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How to Use Brads, Clips, Clothespins, Eyelets and Nail Heads

Learn how to use brads, clips, clothespins, eyelets and nail heads in your craft work to create movement and embellishments.

Brads, Clips, Clothespins, Eyelets, & Nail Heads


  • Eyelet Hole Punch, Regular Paper Hole Punch or Long Reach Hole Punch: To make a hole in paper for the eyelet to fit into. It’s best to match the size of the hole punch to the size of the eyelet being set. For brads most hole sizes will work, but don’t make the hole bigger than the front of the brad.
  • Eyelet Setter: Tool that will crimp back of eyelet to hold it in place. There are different sizes of eyelets and you should have the right size setter for the eyelet. You can also find an All In One Eyelet Setter, a tool that punches the hole and sets the eyelet in one motion.
  • Small Hammer or Mallet: To crimp back of eyelet when used with eyelet setter.
  • Small Mat or Self-healing Mat: Many feel the best result is gotten if there is a mat between the eyelet to be set and a flat surface.

Step by Step


  1. Punch hole where you want to place a brad. Make sure hole is smaller than brad front.
  2. Place brad into hole with right side on top and prongs to the back of your page or project.
  3. Separate prongs and spread flush with paper.
  4. Brads can help you bring movement within your design. For example attach arms or legs with a brad and the arm or leg can move.

Clips And Clothespins

  1. Gently open the clip or mini clothespin, place “mouth” onto surface to be clipped, and release.
  2. You can adhere clips/clothespins to background or use them as a way to hold an embellishment in place.


  1. Punch hole where you want to place an eyelet.
  2. Slip eyelet into hole. Remember to place the eyelet so the back of the eyelet is coming out to the back/wrong side of your project.
  3. Place project on mat. Place eyelet setter so that sits on top of the back of the eyelet.
  4. Tap the top of the eyelet setter firmly with your hammer or mallet. Tap until back of eyelet is flush.
  5. Keep in mind that eyelets vary in metal firmness. One brand may need only one tap while another may need 2-3.

Nail Heads

  1. Gently push nail head down into paper, piercing the paper with nail head prongs. This is easiest if you use a cushion or self-healing mat.
  2. Turn paper over and gently push prongs down with a woodcraft stick or other flat tool. Be careful, prongs are sharp.
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