LINDA TRACE DESIGNS

crafty adventures of a makeup loving Japanophile!

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Friday, 25 February 2011

I-love my I-top

Hello friends!!

Authors note: this blog post was originally for the store blog, so if it seems a bit 'producty', that's why. However, I really do LOVE my i-top and to be honest, it took me a while to figure out how to use it, so I thought I'd give you this 'tutorial' of sorts in case you were interested!

I'm so excited about this tool that I can barely manage an introduction, so I'm going to leap right in--I give you...

I-top Tool
I LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE this thing!!

I'll admit freely, I've gone a little big (ok, a lot) brad-crazy since breaking this bad baby out of it's box.


This is just one of the cards I made with a homemade brad for the embellishment.



Sorry the picture is so dark, I was having some issues with lighting for a while and I've now sent the card of to it's intended recipient, so I can't re-shoot it.

I used a little EK success Cupcake punch that I got a long time back at a craft fair to make the cupcake and stuck it on top of the yellow brad. (I cut the bottom out of vellum paper and then re-cut the top 'icing' portion out of chocolate covered cardstock and covered it with Distress Stickles and added a gem stone for the 'cherry' on top.

OK--on to the making of the brad.

Here's a step by step (warning: lots of photos coming :))

NB: There are 3 sized brads you can make. A 16mm, 23mm and 28mm diameter.  To make the brads, you need to cut out a 'Topper' (the kind of circle shape you see below) of the correct size. You can use either a punch that is available (which I've used below) or you can purchase a template which you lay on top of your paper or fabric, trace and then cut by hand. (both options are in store).

Using the appropriate sized punch, punch out the required paper (you can also use the template to trace and cut with scissors--this is a better option for fabric covered brads).

Next you hold the diecut Topper in front of the pink carriage (the 'suction cap' looking section) on the top of the I-top.

See how the right side of the i-top is 'facing' the camera? You can pull it up a little to swivel it so it faces the pink carriage when it comes time to squeeze the two sections together.

**this allows you to choose which size you're using. The smallest brad size requires you use the smaller 'punch' and 'carriage' sections. If you use the wrong size, it wont work. To change the size you're using, you just pull the top section up (away from the handles) and swivel them in the appropriate direction.
This is what you will get in a packet of "Brad Daddies".  The top two rows are the insert pin of the brad, the bottom two rows are the 'head' of the brad (which will be covered in fabric or paper when you're done)

See? Now they're facing each other. I'm still holding the diecut.  Next you take the brad "head" and sit it with the paper (centred if possible.)

Next, slowly squeeze the handles so that the two sides come together, the smaller metal side should push the paper/fabric topper piece AND the brad head, inside the pink carriage.


In the next photo, I've rotated the right 'pushing' section out of the way so you can see what your paper will look like. The 'flaps' will stick out everywhere and that's fine.
Just fold the flaps in with your finger, making sure they're pushed well into the brad top.
Insert the brad base (the part with the 'pin' or arms that will eventually pierce through your paper and be opened to secure the brad in place)
Turn the handles to face each other. (NB though you can't tell, the brad base is in the left hand side of the handle, the brad top with it's paper covering is in the right pink 'cup'-side of the handle.

Squeeze the handle part together (like you would a crop-a-dile or pair of shears) and the top sections will squeeze together.

This is what you will now have. The brad base will be lodged securely inside the brad top.

Remove the entire brad gently from the pink cup. (You can push the pink cup backwards off the metal top holder, so the brad pops out easier, I find this results in a neater brad)

Here is your completed brad!


 All I did after this step is wet my fingers just a little (you could also lightly spritz the paper brad topper with a mini mister, but I just wet my fingers) and then gently go around and push those little ridges (on the edge) inwards, so they didn't stick out so much.

You could easily leave your brad as is at this point, but  I'm sure, as you saw on my card at the top of this post, I added an embellishment. 

I've also made brads out of material, or other papers but topped them with felt embellishments or even mini Prima white roses (which I've coloured with Glimmer Mist) and they look super cute.

I'll show you those soon!!

So get out there and have fun making these gorgeous brads! There are 3 sizes and a LOT more things you can make with an I-top, but so far, I've only tried the brads. I love that I can make a brad to match my card/layout etc perfectly!

Talk to you soon!

Linda xx


1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for the tutorial on the I-top. I have been thinking about getting one. This helped enable me! LOL