the domed end, hit the centre of the flower only a few times to make the petals stand out.

Tip 3
Take another flower brad and attach to the card. Sand it to distress it.

Place pointed end of pokey tool and hammer down lightly on the other end. Repeat all over the brad.

As you do this you will see the petals start to lift. Do the same step using coloured brads.

Tip 4
Sometimes you can't always find the perfect colour brad you may need for your project. We are going to change the colour of the brads on the card by using different colours of nail polish. So take a various selection of brads and attach them to your scrap card.

Paint each brad with your chosen colours. Make sure to get the edges as well.

Sometimes you may need to apply a second coat of polish depending on the colour you are using.

Set aside to dry. Once dry they can be removed from the card and stored for later projects, or just colour the brads as you need them.

Tip 5
We are going to change the colour of the brad as before, but this time using alcohol inks. Attach your brads to scrap card. Use your craft mat now so as not to stain your work surface with inks.

This is all about being random. Let drops of ink fall onto the brads. On some I have left the drops as they've fallen, on other's I've used cotton buds to blend colours and also pearl mixative.

Don't be afraid to try whatever you want to. Working with alcohol inks, any result is a good result. If your inks are puddling on the brads, just take a piece of kitchen paper and blot the lightly. This will remove the excess ink.

The key to this is to just experiment and have fun. Set aside to dry properly.

So here we have it...Altered Brads.................

I hope you have enjoyed 'NJ's Crafty Tips'. Thank you for taking the time to read all this and for visiting my blog. I hope I've given you a few ideas to play around with. I will be back next Sunday for my second weekly installment of crafty tips.
Have fun and happy crafting everyone,
lots of love NJ XX


  1. Fantastic tip Nicola, love them

  2. Great tips Nicola ! Thanks !

  3. Your welcome, glad you like them lol xxx

  4. Great ideas thank you, I have coloured brads by using permanent pens and also embossed brads but your tips are so much easier thanks again Janexxx

  5. Oooh I never knew you could do that. Thank you for sharing.
    Helen xx

  6. Thanks NJ a great tutorial. Caz

  7. Thank you so much these are superb tips every one very useful, thank you also for posting on Lts Craft on Facebook much appreciated Jane xxx